We got to sleep in a bit on this Easter Sunday and enjoy a breakfast of farm fresh bacon and eggs. We then headed out to church at Trinity United Methodist in downtown Madison. Many members of their congregation prepared meals for us during the week or baked cookies or other goodies before we arrived. In addition, the church contributed money to our recent efforts in Tanzania and Haiti, helping us complete the water work we did in those two places.
We arrived just as the opening music began and got to march right down front to sit with Shelly. We met many of our cooks from the week and all of us got lots of hugs, especially Shawny. When we left church, we checked out the historic fountain outside the front door then headed home to gather up all possible lunch food and take it to Joe and Vicky’s house.
Once we got there we warmed up all of the leftovers we had available (including venison steaks!) and shared a big lunch on the porch. (Shawny said, “You know, we never let people feed us!,” to which Vicky replied, “Well, we never let people help us, so we’re even!”) From there, we knew that we had about two hours to work so we decided to tackle the last 40 yards or so of the creek. A few of us waded in the gnar-gnar to rake, shovel, and pitchfork it while the rest fired up the chainsaws and threw logs and limbs in every direction.
We reached our goal in pretty quick order, gathered up our tools and trudged up the hill out of the ravine for the last time (on this trip, anyway). Preparing to say goodbye to Joe and Vicky was harder than we expected and actually driving away was even harder. We know that whoever goes to Indiana next (most likely Shawny) will definitely visit the Germanos but we have no idea when that might be.
We headed back to the Anderson house and stuffed all of our tools and muddy boots away for their return to California. We hurried as fast as we could to connect with Shawny’s dear friends Bob and Becky in Indianapolis and once we got there, everyone realized right away what the rush was all about.
Bob and Becky’s house is on a lovely wooded plot with lots of fun built in. We arrived and helped to wipe out the remains of their Easter dinner and then we got a tour of the place to get a feel for the range of options available to us. We made plans for a Monday morning trip to the airport (to drop off Gabe, Dennis and Amelia) and then for the rest of us to fish, ride ATVs and hunt morel mushrooms. We also made time to clean out the truck that Bob had loaned us, which he agreed not to look at until we had taken it through a carwash.
Our Monday in Indy was a restful blast.
It gave us some time to think about our accomplishments while in Indiana. They include: 1) helping to restore a protected forest area, 2) helping to prepare a cow pasture to once again host cows, 3) helping to get some farm fields cleared for planting, 4) clearing a foundation area for the excavation of a new house, 5) opening up creeks to help them flow freely again, and 6) clearing debris from a number of different properties.
Whatever we accomplished was highly dependent on the impressive network of friends and community members that supported us while we were there, including Shawny’s two sisters (Sherry and Shelly), family friend Karen Modisett, members of Trinity United Methodist Church, friends and food suppliers Todd Thorne and John Heitz, John Jones and the Hanover College Athletic Department, friends and hosts Bob and Becky Kevoian, friends who loaned us chainsaws (Tyler, Blake, and Andy) and other big tools (Yale Martin) and all of the partners with whom we worked as we cleared debris.
We have sore muscles and lots of scrapes, but more than those we have huge piles of fond memories of our time spent in Indiana. We will shake off our accents pretty quickly we’re sure, but we will long remember our time in the hills, trees, and creeks of Jefferson, Scott, and Clark (plus Marion!) counties. Thanks for reading and for supporting what we do. See you next trip!