Wander Indiana

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My friend Charlotte works for the Indiana Department of Tourism. She told me she was going to Samaria for dinner. No, it does not border Galilee but is located down south in Johnson County.
Last week she went to Paris for lunch. Now who would have thought Paris was a simple trip down to Jennings County. Made me wonder if anyone actually owns any wooden Dutch clogs in the city of Holland, Indiana.
My niece just returned from Girl Scout camp at Poland, Indiana. While Moscow is a town up in Rush County – Warsaw, Indiana is located in Kosciusko County.
My friend, Katrina was quick to mention the city of Hardscrabble, Indiana in Madison County. Did the city get its name from the board game scrabble?
I did know that Cincinnati was down in Greene County and next door in Daviess County is Scotland. My husband swears Bethlehem is south of Greenwood on I-65.
The city Santa Claus, Indiana is located in Spencer County, while the town of Spencer is located in Owen County. The city of Franklin is in Johnson County not Franklin County. Go figure.
I did know that Peru was home to the circus life but did not know that you could  actually visit Siberia in  January  without  putting  snow chains on your car.
You can spend St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, Indiana or go to Jericho on any Sunday. A trip to Canaan or, if you like salsa, a trip up north to Mexico might be fun.  Visit Cuba and tell your  friends you forgot to bring them back a  Cuban cigar.
As the Indiana license plates once read: Wander Indiana.
My biggest concern now is on our wedding anniversary next month; my husband mentioned since we both have an Italian heritage we might pack a bag for Rome. I can’t help but think we’ll end up in southern Indiana.

 

 

 

 

 

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Road Signs

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Have you noticed all the different signs around town? True, more than one sign is strictly advertisements — periodically they are interesting.

One can’t help but notice the flashing neon sign on Madison near the Greenwood Shopping Mall. More than a few letters are gone. It blinks “quor” instead of advertising the establishment sells Liquor.

Did you happen to see the portable marquee sign on Meridian? “Tina, I love you – please come back.”   I wonder what ever happened to Tina.

The canopy sign outside of Fazoli’s advertised: All you “care to eat for $2.99”. I took my nephews and couldn’t help but notice they took the sign down the next day.  

Within a few blocks of the Shopping Mall, there is a deer crossing sign. True, plenty of deer cross a highway causing more than one accident. But honestly, have you ever seen a deer cross at where the signs are?

More than a few banks have electronic signs giving the date, time and temperature.   However; when it is 93 degrees outside, who needs to read a sign to know it’s hot.

There is a stop sign on Main Street in Greenwood that obviously doesn’t mean stop. More often than not when the cars come up to the street they roll right through.   I got a ticket there once. Now I stop.

By far my favorite sign is the billboard on I-65. As you head south toward Columbus you can’t miss it.   “Tattoos While You Wait”   Well, I would certainly hope so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dog and Suds Drive-In

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Today we live with fast food and drive-thru windows.

I recently took my nephew Doug, to a restaurant located not far from the Fort Wayne exit. The Dog and Suds Drive-In serves traditional all American food, such as hamburger, french fries, tenderloins, shakes, etc.

Our food was delivered by our car hop, Judy, who mentioned that the restaurant typically sells three perhaps four tons of hamburgers in one year alone. The Suds customers can guzzle as much as 1,700 gallons of root beer per year, all served in a frosty mug.

Once again, places you can go offering icy mugs of root beer, double-decker hamburgers and coleslaw served in clear plastic cups delivered to your car. The Dog and Suds eatery makes everyone over the age of 30 feel 16 again.

The neon bedecked sign advertising the drive-in has presided over cities for more than a decade. Within driving distance we have a new yet old restaurant whose owners spend long hours in the day slaving over the grills in 90 degree heat. The menu boasts more selections than many other drive-thru establishments.

The only difference I could see from years past is customers do not signal their need for service by turning on their headlights. Also the car hops do not wear roller skates, but after an evening of running trays to dozens of cars, I bet they wish they had.

In summer, vintage cars and four wheel drive trucks will line up beside motorcycles, sports cars, and vans. Each vehicle has patrons with a craving for food brought on a door hanging tray.

My only problem was when the car hop told my nephew, “Here is your mug,” he took it literally. “Sorry. . get that glass mug out of your backpack.   You cannot take it home.”

 

 

 

 

Return of the Snowbirds

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imagesMy Aunt Sharon and Uncle Steven should return to Greenwood soon.  They are the family snowbirds. Just like our feathered friends, with the first signs of spring, they return.

“Snowbirds,” just like many actual birds, leave Indiana for the winter, but come back home in the spring.

Aunt Sharon and Uncle Steven have spent the winter in Lake Havasu, Arizona.  They have made friends in Arizona yet they always return to Indiana in the spring.

My husband never fails to mention them when he is out shoveling snow or scraping the ice on the car windows.  Uncle Steven also manages to call late night when it is bitter cold here – just to mention that he has his windows open and is enjoying the evening air.

Some people call them lucky.  These individuals who can migrate away from the cold.  They never have to put their summer clothes away, or purchase a new winter coat.  They never have to worry about which boots to wear just to go to the mailbox.  They spend the winter working on their tan.

By spending the winters in the warmer climate, snowbirds don’t have to deal with icy roads, shoveling their walks, falling on the ice and all of the other winter hazards.

They have a good reason for coming back – it’s home!  If they had to call any one place in the world home, Indiana would be it.  They have their home here and their family.

The neighbors and family watch the house for them.  Snowbirds aren’t just sunny day friends.  They do miss Indiana, but not quite enough to brave the cold and snow.

Basically,  they  escape from  the  hard cold  during the winter  and  it is beautiful  in Arizona.

Within a few weeks you can see the snowbirds flying (or driving) back to Indiana.  You can be sure winter is out of view.  Gone but not forgotten.

 

 

 

 

 

One Flat Tire

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A blonde lady might be intimated by an automobile flat tire, but not me. I’m the blonde with dark roots you remember.  I also know my father taught me how to make simple repairs.  True, that was more years ago than I care to remember, but the basic survival instincts stay with you.

At first I did  look at  the flat tire in question  and thought, putting my hands on it,  maybe it’s just cold.   I’ll let the  sun warm it up  for  a couple hours and  see what happens.

“Knock it off,” I could hear my father say.  “Change the flat tire.”

Leaning back into the car, I pressed the trunk release button.  I wished I’d worn slacks, but was grateful that my shoes were flats and not heels.

I groaned out loud as I rummaged around in the trunk.  I knew the jack was nicely hidden behind something.  There I found a few assorted tools, chamois, a beach towel, road flares, and a tattered old blanket.  The tire would be under all this.

I would have a Firebird.   My father would be proud  that  I  was smart enough to keep the  locking lug nut  key taped to the spare tire.  Now  I  attempted to assemble  jack parts according to memory.    I issued a  fifteen  second  burst  of profanity.

I placed the jack under the fender and turned the handle to raise the car.  How long will it take to actually raise this car?  I continued turning the handle.  I issued a second set of profanity.

I picked up the lug wrench and fit it over the lug nut.  Who ever came up with the name ‘lug?’

I put counterclockwise pressure to the lug wrench until the nut loosened.  I applied all the force I had to the wrench, all the while questioning if I might hurt myself.   Sitting on the ground,  panting, issuing more  profanity: I  stared at the lug nuts.

Standing I put the wrench back on the lug nut and tried kicking it (the wrench) with my foot.  I felt something give.  I might have broken my toe.

“Hey, Little Lady.”  Concentrating on the flat tire I did not hear the man’s footsteps approaching around the car.  Stepping away from my car I could see a gold Chevy pickup truck parked behind my car.  I could hear a “Three Dog Night” song still playing.  There wasn’t a speck of dirt on the truck and the license plate read:  “It’s a 36”  

I hated being called Little Lady.  It unmistakably made me feel as though I was ten years old.  “I’m fine, thank you.” I said, rubbing my foot.  “I just have a flat tire.  I can fix it.”

“Well Little Lady, I only stopped because it looks like you could use some help.”

What was I doing?  A small part of me was indignant at being treated as though I was feeble minded, but even worse, I hate to admit that I was happy to be getting some help.  More than likely – this manly man – could finish replacing this tire long before I could have taken off these lug nuts. 

Pride is a difficult thing to swallow,  yet I said,  “Yes, I could  use some help.   Thank you.” 

He slid his hand in his trouser pocket.  He handed me his cell telephone.  “Here, you might want to call the garage on Main Street to come help – like you should have done in the first place.”