Technically, I shouldn’t use the word “odyssey” for this blog post title because our visit to Wayne County, Indiana, yesterday was neither long nor adventurous, but it was fun! Here are four of my favorite things:
1. Fountain Acres Foods, or as I like to call it, the Amish store. The parking lot is usually packed with cars every time I go, and yesterday was no exception. Fortunately for those who travel by buggy, there is a hitching post. Note, if you park in front of it, your car may be towed!
Inside the store you find meats, cheeses of all kinds, fresh produce, spices, grains, candy, everything you need for baking, and much, much more. The candy aisle is the first thing you see when you walk into the store. I think of Dad every time I’m there, because he would have loved the old-fashioned circus peanuts, orange slices, and candy corn. You can also satisfy your craving for chocolate, caramel, maple, and peanut butter-flavored treats. I inherited Dad’s sweet tooth, but managed to leave the store yesterday with practical items…and a few salty snacks.
The front of the store is adorned with a colorful array of hanging baskets. I always want to buy one, but know that I could never keep it looking as good as they do. Last, but not least, there is a field full of lawn furniture out front, and it comes in almost any color you can imagine. Now, where can I put the hot-pink lawn chair??? Just kidding. I didn’t buy it, but there was one for sale.
2. Ply Fiber Arts. I cannot visit Richmond without stopping to see Sam and John at Ply Fiber Arts because I love yarn and this shop exudes positive energy. The bright yellow storefront is an indicator that it is a happy place, and once inside you immediately discover that no one is a stranger. I spent many happy hours there when Vicki Hair first opened it as Unwind Yarn Shop, and I’m delighted to see it flourish under new ownership. If only I lived closer so I could take part in one of the shop’s knit groups. Instead, I satisfied my craving for yarn by buying few skeins to add to my ever-growing stash. I keep promising myself that I won’t buy any more yarn until I get my stash under control, but then I visit a place like Ply Fiber Arts and my resolve evaporates.
3. Little Sheba’s. Indiana Avenue, or Old Richmond, is one of my favorite parts of town because it feels like you are stepping back in time. The district keeps getting better and better with the restoration of more buildings and the opening of new stores, coffee shops, and restaurants. We happen to be creatures of habit, and a visit to Richmond isn’t complete unless we meet friends at Little Sheba’s. Newcomers always enjoy reading the menu, featuring sandwiches bearing such names as Renee’s Spoiled Rotten Brat, the Dirty Rotten Scoundrel, and Dr. Jetmore’s Flamethrower. It’s a neighborhood place, with a friendly owner and waitstaff, and if you’re local you will inevitably see someone you know at another table.
4. Bell’s Strawberry Patch, Hagerstown, Indiana. There are many other things we could have done in Richmond, but time was running out. As we headed west toward Indianapolis, we impulsively decided to detour of I-70 at the Hagerstown exit so we could make one more stop: Bell’s Strawberry Patch. If it’s between Memorial Day and Father’s Day, it’s strawberry time. A friendly cashier gave us a cardboard box and walked us out to the “baby berry plants.” It’s their first year to produce fruit, and I am giving these new plants an A+. The berries are large, red, and best of all, delicious. Now it’s time for some strawberry shortcake!