Dear friends and family,
On Monday last week, we had a whistle-stop tour of Chicago. An Amtrak train deposited us at Union Station and Mary, a Chicago greeter full of enthusiasm, walked us around the city centre in glorious sunshine. Here are some of the buildings we met.
After catching our breath in the Amtrak lounge, we boarded an overnight train. The whistle hardly stopped all night. We inserted ourselves into the sleepers, dreamt of trains and arrived soon after sunrise in Memphis.
There we were embraced by another wonderful family—Heidi, David, Rosie, Marilla and Edward—into the patterns of their daily lives. Neighbours, school drop-offs, homely meals, laughter, puns with groans, family bedtime stories, Saturday soccer, walks in the park and over the bridge into Arkansas, conversations about all manner of things and especially the state of the world. We joined their church community in all sorts of ways from worship to a discussion about reconciliation to a concert given by a world-class classical guitarist.
The Tennessee Ornithological Society (TIS) stepped up to help us meet the local birds. Geoff scribbled like mad to keep up with the list of new birds we met at Shelby Forest with TIS members, Cliff and Dick. Later, at the water’s edge, we gazed at a barge slowly making its way along the great Mississippi.
A couple of days later, Heidi and I (Chris) joined Cliff and a group of bird-banders just over the border in the state of Mississippi.
Geoff slept in that day and caught up with stuff on the back porch. Our friends live in what is called a four-square house with chickens and squirrels in the back yard, okra and tomatoes growing out the front and Yellow-crowned Night-heron’s nests in the tree above. The post person collects as well as delivers mail. Take note, Australia Post!