As I shared last week, we recently had the opportunity to go to Indiana to see family. We have a really, really small family, so we hold onto our family relationships with a fair amount of ferocity. This trip was a joy because it was just plain because we wanted to be together for love and fun — not for the sad times we have historically been together most often as adults.
In Indiana, we got to see small towns, larger cities, ball parks, football, schools of varying sizes, Amish farms and families, a town fair, lots of billboards, and trains, trains, trains. We don’t really do trains in Vermont, so seeing the trains with hundreds of cars was fascinating. We also saw billboards, which of course we have seen before, but you may not know that Vermont is the only state in the country which has never allowed billboards. Nope. We don’t have them. It ruins the natural beauty, and they were banned decades ago. So when we go somewhere with billboards, I spend a lot of time reading them. Some in Indiana were funny, some dull, some pushing religious views that made me uncomfortable, but all were interesting. Interesting, but I’m glad we don’t have them here.
Besides the billboards, I took a lot of photos. Many were family pictures, but some were of the scenery or things we saw. Here are a few:
The first was of all of us, soaked to the bone, after the Purdue football game. The second? A sign you don’t see in Vermont. The third, a gorgeous sculpture tucked in the heart of Fort Wayne.
We went to see where the Tin Caps play, and had to stand with Johnny Appleseed, and then we got to see one of his (Johnny Appleseed’s) burial sites.
At the town fair, we wandered through a great shop, and saw this pillow, which made me smile as many years ago I was in Music Man, and sang that song night after night.
As we traveled, we laughed, laughed, laughed — some times the tears were close behind as we were talking about loved ones who are gone now. But we laughed in a way that has been rather rare since Sam died — laughing until we couldn’t breathe, until my voice was squeaky as I tried to talk. What a great feeling that is, and one that I have missed a lot.