I love going to see my Mom at the old homestead in Indiana. It's the place I feel a vibration of recognition. The fields, the secret ponds hidden beyond the next hill, all these welcome me back every time I cross the border.
I didn't appreciate it as much as I do now. Being young, we tend to overlook what we have been given. What I have been realizing, though, is that I have changed, living over here in Ohio. I have become used to the way people think and act here, and when I go back to Indiana, it's like a different planet sometimes. It's not that Indiana has changed...I have. And some of the people are just downright funny.
Just some random observations:
Mom sent me out to get lunch, and while waiting in line at Wendy's, the person behind me ordered a "Chicken Fillet". Not "chicken fill-ay"....he asked for a "chicken fill-et". I nearly bit my tongue off trying not to laugh.
On the way back up the hill, I passed a mailbox that I have never noticed:
A. J. Butt.
(Do you think he is the butt of any jokes?)
Later, at the Oxbow:
An elderly lady walked down to my car as we were preparing to leave. She struck up a conversation, and when she learned that I had grown up in Bright, she started listing her family tree that included places that don't even exist anymore.
"Y'all know that farm up in Mt. Pleasant that got tore up durin' that ternada back in 1990?"
"Ya know, that water is up because those folks in Louisville (that's pronounced LOOvull) don't wanta get flooded, so they kept that there dam down there closed up."
"Ah watched a squirrel (pronounced Scwall) try ta jump acrossed that there water and he fell. I was wishin' Ah had a board to float out to 'im."
There wasn't one article of clothing on this woman that didn't have multiple holes in it, including her shoes, but she had a bag of bird seed under her arm. She said "Those Oxbow people don't want to feed the birds."
And she said that she comes down there to collect "far wood".
In the midst of all that country-ness, is my Mom....the farthest from hillbilly you can get.
How did I escape from being a hick?
I sure don't know.