Saturday, August 20, 2011

2011-24 Ohio to Indiana


Freemont Ohio

Howe Indiana

Elkhart Indiana

Campground:  Wal-Mart Parking Lot.  It was a bit warm into the evening before finally cooling off.  But free is free, well except for spending about $100 at Wal-Mart’s.

Campground:  Grand View Bend Association Campground.  A Passport America campground.  $12.50 for first 2 nights, then $15 for each additional night.   50 amp service and water.  Easy set up.  Discount sites are first row in park, just set up and they will come collect later in the day.  Rest of park is a owner association park.  Surrounded by farm fields, a river for fishing and canoeing.  Well maintained pool.

Exploring an old abandoned mansion and then.....

I zipped on through Ohio after my months stay in New York with only one stop in the town of  Freemont Ohio,  where the 19th President, Rutherford B Hayes, Library and Mansion are.  President Hayes had to deal with the rebuilding the country after the civil war.  His wife Lucy was the first First Lady to be called the First Lady.  They drove around in a black Presidential carriage which is now housed in the Presidential Library along with a fair collection of Lucy’s dresses.  Boy did she have a small waist.

The Hayes mansion has about 35 rooms and 6 are currently under renovation.  It was originally built for them by Hayes uncle on property he gave them.  All Rutherford asked for was a porch… with a house attached.  The original farm house was built, with no less than 9 foot ceilings and floor to ceiling windows and doors.  Perfect for today’s basketball players.  Most of the wood in the house is butter pecan and  looks as good as the day it was installed.  When it was expanded to the 35 room mansion it was the first to have an elevator.  He was the first president to have a telephone and typewriter.

Then it was off to Indiana for repairs on my Montana .  Where Tiara Rv removed the bolt that keeps coming up through the kitchen floor and replaced it with two bolts, with newly drilled holes and epoxy glue to hold them in place.  Wonder if this will work.  I also was given the phone number of the axle manufacturer as there is a possibility that the constant vibration of the camper while on the road, is leading to the many  items in the camper coming unscrewed.  Like light bulbs, whole light fixtures and occasionally finding screws and bolts lying on the floor after a long trip.

I found a Passport America campground called Grand View Assoc. which is a membership/site owner park with about 40 sites for us roving campers.  They only advertise two nights at the Passport discount rate ($12.50) but offer additional nights for only $15 a night.  At those prices I’m staying for the week to explore the area.  This is one of those campgrounds where you can purchase a lot for around $9,000, with many of the owners purchasing two side by side to have a bigger lot.  Cheap way for many to have a summer get-a-way for the family.

A trip to Shipshewana and the hugest flea market in Indiana.  What fun driving down country lanes, passing numerous horse drawn buggies with Amish families.  Some riding bikes along the wide paved skirting along the roadways.   Shipshewana has a wonderful interpretive center for learning more about the Amish and  Mennonite community.  There is a huge community of Amish and Mennonite living in Indiana and Ohio in particular.  They add wonderful local color to the area, living their simpler life styles, making some of us envious of their simpler way of life.  But we Rv’ers have a pretty simple life style as well, so come to think of it, we’re not doing too badly in the keep it simple lifestyle either.

A note on my view out my large picture window at the back of my camper.  I’m overlooking a flat field of hay which has been cut recently and looks like a blond buzz cut.  Patches of trees line up mid field, giving the appearance of an African savanna against a soft blue sky with clouds lingering at various levels high in the sky.  A really awesome view.

Since I’m right on the boarder between Indiana and Michigan, I drove over to Sturgis Michigan to get some prescriptions filled at Walgreens.  I used Wal-Mart for a couple of years but started to have problems with them as they needed to transfer all my prescriptions to what ever store I was currently having them fill out in.  sometimes, the other store wouldn't transfer the orders.  It was a mess.  Now, at Walgreens, they just ask for my name, look up my prescriptions on their computer and fill the order.  No problems.  

Kind of fun driving between states so easily.  Back at the Grand View campground, the neighbors are all so friendly, even stopping by while driving in or out of the park to chat a bit and ask what part of Florida I’m from.  Each campground has it’s own atmosphere and I can usually tell right away if I’m going to enjoy it.  This is one of those parks.

Over in Howe, a small town with a few downtown shops, they even have a designated place for the Amish to park their horses and buggies.  I had lunch at the Chicago Pizza place where the owner was eager to please and show off his Chicago pizza making skills.  Across the street was a haberdashery.  You know, a women’s hat designer.

I just finished reading a most wonderful book from my Spiritual reading collection thast I purchased on my recent visit the other week to Lilly Dale.  Of course I finished the Priest and the Medium about my former pastor, Anne Gehman which was like enjoying the stories and life of an old friend.  Wouldn’t it be nice to read a book about one of your friends, or at the very least Cliff Notes.  There is so much we don’t know about our friends and family and each one of us does have a story to tell.  Well in any case, the book I just finished is called “ Séances in Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Spiritualism during the Civil War”  Nettie Colburn Maynard, Editing and commentary by Irene McGarvie.

It’s a shortened version of the original book by Nettie C Maynard and only covers first hand account of the Lincoln episodes and her early life.  What a fascinating story of her mediumship and meetings with Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln.  Along with some real insight as to what was going on during the civil war, I felt like I was right there experiencing a unique piece of history.  A totally different perspective of  history and a real page turner.

An except from the book:
  • “Mrs. Lincoln received us graciously, and introduced us to a gentleman and lady present whose names I have forgotten.  Mr. Lincoln was not then present.  While all were conversing pleasantly on general subjects, Mrs. Miller (Mr. Laurie’s daughter) seated herself, under control, at the double grand piano at one side of the room, seemingly awaiting someone.  Mrs. Lincoln was talking with us in a pleasant strain when suddenly Mrs. Miller’s hands fell upon the keys with a force that betokened a master hand, and the strains of a grand march filled the room.  As the measured notes rose and fell we became silent.  The heavy end of the piano began rising and falling in perfect time to the music.”

  • “All at once it ceased and Mr. Lincoln stood upon the threshold of the room. (He afterward informed us….”

additional pictures on Picasa.

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