Holy hydrant

Sher and I saw this fire hydrant across the street from the Immaculate Conception Convent of the Third Order of the Sisters of St. Francis in Oldenburg, Indiana. See pictures and history of the convent at our post here.

Historic Convent in Oldenburg Indiana

On our recent RV day trip Sher and I spent a most enjoyable time viewing an Indiana treasure: The Immaculate Conception Convent, which is the Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis.  The Sisters of St. Francis continue to serve the people of Indiana. Learn details at their Website Here including the fascinating history of the Order.

Motherhouse, right and church, left. Parking lot is for the Holy Family Catholic Church, out of view on left

Chapel and portion of the cemetery for Sisters

Beautiful Shrine overlooks the cemetery grounds

Not only is there beautiful architecture on the campus but peaceful cemeteries, shrines, a school and a  farm. Oldenburg is known as “The City of Spires” due to the many church spires visible on the skyline of this quaint Indiana town.

Historic church and cemetery

A few days ago Sher and I took a nice day trip in our RV to south east Indiana. Our first stop was Batesville, covered in a previous post. Next stop was Oldenburg, another town with a strong German heritage.

 

 

 

The Holy Family Catholic Church has a long history in Oldenburg. The stone church was finished in 1848 as seen in the pictures above. It replaced the original log church, and is now the Rectory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The current church is a magnificent structure. The day we visited was election day, so there was a fair amount of foot traffic in and out of the entrance to the Fellowship Hall. Social Distancing was not a problem. The large stone cross is a remembrance for the first Mission that was preached in 1848.

A road trip on a hot day

Sher and I had had enough.  It has been since February 25th since we were in our RV. Roadtirement needed to hit the road again.  I put some water in the fresh water tank, and flushed the antifreeze out of the lines. That way we would have water for our bathroom.

We went a town in south east Indiana named Batesville. This town has a rich German history, and is home to the Batesville Casket Company, one of the largest in the world.  The Hill-Rom company, also headquartered in Batesville, is a manufacturer of high tech hospital beds and is also a Hillenbrand company.

Hillenbrand Mausoleum

We visited the Saint Louis Catholic Cemetery of the local church of the same name. This cemetery is in a beautiful setting with tree lined main roads. There is a section in the back of the cemetery that is the oldest portion and has the oldest graves. In addition this is the area where the founders of the Hillenbrand companies are interned in a striking mausoleum and a masonry fenced area.

It was great getting back on the road again, and from Batesville we headed to Oldenburg, another German influenced town in south east Indiana. We were safe, as we stayed far away from any people we saw. Stay tuned…

We found an old growth forest and trail

Every once in a while you stumble upon a new to you attraction. While researching  central Indiana trails and forests I came across a small but delightful gem in Shelby County, which is south east of Indianapolis. The gem is a nearly 50 acre nature preserve called Meltzer Woods Nature Preserve.

The unique quality of this property is found in its description: The forest is considered an original old-growth stand that was placed in Indiana’s Classified Forest Program in 1928. In 2014 it was protected forever when it was acquired by the Central Indiana Land Trust. An old-growth forest is one that has trees that are at least 150 years old and has not been cleared for a century or longer.

The trail

National Natural Treasure designation

 

 

 

 

 

Meltzer Woods is a wonderful place to spend time in nature, and to get a sense of what Indiana forests were like when the first European settlers arrived. Many of the trees are older than Indiana’s Statehood in 1816. Some have even been dated back to the 1600s. There is an easy and nearly level 1.3 mile trail that wanders through the forest. Magnificent trees, wildflowers galore, and interesting understory make for an inspiring walk through the forest and go back in time to when 80% of Indiana was covered in forests like this.

Dense understory

 

 

 

 

 

The Meltzer family first bought this ground in 1857. The family still owns adjacent farm ground and still farms today. Rain was threatening yesterday, and we decided to return another day when we could take the trail and really enjoy this historic and natural corner of Indiana. There is ample parking across the road, and Google Maps knows where it is if you are in the area.

A committee of vultures

On a drive today we saw many large black birds in a field next to a rural county road. I had my son stop the car for a better look and a photo op. The committee of vultures started to move away from the road,  some walking and some flying close to the ground before they settled down again.

And by the way, there are three different names for a group of vultures. Different circumstances dictate what name applies at the time. A committee is a group resting on the ground or in trees. A wake is a group feeding. And when you see lots of vultures soaring in the sky, wings outstretched with little or no flapping, well that is called a kettle of vultures.

Will COVID-19 restraints end and safety return?

We and millions of others around the world are intimately aware of the terms shelter in place, isolation, quarantine, stay at home and social distancing. Trump and Pence and his experts are starting to hint about “re-opening” the country.

Our 2019 Highway 40 Yard Sale set-up

All of the Flea Markets and Shows we usually go to are closed due to COVID-19 mandates. One of our best is the annual Highway 40 Yard Sale which follows US 40 across the country. It is held in May.

Even if things are “open” in May, will it be safe for us to be out mixing at all with the public, no matter the conditions? Right now we are thinking we best not get out until there is a proven treatment for this killer virus.

What information/news is going to be enough for you to get back to “normal” activities? Will we ever see BC normal again? (BC = before COVID-19)

Rose Hill Cemetery in Bloomington, Indiana

Bloomington is a vibrant college town in south central Indiana. Originally platted in 1818, the city father’s realized that a cemetery was a need, thus in 1819 a small piece of ground west of the village was laid out. To identify the grave yard the initials “G” and “Y” were carved into a large oak tree at the entrance.

Entrance marker to Rose Hill

A unique brick and stone monument. Note the entrance gate in the background

 

 

 

 

 

Note the Hand pointing up: symbol for deceased going to heaven

Monument to Civil War Vets

There were no burial records until 1897 after the eight woman Ladies Cemetery Association took over the running of the property in 1892. This civic minded group renamed the cemetery Rose Hill after the wild rose bushes scattered around the property.

 

Infantryman on CW monument. Note that vandals have knocked off the musket

Ornate multi-level family monument, has Greek and Latin lettering for Jesus

Other improvements and additions have taken place through the years. A nice fountain was moved to another park in Bloomington in 1991 after vandalism in the cemetery. A storm destroyed some planted trees in 2000. But the main reason we find this and other cemeteries interesting is the headstones. There are marvelous examples of symbolism on many of the stones in Rose Hill. Also named iconography, there are a host of symbols carved into many stones, mostly older limestone ones.

Sentimental inscription on a mother’s stone

Bloomington is about an hour south of Indianapolis. The cemetery is east of the I-69 interstate, take the 3rd Street exit. This is a 28 acre historic cemetery with origins in the early 1800’s. History buffs, take notice. This is a great old grave yard.

Little Shop of Horrors is at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre

Prepare yourself, Indianapolis, for the off-beat, dark musical comedy that is Little Shop  of Horrors! The show’s premier was in May of 1982. The Off-Broadway run was a great success, and during that run a star studded film was also produced.

Picture a skid row flower shop struggling to stay in business. Assistant Seymour Krelborn comes into possession of a strange plant. Named Audrey II after the girl of his dreams, Seymour discovers that the strange plant talks, sings R&B, promises fame and fortune, and needs human blood to survive and grow. Starting  in a flower pot, the blood thirsty creature soon is a monstrous size.

Seymour Krelborn (Joey Boos), center, introduces Mr. Mushnik (Douglas E. Stark) and Audrey (Jenny Reber) to his strange and unidentified plant

Mayhem breaks out as Seymour tries his best to keep feeding Audrey II the human blood that the creature demands. “Feed Me!” becomes the mantra for the monster, and the terror for Seymour! Side story lines keep the show rolling along as Seymour keeps loving Audrey, who is stuck in a violent relationship with dentist Orin Scrivello. How does Seymour keep Audrey II alive and well? Let’s say that people start to disappear. Laced throughout the show are some wonderful songs and dance routines.

The B&B production is filled with stage favorites. Joey Boos returns to the Beef & Boards stage in the role of Seymour. Also returning are Jenny Reber as Audrey,  and Logan Moore  as Orin Scrivello, DDS. Douglas E. Stark plays the role of Mr. Mushnik, the hapless owner of the skid row flower shop where Audrey II lives. It is interesting to note that the voice of Audrey II comes from Josiah R McCruiston and Josh Maldonado is the talented puppeteer of the creature. You never see either on stage!

Seymour (Joey Boos) is horrified by the demands of Audrey II

 

It is easy to see why Little Shop of Horrors has a nearly cult status.  The sci-fi hit about a carnivorous plant with world domination on its mind is just too much fun. Rated PG-13, the production does present some violence and graphic references and a touch of sexual innuendo.

Little Shop of Horrors is rated PG-13 and is on stage through Nov. 17. Tickets  include Chef Odell Ward’s dinner buffet, fruit & salad bar, unlimited coffee, tea, and lemonade. For reservations, call the box office at 317.872.9664 anytime between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays. For complete show schedule, visit the Beef & Boards website here.

Award winning Hairspray on stage at Beef & Boards

The turbulent 60’s come to life on stage at Indy’s beloved Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre with the presentation of the Broadway musical Hairspray. This Tony Award winning show lights up the B&B stage with a large and very talented cast telling the story of a Baltimore teen who gets a spot on the local TV dance show.

Tracy Turnblad (Adee David) falls for teen idol Link Larkin (Nate Willey) and wants to racially integrate the Corny Collins Show. Standing in her way is the spiteful and prejudiced Amber Von Tussle (Sarah Daniels) who is using Link as her way to fame. The plot thickens and results in jail time after a protest against the segregation policy of the TV show.

The drama aside, the highlight of the production of course is the toe-tapping songs including “Good Morning Baltimore,” “Big, Blonde and Beautiful,” “You Can’t Stop The Beat” and “Welcome to the ‘60s.” Motormouth Maybelle (Tarra Conner Jones) brings down the house with her powerful and poignant version of “I Know Where I’ve Been.” Amber Von Tussle (Sarah Daniels) directs a humorous “Cooties”  at rival Tracy.

A highlight for me was the dance and song duet by Wilbur Turnblad (Eddie Curry) and Edna Turnblad (Daniel Klingler). Their rendition of “You’re Timeless To Me” was one of the funniest and most cleverly choreographed numbers I have seen in a long time. Eddie Curry, by the way, is also the Director of the show.

Every song will have you smiling. The characters will have you rooting for them or loving to hate! The B&B orchestra once again will amaze you with the quality and depth of music it produces. The sets and lighting seamlessly support the production. The costumes are fabulous. Have you figured it out yet? Do not miss Hairspray.

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of Hairspray is now on stage through Oct. 6. Tickets include the dinner buffet and are available by calling the box office at 317.872.9664. For more information, including show schedule, visit the Beef & Boards website.