Out Grundy Way
Gastro-intestinal upset struck on Friday morning, so it was all I could do to file the small bit of professional writing I had to do that day, much less post here. Things were better by Friday night, but I was in no mood to sit in front of a computer. I let the kids do that.
On Saturday, I felt well enough to proceed, as planned, with the rest of the family for an overnight visit to Grundy County, Illinois, just southwest of metro Chicago. By some reckonings, it's part of metro Chicago already, though mostly exurban. But the signs are all there -- sometimes literally, in the form of FOR SALE signs on property -- that in a decade or two, full-blown suburbs will exist in Grundy County as surely as they do now in DuPage or Lake or Will counties.
This isn't idle speculation on my part. I actually looked up some facts, and it turns out that Grundy County's population has grown from about 37,500 in 2000 to 45,800 last year, according to the US Census Bureau, a change of some 22.1 percent. DuPage County, by contrast, the growth spot in Illinois in the 1980s, grew only 3.1 percent over the same period, though of course it has a much larger population (932,000 in 2006).
Hands will be wrung. People who moved to the countryside will gripe of people who moved to the countryside some years later than they did. Sprawl will ruin Grundy County. Shocking how all those extra people will have places to live and work and shop and entertain themselves.
Anyway, the prospect of a more populous Grundy County didn't concern us a bit when we were there. Among other things, we were too busy camping in a back yard, warding off ticks, listening to the illegal fireworks, and attending the Grundy County Fair, with its cattle and goats and chickens and amusements for small children.