Playing Catch-Up

           Quilt patterns are displayed on buildings everywhere. These are just a small sampling.

Time is passing so quickly. It’s hard to believe we’ve been here five weeks already. It’s not that we’ve been overly busy although we have managed to get a few chores checked off our To Do list.

                                       Beau’s Summer romance is a Spaniel pup named  Zoey

Don tackled the biannual task of cleaning the RV’s roof then inspected it for any issues. In a couple of spots he removed old sealant, replacing it with new then proceeded to check and clean both air conditioning units. I surmised that since he was already up there it would be a good time to tackle the nasty job of cleaning all three Fantastic Fans too. With only a little moaning and groaning (from Don), we were able to knock that off the list as well. I thought it would be a good idea to give him a day off before hitting him up with the remaining chores I wanted to tackle. I even threw in a trip to Don’s favorite bakery for breakfast just to sweeten the pot.

                                            A few of the older beauties in the campground

                                                                   1983 Sceptre by Apollo

                                                                An old style pop-up, new canvas

                                                                           Restored 1965 Shasta

We wrapped up our To Do List by getting an oil change on the truck, having Beau groomed, washing the Suite Pea’s windows and screens, then cleaning the interior air and heat vents. We are finally done! (For the time being.)

                                             Beau looks so hound-some after grooming

Another item we were able to check off was the Suite Pea’s yearly wash and wax job. It’s a chore that Don no longer does himself, at least not the entire rig. He does do the cap occasionally, when he feels it needs it. We were going to swing through Myrtle Beach on our way south this Fall as there’s a company there that does a nice wash and wax at a reasonable price, but Don had a local company come out instead. He had seen them at work in the campground and liked the results,  and their rate beat out the South Carolina company’s. So if you find yourself in the Shipshewana area in need of an RV wash and wax, we recommend  contacting Xtreme Auto Detailing. The awning and the tires were also included in the price.


One of the many Quilt Gardens in the surrounding area. This design is an Indian Star. It  first appeared in the Kansas City Star in 1937.


This pattern is called Indian Sunburst. It debuted in 1981.


This is the Hearts & Flowers pattern. It debuted in 1841, the same year the Amish arrived in Elkhart County, Indiana.

Don noticed the  sight in his left eye had progressively been getting worse. He’s been putting off having an eye exam until we reached our winter location in Florida. Beau however nixed that idea. Don unthinkingly left his glasses within reach of the pup and well, you can guess the rest. We were able to get Don in right away with the local eye clinic. The eye exam told us that he has developed a cataract in his left eye. The optometrist felt he could improve Don’s vision temporarily with lenses but that Don would be looking at laser surgery within 2-3 years. Don’s comment was he thought only old people developed cataracts. Guess who just registered for Social Security this week? Huh.



A few of the murals I found in Shipshewana

It hasn’t been all work and no play. I gave Don a weekend break (from me and my Honey Do list) by going down to my mother’s. Actually it was because my youngest had scheduled a photo session to have a four generation picture taken with her daughter, herself, mom, and I. I added an extra day so I could tag along on my granddaughter’s first visit to the zoo. Bobbi and Kendra ended up with two tag-alongs as Kendra’s paternal grandmother decided to make it a foursome. Kendra wasn’t overly thrilled with any of the animals other than the colorful parrots and the dolphins. Her mom and grandmas sure had a good time though. As an added bonus our admission to the Indianapolis Zoo included admission to the White River Gardens next door AND the gardens was hosting a Lego exhibition. Have I ever mentioned how much I love Lego exhibits? Well I do! I have been fascinated by them since seeing my first one at Disney World in 2003. The Indianapolis event did not disappoint either.

Kendra's first trip to the zoo. With mama, & grandma's Lisa & me

Kendra’s first trip to the zoo. With mama, & grandma’s Lisa & me


                                                      Below is a few of the Lego exhibits

Back in June, or possibly it was July, I contacted Jim Bennett of Palmetto House Signs to replace the dog bone portion of our RV sign. We stumbled upon Jim and his sign company seven years ago while on vacation at Ocean Lakes Family Campground in Myrtle Beach. Jim and his wife had a home there. While exploring the facilities which includes cottages as well as the park, Don and I couldn’t help but notice and admire all of the colorful and unique house signs on many of the cottages. At that point in time we knew that we were going to be full time RVers one day AND we knew we wanted to have a sign to hang with our names and (newly started) blog name on it. Up to this time we hadn’t seen anything that jumped out at us.Until we saw Jim’s signs. I stopped in at the park office to inquire if they knew who to contact. The lady manning the desk laughed and said “Yes, my husband.” Then she gave me Jim’s number. Talk about luck!


Our original sign

We called Jim right away and made arrangements to meet at their cottage the following day. The day before we were to leave for Charleston. Jim was wonderful to work with. We explained what we wanted, and why. Jim showed us his product, how it was made, and  gave us a time frame in which he’d have our sign completed. He said not to worry about how or when we’d pick it up, he’d mail it to us.


Our present sign & Beau’s

That sign worked well for us for five years until we decided we needed something a little more classy and less Parrotheadish. Is that even a word? We also wanted to add a bone shaped sign for Tucker. So two years ago on our last pass thru Myrtle Beach we again contacted Jim and once more he delivered. We’ve been very pleased with our Palmetto House Signs appearance and durability. We’ve received numerous compliments on both over the years. After we lost our Golden boy Tucker in May, I packed up all of his things including his sign into a keepsake box which is stored at my mother’s. Then along came Beau. We needed a new bone sign. I sent off an email to Jim to see if he would make us a new one with Beau’s name on it. Not only did he make a new sign and ship it to us, he refused to take payment for it. He told me it was in memory of Tucker. Jim also mentioned that after meeting Don and I at Ocean Lakes, he and his wife were inspired to travel. They sold their cottage and purchased a travel trailer. I teared up and when I shared Jim’s message with Don, it touched his heart as well. Thank you Jim for your kindness and generosity.

Jim gave me permission to share his company info on our blog. So folks if you like what you see, contact Jim Bennett at

You can find him on Facebook too at


We were surprised to see this campground packed over the Labor Day holiday weekend. Weekends at Shipshewana Campground are normally quiet with less than a third of the sites filled. It’s Tuesdays and Wednesdays that pack ’em in. Those are the days the auction and flea market are in operation. There’s no pool, no playground, and on Sunday’s,  Shipshewana, as well as the surrounding towns, close down in observance of The Sabbath. But packed it was, and so was the Suite Pea. Our daughter Bobbi and granddaughter Kendra drove up on Friday evening and stayed until Monday afternoon. It’s the first time in twelve years of employment that Bobbi’s been given a holiday weekend off. (Just one more reason to like her new job.)


The Ten Commandments prominently posted on a barn

It was too late Friday to do anything but Saturday morning after a big breakfast of my cinnamon pancakes with locally produced eggs and bacon, and a stroll through the campground, Bobbi, Kendra, and I were off to do some shopping. I took the girls to a little bakery I knew of that’s off the beaten path. It’s Amish owned and operated right on their farm. Mom and daughters start baking at 2:30 in the morning then open for business at 5 am. One of her son’s operates the till. I needed to purchase bread for the vanilla French toast I was planning to make and Bobbi picked out a pumpkin roll for her dad. We dropped these off with Don. Next stop, Davis Mercantile. The mercantile has four levels of shops, cafes, and,  an antique carousel. The 1906 Dentzel Carousel was the purpose for our visit. I thought Kendra would like to ride one of the beautifully hand carved farm animals. It was her first time on a ride of any type. She was leery at first but once the music started and the carousel began to move, she was all smiles.



Kendra is an avid book reader. Books have been her favorite “toys” since she was able to sit up. The mercantile has a wonderful children’s bookstore called Red Wagon, it was our next stop. I don’t know who was more excited about finding Corderoy in board book form, Kendra, or Bobbi, who squealed so loudly with delight upon finding it that it made the staff and other customers laugh. I also purchased a variety of treats at Aunt Millie’s Candy to send to my father. Aunt Millie’s carried three of his favorites, pecan brittle, salt water taffy, and good black licorice. I bought enough to last him for a good long while. After stopping for lunch at a little cafe we decided to call it a day and headed back to the rig. Later, Don and I took our girls to Das Dutchman Essenhaus for a Amish-Mennonite family-style dinner.

Sunday we went to Krider Gardens in Middlebury for a photo shoot with the baby but the mosquitos were so bad that we didn’t stay long. Then on Monday, Don wanted to take Bobbi to his favorite ice cream parlor before she got on the road. Yes, we’re nuts, we drove 33 miles just for ice cream but it doesn’t come any fresher than Rocket Science Ice Cream where it’s made to order than flash frozen with liquid nitrogen. All too soon our babies visit came to an end.


We haven’t done much in the way of sightseeing while here. We’ve pretty much covered all of that on our many previous visits. There was one thing I’ve always wanted to do but for various reasons it never panned out. This time though I found a playhouse that was featuring the musical comedy “Plain & Fancy” and purchased tickets for a Saturday matinée. It was one of the first depictions of the Amish community in American pop culture and ran on Broadway back in the mid fifties.


The Round Barn Theater


Blue Bird Thing, this bluebird with both eyes on one side of it’s head, is a central focus in the musical “Plain & Fancy”

When I started typing this post I didn’t feel I had much to say. I guess I was wrong.

Here’s lookin’ at you kid…..

Beau loves to watch the horses go by

Beau loves to watch the horses pass by (If you look closely, in the lower left corner of the window you can see a horse drawn buggy.)

Categories: Uncategorized | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Playing Catch-Up

  1. Great catching up Gayle. It’s such a relief to get things checked off the to-do list! And even more fun to spend time with family. Yep, I would drive 33 miles for great ice cream too! Love the pictures of Beau with Zoey and Kendra on the merry-go-round. Such. Ice memories to take with you as you travel south for the winter.

  2. Hi Gayle, love all the quilt blocks!! We did the same thing while in Shipshe, it’s was lots of fun looking for them all! While in Marion, NC we drove thru a couple of towns taking pictures of all the blocks on the barns and wineries! I wrote a blog back in April or May about it and how it got started!
    It looked like you had a great time with family! It’s nice when you get to spend time with them. We will be heading back to Al for Dec to spend time with the grands and our kids! Also those doctors appts!!

    • I have an RVing friend who is a quilter, I had her in mind when I took the photos of the gardens & patterns. It has been good spending time with family & friends from our other life as well. Our youngest daughter Bobbi still has a hard time excepting our lifestyle & it has become even more so since her daughter was born. It is mainly for her sake that we pass through IN so frequently. We will be moving on in about 9 days. We’ll take a leisurely course down to FL where we plan to winter this year. AL was just a little to wet & chilly for us last winter.

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