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Sunday, December 24, 2017

And Happy Winter Solstice Festival Holiday Of Your Choice To All

I'm trying something a little different this year, writing about the year and including one photo from each month.  So we'll see how this goes.

As years go, this was a fairly quiet year; we didn't travel much, we had no medical or family emergencies; we stayed home a lot, read a lot, and played with the Menina T. Dog a lot.  (Unfortunately, MtD did not cooperate much when I tried to capture her in pixels, so you're not going to see much of here...except this picture of her sniffing the lawn out back.  And we think she will have her 10th birthday in January or February...

I taught at Butler in the spring (and will again this spring, although I think this will be the end of the part-time teaching gig).  The kids at Butler have been a good group to work with, and I enjoyed it.  One thing that teaching has done is keep us close to home during the semester, and we stayed close...I did carry a camera with me at all times (usually the cell phone), and got this shot in January on my way home from class one night.

I did try to get out and take pictures when the opportunity presented itself.  Fortunately, the property around our place has some interesting aspects, and I liked this (February) picture.  The amount of snow was pretty representative of the year, too.

Also this evening photo in March.

One of my favorite parks in Indianapolis, and one we had not visited since we moved back here, is Holiday Park.  It has a "ruin"--the façade from Western Electric's headquarters building in NYC that was going to be demolished back in the 1950s.  The company offered the façade (with money to move and install it) to whichever group put together the best plan, and Indy won.  Weird to have your own urban ruins, even (or especially) when they are from another city.  We were there in April and took Menina with us; she had a ball sniffing a hitherto unknows set of places.

We also had more ducks than usual this year--and, if anything, fewer geese.  The ducks have usually stayed pretty close to the pond (where the fountain is), but in May a pair of them managed to wander out in front of our house and even across the road.  So of course I had to capture the event.

Our first actual time away from home came in June--the HOA has having the streets and driveways resealed, so for nearly two days we would not be able to get into or out of the place.  So we went to Brown County State Park, driving down Indiana Highway 135, a 2-lane, fairly twisty road.  And of course we ran into road work and a detour, which was not well marked, but we avoided getting lost.  And after we got to the park, we decided to drive around, and wound up in the tiny, tiny town of Story (which is well known, strangely enough, for its restaurant).  We didn't eat dinner there, for two reasons.  We got there too early, and the whole place had been taken over by a bunch of car geeks...all of whom owned one (or more) Shelby Cobras...who were doing their annual road trip.  And of course, we wound up talking to one of them (these are his two cars), and discovered just how expensive those cars can be to buy and maintain (we're not getting one any time soon).

We were home again for July and August.  For us, the eclipse was pretty much a non-event--clouds, so all we could really see was whatever "leaked" around the clouds.  And then it rained.  So we saw nothing interesting and I got no interesting photos.  Boo.

In September we spent a week at a "Road Scholar" (formerly Elderhostel) workshop.  Really, two workshops.  In, of all places, Ripley, West Virginia.  We drove there and back (in our nearly brand new Accord--it had well under 1000 miles on it when we started out).   Loryne did a watercolor workshop and I did photography.  The classes were pretty good, the accommodations were adequate, but the food was, well, not good.  Here's one of my photos from the week.

The house (above) and a covered bridge on the property had been moved there in the 1950s.

October brought another road trip, this time with a group from First Friends Meeting in Indianapolis, east from Indianapolis on US 40, almost to the Ohio state line, then north to Fountain City.  Which is where the Levi Coffin House (a major stopping place on the underground railroad) still stands.  The house (built in 1837) has been remarkably well preserved, both the exterior and the interior.  (The Coffins were Quakers, hence the trip.)

We also stopped at a farm which also served as an inn and store on the old National Road and at an Amish market.  (The market was a very commercial operation, I should add...electricity, telephones, all the modern conveniences.  And since it was a modern building surrounded  by a huge parking lot, not very photogenic.)  I did get a couple of nice photos of the National Road farm (which had been operated by a Quaker family in the 1800s).

November and December have also been quiet months.  Loryne's kids have joined us for Christmas, and so the year is ending on a very nice note.  My final photo for the year was pure serendipity.  I went out one evening and discovered a mushroom that had popped up behind some shrubbery.  So, of course...

We hope you are all well and happy and continuing to have adventures.  And we're looking forward to a personally rewarding 2018, albeit one in which the external events are a little, well, quieter.

Peace and love,
Don and Loryne


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