|Elderberries, late summer, Indiana|
I've been thinking about traveling to Racine Symphony and want to ramble about it. Here goes, and it will probably be a hodge podge of thoughts.
I don't like taking the freeway to Racine, and I don't need to. Because I live so far west of Racine and southwest of Milwaukee, and there is only a north-south freeway to aid me, it doesn't save me much time, or any time, to take the freeway. I have many county road alternatives.
I enjoy driving different routes to Racine. The pace is slower, the scenery is better, it's less boring, and there is less traffic to mess with. I can just be by myself and think or listen to the radio or CDs. I love it as the days lengthen/shorten and I can watch the changing light and moods of the sky. I love watching the changes in farmers' fields, from plowing to growing to harvesting. It's also fun checking out the houses and occasional roadstand along the way. I've driven some roads so much that I have a few favorite trees that I watch as the seasons change. I especially loved these drives when my children were home; it was a wonderful break.
I remember that my mother sometimes took rides in the country with us when I was young. She never got lost; she had a good sense of direction. She would check out the local farms, homes, and roadside plants of east central Indiana. She would tell us about the ones she knew. Sometimes she picked elderberries and made jelly out of them (yummy). We checked the corn fields to see how fast the plants were growing; they were supposed to be knee-high by the Fourth of July. She also checked out roadside stands; she liked to buy eggs from farmers. And a good rummage sale might have caught her eye.
When I was older (college?) she discovered an Amish family near Rushville that sold some things (I don't remember what...eggs? bread?). She would buy something and bring it home. She commented on the beautiful Amish quilts they had made. I think I went with her one time.
For a few years she went to Spiceland to get raspberries from a local grower. She had to time it just right! If successful, she sometimes made a raspberry pie. She made wonderful pies.
There was also the strawberry farm in Mechanicsburg, which I think we went to once. You picked your own berries.
In late summer and early fall she visited nearby orchards (I only remember ones on Road 40 on the way to Richmond). She would purchase a large supply of fesh peaches and/or apples. She usually got Jonathan and Delicious varieties of the latter. I liked going with her to the apple orchard and eating one of them on the way home, after cleaning and polishing it on my pants.
Sometimes my mother would just go exploring along country roads. I suppose that is where I discovered my enjoyment of this. When I had a car, I liked doing it, too (although my budget was too tight to do much of it). When I was finished with BYU, single, and living in Fort Wayne, I liked going to Schmuckers (I think that was the name), a large Amish fresh vegee business northeast of the city. Man, it was a smelly place. And they sold much yumminess!
I loved taking rides on Spiceland Pike, southwest of New Castle, where I grew up. Such a beautiful drive--I have fond memories.
I like to go exploring. If I have my cell phone and don't go too far, I love to do it alone. There is something intriguing, exciting and freeing about it. It's hard to explain. I also love to go exploring with my husband, who is more adventurous than I. When we moved here, my husband and I, with young kids in tow (they were good travelers), would explore the Milwaukee area. I loved it! This place was like a huge treasure chest compared to where I grew up. Sometimes we discovered local custard stands, bakeries or parks (Milwaukee has great ones); other times we drove farther and found lake parks/beaches, cheese factories, and orchards. Maybe we'd find an intriguing rummage sale (my husband has a good nose for these). It was fun checking out the dairy farms as they were not common in Indiana. Sometimes we got off the freeway and explored backroads. Wisconsin is a beautiful state and has much to experience and see!
Sometimes I think it might be fun to be a nomad. But when I really think about it, my realistic self says...no, you would at least need a homebase to operate from. You need some roots to return to. Maybe in the next life, when my body is in prime form. We could just fly (or however you travel) all over the place. Maybe we could pick elderberries and make celestial jam (oh please...there must be some kind of food in heaven). I could ride horses..no wait...I could FLY horses! And more beasts, probably......this is sounding good.
Well, one more rambling. My mother was an interior decorator. She didn't have much formal training; I think she took a correspondence course. She just read a lot and had a natural talent for it. She was good, too! She wrote a weekly decorating column for the New Castle paper for awhile called Pat's Hints. Connected to that was her talk to us about what local homes she liked and how she would change them, in or out. She would often point homes out during our car rides, telling us what she would change if she owned the house (she moved many times, by the way...12 different places in New Castle). I find myself doing that in my solo rides. It's great fun to imagine living in a particular house, what we would do there, and how it would be changed.
Guess that's the end of these ramblings.......maybe more later.