We flew from LAX through Phoenix and then to Indianapolis. Price was pretty good for me on the flight only letting out a few squeals. I rented a car, so on the way to the rental place, the shuttle driver informed me that there were two storms merging from different directions and it was a perfect recipe for a tornado! Great, just what I needed was a tornado! It actually touched down and did quite a bit of damage, but not near where I was staying with my sister, Linda, and her family in Anderson. I got to visit with my sisters, Linda and Lou, and their families and my dear friend Mandi Lucas swung by on her way out of town, so we got to chat for 30 minutes or so. For dinner my sister fed me some home grown tomatoes from her garden(yes, they were still growing in October!) with some Italian dressing on top and some delicious autumn soup!(click it for recipe) I got to stay up late and watch an entire episode of "The Office". It is a totally weird show, but I just crack up. (It was the Schrute Beet Farm Bed & Breakfast episode for any "Office" fans)
Linda and Eric headed off to work and Maddie to school and Max to daycare, so Price and I went over to Lou's house for breakfast. We hung out for a bit and visited with Lou and Palmer. Palmer is the nuttiest little girl I know! She is addicted to her pacifier and talks through it! I love to tease her because she fusses about everything! I later went into Farmland(my hometown) to have lunch with my mom, Janet. We went to the Chocolate Moose(named for the guy who runs the place, Gary Moore, whose nickname growing up was "Moose") and had crispy chicken salads and I took home some pumpkin pie ice cream, yum! I got to visit with my dad, Heather, Maeley(my other niece who is also in love with her pacifier), Aunt Becky, Grandma, and Grandpa later too. Janet made us a yummy chicken pizza with all kinds of toppings for dinner! Another late night watching tv and my dad taught me how to play sudoku, which can be very addicting!
Grandpa, Price, Me, Maeley, Grandma
Got up early and headed to Dougherty's Apple Orchard with Price , Heather, and Maeley. I went to this place as a kid and have fond memories of it. It was so funny to drive up and realize how small it was. There is some kind of distortion that happens in my mind that makes my childhood memories of places seem bigger than they really are. We had this delicious pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese frosting about a 1/2 inch thick and some apple cider slush. Heaven! We took the kids into the petting farm and had gotten some treats to feed the animals. Well before we could even get in the door, a huge turkey swiped the food right out of my hand! Then a deer took the food from Heather and Maeley! It was hilarious! I later went to the Fall Festival in downtown Farmland where there was live music and some craft booths and stuff like that! I found some fun little items to purchase:crocheted dish scrubbies, a cookbook, and homemade cookies. That evening, Janet hostessed a girls' party for sisters and friends. Linda, Maddie, Lou, Palmer, Christy, Holly, Jennifer, Dama, Braelyn, Brenda, and Ainsley, Janet, Dad, and I were the guests.(Did I miss anyone?) It was fun to visit with everyone and eat all of the good food that Janet had made or ordered from local restaurants. Chicken pasta salad and potato skins to die for! Later that night, at 10pm to be exact, Linda, Maddie, Heather, Price and I went out to Dunkirk to drive down "Blood Road", a road that is in this urban legend about a boy who was drug down the road on the back of a truck. So now there are blood splatter stains that can be seen when you travel south on the road. There really is something there, but I don't know what it is, and it was spooky nonetheless!
Jennifer, Me, Christy, Dama, Holly
Price and I went to church in this small branch in Winchester, Indiana. About 30 people or so. It was a motley crew at first sight but to hear their testimonies and talks and lessons, these people were amazing. I love the strength of the gospel found in a small group that has to band together. Later in the day, we had a big family dinner. It was so much fun to be together with everyone just eating great food and visiting. Janet is such an amazing cook, so the food was excellent. She made this prune cake for dessert that I just could not get enough of. Sounds yucky, but it was basically a really moist spice cake with a sticky caramel topping. Delicious! I later spent the night with Lou and Palmer and we hung out and watched tv together. I read Palmer a couple of bedtime stories and that was fun. Lou cleaned out her closet and gave me 15 pairs of pants and about 10 shirts! This girl has a serious talent for clothes shopping and so I was the lucky recipient of some of her hand me downs. Thanks, Lou!
Me, Linda, Dad, Janet, Lou, Heather
We hung around in the morning and then Lou drove me around to show me a few places of interest. To us anyway. We drove through Cammack, a tiny community near Lou's home. There is a really cool little ice cream shop there that was built in a refurbished car garage. They were closed on Monday, so no ice cream for us, but it was fun to see. We also drove by a new housing development to look at a model that Scott and Lou might build. It was really cool and I hope they get to do it, they'll have tons of room! We then met Dad, Janet, Linda, Heather, and Linda's co-worker, Monica, for lunch at Thai Smile. You'd never guess that you could get great Thai food in Muncie, IN, but you can. It is awesome! And reasonably priced too! We had fun hanging out together one last time. My dad wasn't sure if he would be able to meet us, but it turns out that he was working in Muncie and was able to get away for lunch. He said that he hadn't worked in Muncie for weeks and it just so happened that this day he did! Yah for me! After lunch, we went back to Lou's for a bit, then I had to get going to the airport. On the way to Indy, I was able to stop by my friends' home, Michelle and Brandon Cass, to see their brand new baby boy, Cooper. He was very cute and it was fun to see their home. Price and I got on the plane and headed back to CA. We could see the wildfires from the air. It was amazing to watch, but sad to think of all of those affected by the fires. The boys were so excited to see us and we were glad to be on solid ground again. (There's nothing like a turbulent airplane ride to keep me in constant prayer mode.) Back to reality and my great life!
Thanks to all of my family and friends who made me feel so welcome and like I had come home. Thanks to Linda, Eric, Maddie, Max, Lou, Palmer, Dad, and Janet for letting us stay with you and feeding us! It had been 3 1/2 years since I last visited, but it still felt so comfortable, like no time has passed at all. I love and miss you lots!