Down on the Farm with Sue Glasco

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  • Illinois, the Land of Lincoln, is in the Heartland of America.  A long long state from its largest city,Chicago, in the north on Lake Michigan to Cairo in the south at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.  I like to think of Illinois as being in the shape of an arrowhead as it narrows at the bottom where the rivers meet.  Springfield is the capital of Illinois.
  • Southern Illinois is the place where I grew up and decided I always wanted to live.   Although we are as far south as Kentucky and although our southern heritage is strong, we are not detached from the issues and attitudes of Central and Northern Illinois and are more midwestern than southern.  One area nickname is Egypt (or Little Egypt as some call it) which brings to mind the stories of droughts and scant yields in 1832 and even earlier when pioneers had to come to Egypt to get food for their livestock and families.  Another apt nickname is Land Between the Rivers, for we are located between the Mississippi on the west and the Ohio on the east. At the very southern tip of Illinois at Cairo, Lewis and Clark began their fantastic trip to the Pacific Ocean charting the American West.  During their five days and six nights in Alexander County, the Corps of Discovery used the navigational instruments that established the latitude and longitude that they used as they traveled. Our area's breath-taking natural beauty includes not just the rivers, but many lakes, bluffs, caves, forests, creeks, woods, meadows, hills, wild life, and changing seasons.  Nothing can be more gorgeous than autumn in Southern Illinois--unless it is spring here.
  • Williamson County.  One of Illinois' 102 counties, Williamson grew out of Franklin.  The county seat is Marion.   Sitting on Route 13, Marion is rapidly expanding to the west towards Carbondale, the home of Southern Illinois University, and to the east toward the village of Crab Orchard on the road to Harrisburg. 
  • Woodsong is east of the city of Marion. Taking Route 13 east, you will find new houses and subdivisions replacing farms of previous times.  At the crossroads of Route 13 and state Route 166 (locally known as Moeller Crossroads and pronounced Miller Crossroads), you can keep going to Harrisburg.  Or soon after the Crossroads, you might take one of the four exits to the village of Crab Orchard, which Route 13 now bypasses. You can go north at Moeller Crossroads and reach Pittsburg and you will pass Wayside Farm, where we began farming in Williamson County.  Our daughter and son-in-law's family is frequently there in their camper at Wayside Farm. You  can go south from the Crossroads to New Dennison and Creal Springs and eventually reach New Burnsides, Tunnel Hill, and Vienna.  However, if you turn east at New Dennison and go one mile on New Dennison Road, you will be at Woodsong. 
  • Woodsong is southwest of the village of Crab Orchard.  We call the village of Crab Orchard our home community.  The population sign used to read 300 for this unincorporated village, and it is here that the Unit 3 School is located, from which our four children were graduated with the Classes of 1975, 1976, 1979, and 1981.  It is in Crab Orchard that we attend church and in Crab Orchard that I make regular trips to our Crab Orchard Public Library, which serves our Unit 3 families as well as people in the towns of Pittsburg and Creal Springs and the surrounding farms and rural homes.
  • You can come to Woodsong from Crab Orchard by going south towards Creal Springs and then west on Ewing Road.  Go right off of Ewing onto Hawkins Road  and that will lead a bit north to New Dennison Road, where you will curve to the left.  You'll pass our former place, Pondside Farm, and keep going one-half mile more.  You are at Woodsong. 
  • Woodsong sits on Swallow Lake, the little lake Gerald built with the help of brothers and nephews in 1988.