Please Stand By

This week is the annual family trip down south to Brown County, Indiana. I guess technically it’s not an annual trip as last year we went to Canada, and the year before that I’m not sure we went anywhere. So, the last time we were in Brown County was three summers ago.

We got a cabin that we could bring the dog with us back then and it worked out great. He seemed to acclimate to the surroundings really well. The house was big and clean and had an amazing game room downstairs with a bar, and the pooch seemed pretty chill the whole time.

With this place we’re at this week it’s not quite the same. House is big enough and it has all the amenities you’d need to hang out for a few days. But man, this one isn’t nearly as clean as the last time. Our pooch was manic for the first 24 hours, checking every nook and cranny as dogs of vacation past left their “mark” all over the damn place. The basement game room smells like a house training stall. The pool table was covered in hair, and it just wasn’t what I’d call “relaxing”. The upstairs smells like a fire pit, as there’s a fireplace in the living room. Each morning we’ve woken up and I thought there was a massive forest fire by the smell of smoke in the house. As soon as I open the front door I realize there is no fire, it’s just the backdraft from the chimney spewing fires of guests past back into the house.

We were looking forward to some trails and hitting the state park, but alas it’s been a rainy, soggy mess since we arrived. I guess I should’ve brought my rain boots and slickers, then I could’ve looked like a psychopath walking the southern Indiana trails in search of my next victim.

Brown County has always been our getaway from the world. My wife and I first came here ten years ago with my best friend and his wife. We stayed for two days, grilled out, went horseback riding, hung out in the hot tub, and played cards. It was a fun trip, and we realized we wanted to bring the kids down. The next time we hit Brown County was a little over a year later. My grandma had passed away from cancer and my wife and I felt it would do my mom some good to be somewhere else for Thanksgiving as that was a holiday we always spent with my grandma. So we booked a big house in the middle of nowhere and spent Thanksgiving away from reminders of what was missing.

After that we’d head down in the summer for a few days in June or July. We went in 2012, 2014, and then again in 2017. We’re back again this year, but it’s just the four of us(plus the pooch.) Our oldest is at college and didn’t get a fall break due to the pandemic. The college is letting out before Thanksgiving and the students won’t be going back till January. My daughter will be heading to Brooklyn in January for her college internship at the New York Arts Program, if the world doesn’t end before that.

This year has been trying to say the least, so this trip has been at the forefront of our minds since we booked it back in April. Getting away from it all, playing card games, eating good food, and enjoying local libations was priority number one for my wife and I and our two youngest. Our oldest is about 90 minutes from where we’re at, at college. We’re heading to see her today for lunch. Once again, due to lousy weather we can’t do what we’d planned, which was get lunch and then hit the trails at the quarry in Greencastle. So instead it will be a lunch in a socially distanced dining room at a restaurant.

It hasn’t all been a soggy mess. We did go to Bloomington yesterday. We had brunch at the Village Deli, and then my son and I hit up Landlocked Records and Vintage Phoenix Comics for some vinyl and graphic novel healing. My wife and daughter hit a boutique and my daughter bought some jewelry and a scarf. Afterwards we grabbed some ice cream in downtown Nashville, along with a 4-pk of Bloomington Brewery’s Rooftop IPA. I grilled some burgers and dogs in the rain and we played some UNO.

We’ve got two more days here, so despite the lousy weather we’re gonna make the most of it. It may not be the perfect, sunny fall days we’d hoped for, and the trails may be a soggy, muddy mess, but we’re together. We’re away from the outside world and the news headlines and the garbage clickbait. For the moment, 2020 is just another year.

See you all in a few days.

 

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