As friends relived old times during the course of last evening the subject of nicknames arose. So, I started scribbling them down — which is basically what I intended to build this column around.
I went to school with Carla whose nickname was Hurricane. While in grade school, there was an actual Hurricane that made the headlines in Texas called Hurricane Carla. She brought the newspaper to school and everyone called her Hurricane from then on.
Moose got his nickname while playing high school football. A nickname the coach gave him. What if the coach hadn’t liked his players? What other animals would he have used? A weasel perhaps?
Tiny, was a kid in high school who stood over six feet five inches. Yes he was the tallest kid in school and played center on the basketball team.
One friend has the least original nickname ever. He has natural red hair and his nickname is “Red”. My friend Charlotte goes by the nickname Char. Simple idea really, like we don’t have to use both syllables when we call her name.
At times, nicknames make perfect sense and sometimes they do not.
My cousin’s name is William and he goes by the name Will.
Yet another cousin, Michael, answers to the nickname Ronnie.
The power of 4-H. For those who fall in the category of thinking 4-H is just about agriculture and raising animals, you do not know the whole story. In Indiana, only about thirty percent of the total enrollment comes from farms, the rest from urban areas.
4-H is a chance for youth to handle responsibility, learn new things and work hard to achieve goals. The primary benefits of 4-H are leadership, citizenship and the opportunity for youth to learn things of interest at their own ability level.
Last year’s most popular projects were: Crafts, Foods, Photography, and Clothing. There are over fifty projects ranging from Aerospace to Creative Writing. All projects include hands-on activities and the manuals are being continuously updated.
My nephew opted to take The Horseless Horse Project. This allows him to learn all aspects of the animal, without the tremendous cost that comes with owning and caring for a horse. He attended the Horse Club meetings, did posters and filled out his workbooks. It was an especially great project for him as he couldn’t at this time own a horse. He wants to be a horse racing jockey.
A few years ago—more years than I would like to admit—I was in 4-H and have a few blue ribbons in the closet to prove it. I remember the Action Demonstration Project. It allowed members to compete in a certain category without having to be judged against other entries. I stood and gave my demonstration on the steps required to make a pie, but never actually put the finished pie product in competition. I was judged for the demonstration and not for the pie. Maybe that was a good thing. I doubt if I would have won any ribbons on my pie.
The 4-H program provides a learning environment for the youth of the community. They can test their skills with various projects and animals. Like this year’s motto proclaims, you must experience “The Power of 4-H” for yourself to truly understand.
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.
These past winter months, I noticed unusual bits and pieces in my daily life. My knees and sometimes my elbows ache. Some mornings my shoulder blade feels like it is on fire.
I told my husband one morning and he said simply, “Oh, it’s probably arthritis.”
“What?” I said. “My much older sister suffers from arthritis…not me.”
“So what’s your point?” He said with a smile.
I have noticed since last winter that my body has shifted. I have discovered a couple more changes. My hips are getting wider and higher.
I’m being obsessed with my hands. I examine my arms for liver spots. I’m afraid my hands will suddenly look like my great aunt Mona’s. Her hands looked like chopped corn flakes attached to flabby arms.
In the office yesterday, I noticed my toes were doing this strange curl up and spasm. I had to stop, remove my shoe and massage my toes and ankle.
I had a case of spring fever so I went shopping. Standing in front of the dressing room mirror I discovered a couple more changes. I think I’m looking more and more like a peanut covered M & M.
I left, stopping by the local fast food restaurant. Perhaps the afternoon out would do the trick to lift my spirits.
Then it happened suddenly, with no warning whatever! I was minding my own business in the food lane, waiting at the counter for my fries when it happened. The “M” word.
“Here’s your change, Ma’am!” chirped some freckle-face kid who didn’t look old enough to count change, let alone have a job.
For more years than she cares to admit, my neighbor Jan, has slipped into a lacy blouse, ruffled skirt, and frilly petticoat to Do-si-do her partner, then promenade.
She rarely misses square dances. Dancing is a big part of her life. She loads up the car and travels throughout the USA with her square dance partner . . . her hubby.
Square dancing is a type of American folk dancing performed by groups of four or more couples. The couples may dance in a square formation or in a circle. They follow the directions of a caller, who calls out different movements and patterns.
Popular calls include the ‘weave the ring’ or ‘swing your partner’ and ‘for a star’. Main stream square dancing includes more than 100 different calls. All this is done to music provided by fiddles, banjos or guitars.
If you are intimidated by the outfits square dancers wear, you can relax. Some people come in their street clothes, but part of the fun for Jan is dressing up. Women often wear ruffled underwear under wide petticoats and full skirts. The men put on western shirts, sometimes with scarves or bolo ties. Yes, she has multiple pairs of cowboy boots.
A night out dancing usually doesn’t cost anymore than five dollars a person to get into the dance. Square dancers come in all ages from 9 to 90.
“You don’t have to be a dancer to square dance,” she tells me as she tried to convince me to join. Me? I can occasionally confuse my left hand with my right foot
“It’s just good clean fun,” Jan says. “If you can listen and walk fast you can square dance.”
Listen and walk fast? This leaves the blonde lady with dark roots unable to promenade let alone Do-Si-Do.
Notice all the houses decorated for Christmas before Thanksgiving Day?
In Mission Hills subdivision there is a turkey made from a bale of hay. Driving around town you see more than one cement goose lawn ornament dressed as a Pilgrim. In Colonial Springs there is a Minnie Mouse statue dressed as Pocahontas.
Early in the week you could hear the leaf blowers throughout the different neighborhoods. Streets were lined with piles of leaves waiting on city crews.
Yes at our house we opted to get ahead of the bad weather and decorate the outside lights. Although we will NOT turn the lights on until it gets closer to Christmas, it was easier to string the lights along the eaves when our fingers weren’t so cold.
There is a house on Smith Valley Road that has Christmas lights up and lit for display the day after Halloween. I’m afraid if we start with the Christmas decorations in October we might tire of them by December.
But then again there is a house in Northern Park that has their holidays up already….simply because they have never taken them down all year.
It is difficult to get in the Christmas spirit still munching Halloween candy.