shipshewana 058 Well, international in the sense that we’re an international family. I’ve been thinking of how I can show my support to the Amish for the tragedy in Pennslyvania. I’m being diliberately vague in the event that children are reading. I know mine do. Today we headed to the Shipshewana Flea Market (which runs Tuesday and Wednesday) and shopped at Mennonite and Amish stalls. We bought 1/2 bushel of Fuji and Honeycrisp apples, 2 loaves of bread (whole wheat), breadsticks, whole wheat pita, cinnamon rolls and bread, salt rising bread, (all the breadstuff was a dollar each), a quilt (!!!), cheese, salami and meats, little dollar stuff of which I can’t even begin to remember the specifics and beanie baby cats for the kids (the boys have begun a campaign to get a kitten to travel with us). We dropped close to $60 dollars or more (I haven’t run the tallies yet) and the headed over the border (to Sturgis, Michigan) to do enormous quantities of laundry. Yesterday we stopped at both Goodwill in Goshen and a private thriftstore in Bristol and stocked up for the kids. Again I was surprised at the prices at Goodwill. Three dollars and 50 cents for a child’s shirt??? The store in Bristol was much more reasonable and we spent about $37 there, compared to $5 at Goodwill. As long as we’re in the area, we’ll continue to shop Amish and hope it will make a small difference to their economy, and, by relation of religion, that of the families in Pennsylvania.

We are absolutely LOVING the northern Indiana countryside. Like Kansas, we never expected to spend any time here other than time waiting for the trailer to be fixed. We are loving the small Amish farms, the lovely rolling hills, the gorgeous fall colors and the quiet streams and rivers. It is absolutely beautiful here; we must have picked the perfect time to visit. There are renegade mosquitoes about and I can only imagine how fierce they must be in Summer. We have visited many of the towns in the area, La Grange, Shipshewana (aka Shipshe), Bristol, Howe, Honeyville, Goshen (a very large town) and Benton, but find that the most touristy is also the most “Amishy”, Shipshewana. There are buggies absolutely EVERYWHERE and the roads sport large, wide shoulders for their travel. It still must be absolutely nerve-wracking as the horse seem to be terribly spooked by the cars. I can’t imagine how terrifying it must be in Summer when the tourist population explodes.

Each and every day I have so much I want to record here and by the time I’m at the laptop it has all escaped. There is so much we’ve done over the past few days and many memories I wanted to record, but it is all gone. I suppose I should force myself to sit down every day, but I’m verbose enough as it is; I just might be responsible for death by boredom. The other day we celebrated Ellen’s 5th birthday. It is odd, after 12 years of babies, to have a five year old as your youngest child. She is so much a first child personality and very much like her brother Jesse.

Tomorrow we plan to visit the Indiana Dunes State Park (or National Lakeshore); dunes in Indiana? Who knew??? It is getting colder and colder and it is all I can do to keep the car pointed northward. Next year we do the Midwest in Summer. Course, then I’ll be complaining about the heat, humidity and incessant mosquitoes.