Last Saturday I was invited down to Carolee’s Herb Farm to speak on front lawn vegetable gardening. It was an adventure. I needed to arrive at Carolee’s at precisely 11:00 AM Indiana time to speak. I left at 6 AM knowing I would get there just in time. Sadly, my tummy was churning as we pulled out of the driveway and before we were out of Illinois we had to stop for an emergency bathroom break. This was the first of many stops. My daughter stated the obvious, “We’re DOOMED!”
When your tummy makes you doomed, the only solution is to drive as fast as you can, right? A bit past “break neck” on the speedometer. That is when I saw the lights and sirens in my rear view mirror. Yep. Ticket. $140 down the toilet. Literally.
A few miles down the road after THE TICKET my ten year old spotted a squirrel wandering at a snails pace across the highway in front of the car. Apparently she was watching the road much more closely than me as I did not see it and she felt the need to warn me. She screeched, “SQUIRREL” at deafening volumes. This, in turn, scared the b’jaysus out of me and made me scream too. We were both screaming at full volume as the squirrel ducked under my tires and escaped unharmed.
Thankfully I arrived at Carolee’s only 15 minutes late and discovered that Carolee Snyder is one amazing woman. She runs an herb farm and nursery in central Indiana which is rather fantastical and has written several books which tell beautiful stories about gardening and include recipes and gardening tips. Her nursery is a delight and the group I spoke to was marvelous.
One attendee was a hedgehog breeder, Gail Dick of Millermeade Farms Critter Connection. My 10 year old and I squealed with delight when we saw the hedgehogs and my daughter held them every minute we were there with an ecstatically giant smile plastered on her face. It was 10 year old heaven. Since Saturday she has mentioned hedgehog ownership 6,543 times. Precisely.
My car was jammed full of herbs, plants, and a very special metal form I will be using as a bottle tree in the back garden when I left Carolee’s Herb Farm, little did I know that the adventure was not at an end.
As we were pulling out of Hartford City, Indiana my daughter said, “MOM!! There’s a naked man that was on a roof back there!” Really? Naked? Well that earned a drive back around the block as I definitely wanted to see a naked man lying on top of a house. Below you can see the half-naked man lying on top of the roof of his house. Presumably sun-bathing. There were some broken down vehicles in his back yard and an old couch sitting on the front porch, so I am assuming the only space left to sun bathe on his property was the roof. This whole experience threw us into fits of laughter (see top photo). Without a doubt, this road trip was more than we bargained for.
As we settled in for our long drive home, I felt something itchy on my head. It itched. I scratched. I ignored it and kept driving. A short time later a 1 1/2” wide spider delicately crawled down over the left lense of my sunglasses. My mouth dropped open in a frozen rictus scream of sheer terror. I silently mouthed the word – then yelled it out: “SPIDER!!!”(Duh. Not very original – but it suited the situation.) I am absolutely sure I saw the spider scream as well right before I swiped him off my sunglasses in a car-swerving gymnastic feat even Mario Andretti would be proud of. Of course, I swiped the spider off my face from left to right, which meant the spider was dumped unceremoniously in my 10 year old’s lap. She began swatting, wiggling, and screeching as well, so with both of us screaming, I felt it prudent to pull the car over and do a thorough spider inspection (above right).
Just past Kokomo we saw a retail statuary sales establishment and had to take a pit stop to get up close and personal. I was fascinated. We asked the owners if we could go in even though they were closed. They said yes and we got to touch the statue of liberty painted in full-on stars and stripes (photos below).
Near Merrillville we saw the sign in the photo below. Really? Joe’s got wood. That sign is a real distractor on the highway. Enough said.
When we finally got home a full 15 hours after we left that morning I collapsed in a heap while unloading my car. Wow. What a field trip!!!
Order Carolee Snyder’s fantastic fiction book at Amazon. Here’s a link – Herbal Beginnings. Carolee gave me a copy and I really enjoyed reading it – I recommend it as a good fiction read. It is a lovely story of a woman and her passion to rebuild a small herb selling nursery business. Recipes and tips for growing herbs are a part of the book.