I got to spend some time with one of my best friends from school this week. We went to school together for twelve years from first grade until we graduated. While I was attending college and marrying David, she was attending beauty school and getting married to a farmer. We have kept in touch all these years even if It is just once a year. When we get together it is as if we hadn’t been away from each other for months and months. I love her to pieces. She knows things about me and I know things about her and we aren’t telling!
My friend’s husband raises chickens for the eggs. Not just a few, mind you, but thousands. Ninety-seven thousand to be exact. I have always wanted to go up and see their chicken operation and I got to do it this trip. When we first went in the building, it was cold and on a conveyor belt were hundreds of eggs. There were stacks and stacks of eggs ready for shipment. We then went into where the chickens lived. I was overwhelmed. To see that many chickens and eggs continuously coming down a conveyor belt was amazing. They were beautiful white chickens with bright red combs. And the eggs. They were enormous. They made the jumbo eggs in the grocery stores look like small eggs. The building was so long that you could not see the end. My friend told me if someone was standing at the other end you would not be able to see them.
Once the eggs are packed and shipped, they go to another company where the eggs are boiled and chopped up and packaged for restaurants so if you get a salad with chopped eggs on it, you very well may be eating my friend’s chickens’ eggs. It was so interesting and I am glad I got to see it all.
We didn’t just look at chickens, though. We went to quilt shops and antique stores and talked and talked and ate dinner together before David and I had to get to our motel. It was so much fun.
This is my best friend forever and no, she is not an antique. This girl can do more work than any ten women. She is always busy. We are bound by something that cannot be broken.
The next day David brought me breakfast in bed from the motel’s breakfast room. Cinnamon rolls, blueberry muffins, yogurt, a banana and coffee. It all tasted so good. I had slept so well that I didn’t get up in time to go down for breakfast.
We drove to Geneva where the Limberlost cabin is. If you have heard of Gene Stratton Porter you know what I am talking about. She was a famous Indiana author who wrote “Girl of the Limberlost,” “Freckles” and many others. She studied moths and butterflies and wildlife in the swamps that surrounded her house in the early 1900’s. She was saddened to see the swamps being drained for farmland and houses and later in her life she moved away because she couldn’t stand it anymore. She lived in California, built a mansion there and became the first woman to produce movies. She was killed in a car accident when her limo was struck.
We took a tour through the house and it was wonderful.
It was a frame house with whole logs nailed to the side to look like a log cabin. It had a broad, airy front porch that made me want to pull up a chair and sit for a while.
I could live in this house. I didn’t have my camera to take pictures inside, so you will have to go here sometime and see just how beautiful it is. The fireplaces all had gas logs. Something most houses in that time would never have. It cost five dollars a month to use all the natural gas you wanted. Wow, I wish it were still that cheap. The house cost five thousand dollars to build. In those days that was still a lot of money.
This is the guest bedroom’s own private porch. How neat is that?
A beautiful bay window with windows that opened at the top and the bottom. Inside the house Mrs. Porter could close off this area and she would allow any animal or bird to come in this area and could watch them through the glass doors inside the house. She loved watching the animals and birds.
Mrs. Porter hated seeing the trees being cut down in the swamp and when they cut down this big one, she had it brought to her house and used it as a smoke house for meats.
This little kitten was wandering around the grounds. He or she was a little skittish and wouldn’t allow me to pet it.
This is the hired hand’s room. Real comfy looking. Our tour guide said his pictures look like Yosemite Sam and that he was just as cranky. Not our guide, the hired hand.
My mother always wanted to come here all her life and never got to see it. When the tour guide asked us why we were there I told him I was seeing this for my mother. She read a lot of Gene Stratton Porter’s books and was always telling me how wonderful they were. I guess I am going to have to read some soon. Mrs. Porter was very popular when my mother was a girl.
We drove country roads. We arrived in Berne where I found another quilt shop and saw this clock tower.
It plays music at three o’clock every afternoon, but we left at two-thirty and missed it.
Then we returned to Geneva to find the marshes.
They are returning the marshland to areas around Geneva and this is one of them. I walked this path and enjoyed seeing a large hawk fly before me, hear the crickets chirping and hear the swishing of the tall grasses in the breeze. It was so peaceful the farther I went back into the marsh I felt like I was the only person in the world. It was a mile round trip and I walked it twice, then walked another path across the road. I would have stayed longer, but David and I had to get home. We drove back roads as much as we could through small towns.
Where else but in the country would you see a tractor pulled up to a gas pump? This was farm country and tractors ruled.
We drove past soybean fields being harvested as dust clouds rose from the combines. We passed acres and acres of corn growing brown and brittle in the Autumn sun. The sky was blue, the breeze was pleasant. I love our state.
We had a wonderful time, but we were glad to get home and see that the automatic door on the chicken coop worked and the girls were all fine. The dogs were hungry and telling us it was time to eat. Nice to come home to pets.
Here’s to BBF, country roads and wonderful Hoosier authors. Bye