I had visions in my head of leaves, cool weather, pumpkins, a bonfire, sweaters…all things autumn, and Indiana did not disappoint! Autumn couldn’t have been more picturesque. The weather last Monday and Tuesday was sunny, clear, and crisp. While a lot of trees were still showing green, there was enough crimson, gold, and orange mixed in to create a gorgeous scene for our dusty desert eyes.
My best friend Rebekah and I spent Monday morning and early afternoon catching up with each other in the quaint, historic town of Zionsville, IN. Main street was paved with brick, and the crowded little shops along the street were full of antiques, arts and crafts, a tea room , boutiques, and a coffee shop. We shared brunch and a good heart-to-heart in a coffee café. I chose a lemon scone and spiced chai tea to celebrate the morning.
How I love talking with that girl! We never seem to have enough time together to share all that’s pulsing through our hearts. Seeing a dear friend once a year for a few hours isn’t enough, but we made the most of the morning we had. There was a path along the river that took us through the woods where we talked and soaked in the beauty of the leaves.
Grampy and Grammy were more than happy to babysit Silas for us this visit, and Uncle Ben became “the favorite uncle” of the trip. I think Silas must have said, “Uncle Ben,” at least a thousand times! (Of course, Ben didn’t have much competition from the other uncles after they all left on Sunday.) Silas played with Sadie, the much-loved Golden Retriever and Pierre, the cautious poodle. We heard, “Sadie nice doggie,” quite a few times.
Out in the back yard, Stephen and Ben took Silas for tractor rides. Stephen’s grandpa had so loved driving his grandkids around the yard on the lawn mower, that Dad Moody wanted to give Silas the same experience. Silas was wide-eyed and loved riding around the yard. But, to me, the best part was the look on Stephen’s face as he drove his son on that lawn mower. He was bursting with pride!
Dad, Stephen and Ben built a bonfire in the back yard for us that evening. We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows, and even some gummi bears. Stephen thought he’d try toasting a gummi bear, and he and Ben decided gummi bear s’mores were just about the best thing they’d ever tasted. Apparently it is now the standard by which all other food must be judged.
Tuesday we drove down to Columbus, IN, where we ate lunch at an old-fashioned ice cream parlor called Zaharakos. Stephen got his Hoosier breaded tenderloin sandwich he’d been wanting. Then we were off to Brown County State Park.
Brown County State Park holds lots of memories of Moody family reunions, and it was just gorgeous to drive the tree-lined, curvy roads. We sat on the hill overlooking Ogle lake and whistled with blades of grass between our thumbs. Another lake I had never been to, Strahl Lake, was smaller, but surrounded with towering pines and bright trees. On our way down the hill, Stephen said, “Let’s run through the leaves!” The rustle beneath our feet was happiness. We made a pile of leaves for Silas to jump and play in. What fun times!
To end the perfect autumn days of our visit, Dad treated us to the historic restaurant in Morristown, IN called the Kopper Kettle Inn. The restaurant is so old and so beautiful that several famous people have dined there, including Charles Lindbergh. We were surrounded by antiques and beautiful glassware as we ate.
After dinner we visited the little caboose down the street since Silas has been in love with “choo-choos” this visit. Whenever a train would pass Mom and Dad’s house, Silas would want to watch out the front window.
We couldn’t have asked for a better snapshot of autumn, and our time with family was precious. The first thing Silas did when we entered our house back in AZ, was to walk through the rooms saying, “Uncle Ben? Uncle Ben?” Hopefully we won’t have to wait quite as long this time before we see Uncle Ben and the family again.