I hope everyone had a nice Fourth of July. I was glad the rains and storms held off. I did wander down to Cooper Park for a few minutes, long enough to watch the happy kids exploring Kids Ground…especially the zip line, which seems pretty popular.
I had planned to cook some burgers, but the enticing smells in the park convinced me to get a turkey leg from Ralfie’s BBQ and a pork chop from the Moose Lodge. If I were hungrier, I would have gotten a taco from El Senor De Los Tacos, but the turkey leg was pretty big.
Honestly, one aspect of the holiday I don’t like are the extra fireworks going off all over the place. My dog doesn’t seem to like them either.
I have an in-law visiting from Florida. He remarked on the number of houses he saw under construction in Illinois, figuring there would not be any because of people leaving.
I ride some rural roads and through some subdivisions and it seems to me that in the past year I have seen at least 10 homes built, sold and occupied.
I know we have high property taxes and our state finances are a mess, but think of the benefits of life in Illinois.
My in-law checks his lanai every time he goes out to be sure there are no gators lurking about. He also has taken to driving to the community mailbox after he noticed a particularly hungry looking gator in the ditch near the mailboxes. Since he is from Florida, temperatures in the upper 90s and high humidity is pretty common for a large part of the year.
And now iguanas are overrunning the state. So, given the gators, iguanas, burmese pythons, high heat and humidity, I say no thank you.
But what about other states? Hurricanes, earthquakes, venomous snakes, extremely hot temperatures, wildfires and droughts all affect other parts of the country.
Yes, there are places that seem wonderful. Montana and Colorado or Tennessee and the Carolinas. But even those states must have disadvantages.
I think Illinois is on the verge of turning everything around to the positive.
But it will be up to us to push our leaders on issues such as term limits, nonpartisan redistricting, solving the pension problem and making Illinois the best state possible for our children and grandchildren.
When that happens, people will be coming here to live and work.
Besides we have lightning bugs; how could anyone not love the sight of the little critters blinking on a warm summer night.
Terry Dickow is a retired elementary school teacher with lots of opinions, some you will like, some you won’t. He can be contacted at [email protected]