Ever since I arrived at back home (and I arrived in a tornado warning, no less) my maker and her family has been very busy. They have been getting ready for a 4th of July parade and I've been helping. I will show you those photos after the parade is done, which will be on Saturday, July 3. I am not sure why they call it a 4th of July parade if it's on July 3rd, but so it is.
Anyway, I was SO happy to see Abbot that he about knocked me over, running full speed into me the moment I came through the door. Then he jumped on top of me, as a child would jump on a bed. No, it didn't hurt, as Abbot is such a dear soul that the things he does only hurt when he means them to. He was excited, and so was I, and we clasped hands and danced in circles while my maker just smiled at our reunion. Abbot showed me his friend Stanley, who now resides in his pocket at all times, "a false cocker roocsh" as he interpreted our maker's pronunciation of "cockroach". Abbot also showed me the splendid necklace he now wears, the necklace April helped me make for him while I was in Little Rock. Abbot had so much to share he couldn't stop talking. And every now and then he would gargle for no good reason, just gargle, because he COULD now, he told me, because now I am home.
After a few days of catching up with each other, my maker, Abbot and I worked on the 4th of July parade surprise, and then it was time for a little adventure. We got in the car with my maker and her family and headed south into central Illinois. My maker's son was at a music camp at The University of Illinois and we needed to go pick him up and bring him home. When we got there my maker let Abbot and I run around a bit, stretch our legs, because it was another long ride home. Below are some of the interesting things we saw.
Not that it wasn't exciting enough to be on a real college campus, we got to walk around and look at some of the buildings. Most of them were very old. But very beautiful. I felt smarter just walking around on the campus. I wished I had on a snappy hat and held a book about philosophy, and I wished people would stop and ask me what I thought of Aristotle, Plato, or Socrates. This photo, above, was taken in the quadrangle (rather, the "quad" to those in the know), and Abbot and I raced down to that building, The Auditorium, to see who could climb the stairs and touch the door first. Abbot won, and he snickered about that all afternoon. It was VERY hot, also, and it reminded me of the heat in Little Rock, and I thought of April, and Henry, Martha and Jane. I wondered what they might be doing.
Just off of the quad was a giant statue called the Alma Mater, which translates from Latin as Nourishing Mother, and refers to the school in which one once attended. Most campuses have an alma mater statue as a statement to future generations, that they will grow in knowledge while attending school. My maker then told me that University of Illinois is HER alma mater, as she attended this university as an art major. "When?" I asked her. "Caruthers," she said, "It was quite a few years ago." I wondered what my maker would have been like in college. I wondered if she thought about making ME while she was in college. It's strange, isn't it, that humans have these long lives, and so much happens to them. The experiences that make them who they are. Because, when I think hard about it, my maker never would have made me had she not become the person she is. And all that happened in her life made her the way she is. She's kind of like MY alma mater.
Abbot squiggled his way around the pedestal of the statue, posing unobtrusively on the side of it. I climbed up onto the chair and hoped that big bronze woman would not decide to sit down.
We sat on the old steps of this building, Altgeld Hall, once a law building, now used for mathematics. It's old stones have been in place a long time, one can tell by looking. As I sat I could feel history just seeping through my being. How I would like to go to college and learn everything there is to know about the world. I wondered if there was any one human being that knows everything. My maker must have heard me because she said, "Caruthers, I don't believe anyone could possibly know everything there is to know in the world. It is just too vast. Sometimes we have to be happy just knowing the things we know, and enjoy doing the things we're good at. One can always strive to know more, and that's honorable, but to want to know everything can make a person crazy." CRAZY, I thought. That's not for me. As for now I'll be thankful I know Abbot and my maker, her family and friends, and I'll be happy knowing all the tiny things I know.
It was very hot so we stopped at this fountain to cool ourselves. My maker made sure Abbot and I stayed far from the splashing of the water, but it cooled us just the same. We enjoyed looking at the pair of gargoyles perched in the water. My maker said they looked just like Abbot and I. I looked, but didn't see any resemblance. I think she was joking.
We brought the son home from camp, and what little paraphernalia he dragged along to spend a week from home. I had to scoff at that, having spent time away from my home. Where were his pirate hats, light sabres, and toys? Where were his chocolates (rather, chocolate wrappers), special blankets and night vision goggles? Some people just don't know HOW to pack for a trip.
Until next time.