Illinois – Thanksgiving

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Joe and I have spent the last two weeks in Benton, Illinois at Gun CreekSunset
Corp of Engineer campground.  We came from a crowded expensive park to this beautiful park sitting on Rend Lake for $8 a night.  We will hate to leave it tomorrow but the park is closing on Monday for the season and we need to keep moving south.

We have shared the park with deer hunters, fishermen, and some families who just want the peace and quiet of this park.  Crappies have been biting and the hunters have been getting their deer.  We know this because the deer carcasses have been hanging in the trees (not a pretty picture).  We have shared our campsite with a pair of eagles and sometime their adolescent offspring.  They sit in the tree looking over the lake and when we come out our door they make a terrible noise.  They have been a joy to watch.

We seem to always meet such nice people in CGs like this.  We had a truck load of wood delivered to our campsite from a very nice man who said he had extra wood.  He wouldn’t take anything for it but loved to visit.

We had a humbling experience on this Thanksgiving Day from a fellow camper who we have been having short conversations with as we walked by their site every day.  The mom, dad, adult son and his girlfriend have been living in four tents all summer in the park.  They have a food tent, a tent set-up with their TV and then the two sleeping tents.  We are pretty sure they are homeless and looking for work.  As we walked by them around noon today they waved and started the daily conversation.  She was cooking their Thanksgiving meal over an open fire.  The turkey was already done and she was attempting to make corn bread over the fire for corn bread stuffing.  She was also going to make a pumpkin pie over the fire.  Their son and girlfriend were gone looking for logging jobs.  They asked what we were doing later and invited us to come back and share their meal.  I had a turkey cooking so we politely refuse but felt very humble.  They were so excited about attempting to cook everything for their feast over the open fire and were so proud of the turkey, which she pulled off a hunk of meat for me to try.  It was a beautiful turkey.    We are so blessed and I say it all the time but situations like this really make you think about all we have and how truly blessed we are.  We were able to share a little gas from our gas can with them so he could run his chainsaw and we gave them a bundle of wood we had so they could keep their fire going.  We are blessed just to have met them and share a few moments with them.  Blessings do come in all different forms.

I am so thankful for so much – a wonderful man to share this life with, our children and their spouses, our two beautiful grandkids, for our health, for all the wonderful people we meet in our travels, for all our friends, for the roof over our head and the food on our table.  Blessings I am very thankful for!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  Love to all our family and friends.

Stay safe!