Sunday, December 1, 2013

Extraordinary...a visit to southern Indiana

On the road from Washington, DC to Washington, IN 
(photo courtesy of Will Parkhurst)

During Thanksgiving week, I traveled to Washington, IN to visit family for the holiday.  It isn't "home" for me as I never lived there during our travels as a military family, but it is where my brother and his family settled and later my parents followed after retirement.  It is a very sleepy town in rural southern Indiana; a place one might conjure up when you think of the term Americana.  

My good friend and business partner, Aurora, asked if I was going to write a post about my adventures on the trip for our blog at Zen Gypsies.  I told her that it was a quiet week and nothing extraordinary happened so I wasn't sure if there was anything exciting to share.  That comment kept creeping into my thoughts from time to time during the day because it obviously didn't sit comfortably in my mind.  As often happens, these things swirl around in my head while I sleep and I woke up with a flood of thoughts about,  "What is extraordinary anyway?"

Life in southern Indiana is at a much slower pace than my normal full tilt Tasmanian devil, breakneck mode of being.  Looking back over the week, I realize that I really had experienced some things that were quite extraordinary from my normal everyday life.

Some adventures I had during the week included:

Basketball excitement (photo courtesy of Will Parkhurst)

- watching my nephew play basketball.  Being in the "Hoosier" state and near the hometown of the famous basketball player, Larry Bird, basketball games have the fervor reserved for football where I went to high school in Texas. I got caught up in the excitement and apparently am a little rowdier than the locals as even my nephew gave me a smile from the court at my wild cheering after he scored a basket.  We live so far away from the area, that it is definitely extraordinary to get to attend an event to see my niece or nephews in action chasing their passions.

- going to a cancer survivors support group meeting with my mother and meeting all the wonderfully warm and incredibly humorous members including a twinkling eyed 90+ year old.  They all shared stories about themselves and the local culture and asked about my life on the East Coast as some had never lived anywhere other than the local area.  The amazing nurse who runs the program even surprised the group with a Thanksgiving meal, which was delivered from a local grocery store deli, fully cooked...however, solidly frozen, which they failed to mention when she ordered it.  A local restaurant saved the day by preparing individual take-out dinners for everyone in the group in short order.  This story will be retold for years to come, I'm sure.  It was extraordinary to spend time with such tenacious spirits. 

- visiting some new and old favorite second hand bookstores, Book Nook in Newburgh and Used Book Warehouse(UBW) in Evansville and giggling like school girls with my mom in the extensive romance novel section in the Book Nook.  Our experience with romance novels is pretty limited although we do have a dear family friend who is a writer who has published a recent novel and is working on a few others to come.  Pretty soon we had the shopkeeper chuckling along with us as we tried to find just the right books for an aunt in her youthful 80s who enjoys the genre and will soon be snowed in for a lot of the winter in western Pennsylvania.  There is nothing like a good stack of books and a cup of tea to chase away the winter chill. Getting to spend girlfriend time with one's mom who lives half way across the country is definitely extraordinary.  

Beautiful tea service at Cafe Arazu in Newburgh, IN

- finding vegetarian fare can be a challenge in rural areas, but we found just the perfect place in a Persian restaurant with a view of the Ohio RiverCafe Arazu in Newburgh, IN was richly decorated with colorful vintage textiles which was a warm welcome from the bitterly cold winds.  The temperatures may have been in the 20's outside, but we enjoyed a long, leisurely lunch with the prettiest tea service for our Moroccan mint tea.

My husband keeping me entertained on the long trip to and from Indiana

So looking back over the trip, I realize that there were lots of extraordinary moments that would have slipped by without my acknowledgment if I hadn't been prompted to take a few moments to reflect on the time I spent this week in person, online and by phone with family and friends near and far. (Thanks, Aurora for keeping me on my toes!)  So this moment of reflection has been a perfect end to my extraordinary Thanksgiving holiday week,

Thanks for reading!

Our dog Noah resting at home after our adventures in Indiana

Of you enjoyed this post, you might also like:

No comments:

Post a Comment