This, That and Other Stuff


Bob Neuman

The title of a book by Thomas Wolfe is You Can’t Go Home Again. Hogwash! We do each time we leave SunBird to go watch our grandchild graduate or marry. I recently completed a visit in October to my Indiana roots where my three gregarious daughters live in different towns.

Landing in Indianapolis with Southwest, I see my daughter Terri with a hot cup of coffee for me. She drives me to her Muncie home where husband Scott awaits. I will be here eight relaxing days. The sun is bright, the temperature pleasant and there is the promise of a colorful, leaf-changing autumn.

She had taken some days off so we can converse, drink coffee and solve the world’s problems. One day, we head north into Amish-land. We see horse and buggy travel, beautiful farms, quaint dress and very peaceful people who aren’t bothered with current stuff.

Best of all, we visit a huge Amish store that mainly sells about everything produced by these people. Their furniture is world known.

Later, John and Debby Foster arrive at Terri’s for dinner. I enjoy this very special time with these extra-special friends.

The days slip by, and soon it’s time for “dad drop,” so I am shuffled off to another daughter. Goodbye to Muncie and my Ball State University alma mater.

Meeting my youngest daughter Christy, I ride with her through the rolling hills of Brown County toward Nashville, Indiana, where thousands of tourists descend to enjoy the crisp air and beautiful fall colors that will arrive soon.

Chris and I take long walks on the many trails in the bright October sunshine and speak about many things as people do that unfortunately have too many infrequent times together.

Eating our lunch outside, we then stroll through the many small stores waiting for the mid-morning crowd. We stop to greet Jacob, my 6’5” grandson who works at one of the shops.

The days slip away too quickly, and Dad is dropped a second time. By virtue of my military duty, our born-in-Japan eldest Laura takes the wheel, and off we go to her home in Shelbyville, Indiana.

The house was first owned by my parents, is over 100 years old and is where I grew up.

Captain Jack, her cocker, is happy to see me and proves it by licking my leg. Many relatives live in the vicinity, so I anticipate numerous conversations. Also, the remainder of my high school class resides here, too. This includes a lovely lady named Lois whom I swooned over way back then.

A few days before I depart, all the family gathers at Terri’s for a delicious pre-Thanksgiving dinner she has prepared. The weather has grown cold, windy and dreary. The anticipated leaf colors barely happened.

My Indiana days have ended, and it’s time to leave. Laura drives me to the Indianapolis airport, and I depart with mixed emotions. I think of how I love my daughters and how I will miss them, but I long for sunshine and mild days. On the plane, I play over again the wonderful time I had and realize I am very tired and miss my wife. I will try to nap as we streak for Phoenix.