To Des Moines!

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Joliet Prison

Joliet Prison

We left the Chicago area around lunchtime in 100 degree heat, but not until after stopping to visit Jake & Ellwood, (The Blues Brothers), at the Joliet State Prison.  On the prison tour, they will lock you in a cell.  Interestingly, the architecture of the Joliet High School strongly resembles the prison, and I wonder if the students feel the resemblance is too similar.
After some construction hang-ups we headed west on Rt. 80 towards Iowa.  We crossed the mighty Missippi, which seemed pretty calm today.  Iowa was not as flat as I thought it would be.  It is covered in corn fields like I expected, but it has trees and hills too.  We saw an 18-wheeler with a load of pigs stuck with a flat tire.  With this heat I am surprised we haven’t seen a lot of blown out tires on the road.
We took a detour up to Cedar Rapids to visit Maddeson Tersinar’s family and see the playground that was built in Maddeson’s memory at her elementary school in Marion, Iowa.  Maddeson was diagnosed with Pelvic Ewing’s, (same cancer as mine), a few months after I was, but she didn’t make it through treatment.  Pelvic Ewing’s has a 50% survival rate right now.  Maddeson earned her angel wings in August 2009.  She was seven-years-old.  She would be 11 now.  It was really nice to see her playground and especially to see her youngest sister Kendall playing on her “sissy’s” playground at Indian Creek elementary school.  Kendall reminds me a lot of myself at that age.
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We went out to dinner with Maddeson’s family at a restaurant in Cedar Rapids.   Mr. Tersinar was really great and fixed a problem with our trailer and then we all went to visit Maddeson’s gravesite. It is pretty neat with photos of Maddeson on it.  It was getting late, so we got back on the road to Des Moines.  We are now in Des Moines and will be setting up the quilt tomorrow evening at Valley West Mall.
The National Angel Quilt will be on display this week: 10am-9pm Fridayand Saturday and 11am – 6pm on Sunday in the center court of Valley West Mall, West Des Moines, Iowa.