Friday, March 26, 2010

I'm No Lincoln

This week, I clocked 900 miles driving around the state of Illinois on work-related matters. It’s something I actually enjoy especially when I have a rental car equipped with satellite radio. You just haven’t lived until you’ve driven to Peoria while listening to a Concerto for Bass Flute.

While driving through Springfield, one can’t help but notice that everything is “Abraham Lincoln This” and “Abraham Lincoln That” and that got me thinking about Illinois’ second-most famous president.

Long before he became president, Mr. Lincoln worked as a circuit attorney serving a number of counties across central Illinois. Back in those days, there was no Interstate 55 or 74 connecting Springfield to anywhere else. Mr. Lincoln had to go from town to town by horseback. On a horse.

If any of you have ever ridden a horse for a whole day, then you know what it means to be saddle-sore. Oh my gosh, there is nothing worse. Just when your crotch gets raw and bruised all the way up to your ears, the horse starts trotting. Mr. Lincoln had to endure that day after day after day. The mind reels.

I thought of that because I have a slight case of plantar fasciitis in my right foot and my heel was getting sore from pressing on the gas pedal so much. I was glad my rental had cruise control.

There were no Applebee’s or Ruby Tuesday’s along the way at which Mr. Lincoln could stop for a bite to eat. No, Mary Lincoln probably stuffed some beef jerky and a few leftover corn pones in an old saddlebag for him.

I thought of that one night when was I too tired to walk down to the hotel lobby for dinner. I had room service bring a maple-glazed salmon with roasted vegetable medley.

And what about hotel accommodations along the way? Hampton Inns are nice but while in Springfield, I stay at the Hilton downtown (we get a state rate there).

Mr. Lincoln had to make do with flop-houses along the way. There, you’d get a meal and a bed –but back then, it was expected that male guests would share a bed with each other. And people didn’t bathe back then. Can you imagine riding a horse all day and then sharing a small bed with a smelly stranger with a sore crotch? The mind reels.

I thought of that when I asked the desk clerk to move me to another room because the one I had was on the first floor next to the parking lot. (It just didn’t feel private enough.). However, this hotel did have my favorite shampoo – Coconut & Lime Verbena by Bath & Body Works.

So, yes, as I drove through Springfield, I gained new respect for Mr. Lincoln and what he had to endure.

I was glad to get back to Chicago late Wednesday evening. I plunked my bags with the doorman while I returned my rental car and then headed up to the lovely solitude of my condo on the 50th floor.

Mr. Lincoln had to go home to Mary Todd.

The mind reels. . . .

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At 1:16 PM , Blogger Bad Alice said...

When I was about 6 my mom had us all go on a trip through every state Lincoln ever lived in. It was quite the excursion, finishing in D.C. at the house where he died.

Coconut/Lime Verbana is the best. It smells like you could drink it with Vodka.

At 1:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did somebody say vodka?

At 6:05 PM , Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

You are too funny! :)

I didn't know that "back then, it was expected that male guests would share a bed with each other"--wow.

Imagine Iwanski sharing a bed with another man. Doesn't it make you laugh, for some reason???? *hee hee*

At 10:09 PM , Blogger Buck said...

MHP: I thought of Iwanski on a horse and didn't make it past that.

At 9:43 AM , Blogger Barb said...

I love the way that you think! Totally agree with Coconut/Lime. I use the body wash as a bubble bath. My favorite shampoo right now is Hello Vibration by Herbal Essences. It's Orchid and Coconut milk. Feels like you are washing your hair on a tropical island.

At 11:46 AM , Blogger Daisy's Mom said...

Satellite radio is great, but sometimes it's fun to listen to local radio stations as you drive through rural areas. I've heard some great comedy from small town personalities, and they weren't even trying to be funny.


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