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Posts Tagged ‘South Bend’

I grew up in northern Indiana and went to college and worked in Chicago for many years.  I have taken buses and trains to get where I was going since 1974.  I remember early South Shore train seats that were woven wicker and the windows opened because there was no air-conditioning.  Yes, grasshopper, I am ancient.

Master’s Daughter and I took the “new” South Shore train from the beginning of the line, in South Bend, to Chicago.  It was either, a two hour, one hour or three hour ride, depending on what time zone you were going to or from.  I believe in actuality, it took two hours.  They have air conditioning and bathrooms now.  And, during the day time, off rush hours, they have children; lots and lots of children.

But, first you had to park your car and put a dollar bill or change in the right slot of the box.  Okay, now we were a wee bit tired.  This is not rocket science and, between us, we have over eleven years of college.  We drove by the pay box, decided to park first (Yes, I know, that should have been obvious.) and then walked up to pay. 

sharon slot

After using another quarter to push the quarters in, Master’s Daughter pushed the last quarter in with a car key.  Then, we read the sign, “Use a key or the pusher attached by a cable to the box.”  OKAY, the rest of the trip should be a breeze, after learning about the pusher.  The result is the above laugh.

We were waiting with a group of people for the train to arrive, when a school bus pulled up.  The energy in that station raised by fourteen knots.  The elderly couple near us began to shake and we all headed for the door.  Frankly, I think the strategy should have been to let the children board the train and then walk to the other end for our seats.  We met someone, coming home that night, who was in the car with the children.  Apparently, it was not a pleasant ride.  Most notably mentioned was children playing in the bathroom.

And this is what we (and a sleeping chick at the Museum) looked like at the end of the day.

chicken sleep jpg

All the other chicks, in the incubator were sleeping laying down but this guy was standing up sound asleep.  My mother has done this a time or two also. 

Even so, Master’s Daughter and I have decided this “June girl’s retreat” really needs to be an annual event.  Last year, I went up for her Master’s Graduation.  This year it was for the Harry Potter exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry.  We are now looking for something fun to do next year.

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Yes, I am here and alive.  I had a bad week, month, going on six months; still fighting my insurance.  HIP (The Healthy Indiana Plan) tells me I am insured.  Anthem, however, chooses to deny me coverage and has gone so far as to even stop debiting my monthly payment.  SOOOOOO!!!

I left home.  Seriously, I have gone to my “zone of protection bubble.”  Did you know that the zone of protection bubble is in South Bend?  That is why President Busch came here three or four times before his campaign and why President Obama has already been here twice.  They know where the “zone of protection bubble” is.

I do not have to open the mail, and find bad news, in my zone.  I do not have a land line phone in South Bend.  I do not turn on my cell phone in South Bend.  I am in my zone. 

What do you do in South Bend, when you are in your Zone of Protection, you ask?

  1. You take a two hour ride on the South Shore train, Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District.
  2. You walk in Chicago. Choose Chicago – the official visitors site for Chicago | explore now.  I love Chicago.  It was good just to get off the train and smell Chicago.  I could smell Chicago air blindfolded.
  3. You go the the Museum of Science and Industry Welcome to The Museum of Science and Industry and discover that someone has stolen the Museum and left a cheap imitation in its place.
  4. Except for Earth Revealed.  That was great.  Museum of Science and Industry | What’s Here | Exhibits | Earth Revealed
  5. You go to the Harry Potter exhibit, Museum of Science and Industry | What’s Here | Exhibits | Harry Potter: The Exhibitionwhich is only attached to the Museum by a tent and have the most wonderful adventure.  Hehehe, this is a teaser. I am in my zone and so I can tease you and only write the details later!!
  6. You flirt with a totally young, and probably gay man at the Museum and walk away feeling twenty years younger.  He gave us our guided tour speaker thingies.
  7. And all of the above was just one day.
  8. You also go and eat breakfast at Welcome to LePeep.  And, no that is not a chicken restaurant, although I have a great chicken picture from the Museum to share.
  9. Then, you go to http://www.sbchocolate.com/ South Bend Chocolate Company, tell them they should give you free truffles because you send business their way on your blog and they laugh as they hand you your Aztec (Mexican) hot chocolate and 1/2 pound of dark chocolate truffles and your bill.  (worth a try!)
  10. And, then, your zone (a/k/a Master’s Daughter) gives you the most relaxing part of your journey.  You get your first pedicure and ask the Chinese gentleman if he will marry you because no one has ever rubbed your feet like that.
  11. You also get to talk to your Army Grandson, who is in Kuwait.
  12. You get asked to go shopping by your “Hollister” grandson.  They chased him down the hall at the mall one day and asked him to work for them, since they said he had “their look.”
  13. Then, you watch a “girlie” movie, Love Actually.  The first of several for my zone visit
  14. AND, you get to do some of this while viewing things on high speed access that you never get to see at home, on dial-up, with a party line. 

There are no party lines, they have not lost electricity once, and the mail doesn’t come for me here.  Did I mention I do not have to open the mail???

So, while I am at the zone, I may or I may not write on my blog.   Well, I actually have, because I am writing this.   The rental people want their car back Saturday.  I’m not sure what is with that, but they made me tell them exactly what day to have it back.

In my Zone I do not have to make decisions.

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I have written often about my favorite things. Today, I am reminded of some of the “less than great” things in life. 

Such as: Being evacuated from our Wyoming home due to fires all around. You sit in a local diner, food you can’t eat in front of you and eyes glued to the tv. All you can do is sit and try not to think about what might await you back home. Sitting at the Red Cross is even worse. This is especially true when someone comes in and says, “The fire is at Jade Street now, and you live on Jade Street. 

Even worse was not being let back up to your road, because the fires are up there, and knowing your elderly mother was in the home alone when the fires struck. Then, you just sit in the pull over by the closest point you can, to your house, and wait. She was okay and we did not lose our home in any of the numerous times we were evacuated.

We are living in Indiana now, where there have been a lot of tornados this year. Right now, we are at the eldest daughter’s home, in South Bend, having a wonderful time celebrating her youngest boys high school graduation.  We partied with neighbors and friends and sat and giggled around the campfire last night. Then, one of the boys came out and told us about the floods in Brown County, where we live.

Friends have called him on his cell phone and tell us that a town eight miles from us is evacuated and towns all around us are flooded. My mother lives in senior housing in a nearby town that is being evacuated and I cannot get through to her.  

At times like this, it is natural for a person to sit and think, what would be the worse thing to lose. I cannot replace my uncle’s violin. I am learning to play and I love that violin.  My photos are all in Rubbermaids so they might be safe. But, others have lost their home and I don’t know what the status of ours is. For now, I just wish everyone was safe. I have a dear friend in Brown County who is near an area of heavy flooding and I just hope she is safe also.

We are scheduled to leave tomorrow. The internet sites tell us NOT to call the State Police for travel routes, so we look at what news articles we can find and try to plot a path to our home, if one is still open. We have a boy who has school tomorrow and another scheduled to work.  That is, if town isn’t flooded. Life goes on. At least in some sense it does.

I will let you know how it turns out, in the meantime, I wish you safety. Stay dry.

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