Cruising With My Baby

 Posted by at 12:40 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 022016

With the new issue of the Gypsy Journal finished and sent out to our subscribers, I needed a day off before I started on my next writing project. So yesterday Miss Terry and I went for a ride out through the Amish countryside around Shipshewana, Indiana. I can’t think of many better ways to spend a day than just cruising with my baby.

If you’re not familiar with Shipshewana and the surrounding area, it’s east of Elkhart and is heavily populated with Amish and Mennonites. We have spent many wonderful hours over the years just driving around the back roads, enjoying the views of their well groomed farms and horse drawn buggies.

Amish farm

Red barn

And when we go to Shipshewana, Terry likes to stop at E&S Sales, a grocery store that has an excellent selection of fresh vegetables, meats, cheeses, bulk foods, and other hard to find things she likes to keep on hand. Everything from bulk packaged wild rice, red rice, dried beans of all kinds, cornstarch, white hominy, and other kinds of goodies. It’s a popular place both with the Amish and other visitors to the area.

You can tell you’re in Amish country when the stores have as many buggies in the parking lot as they do cars!

Buggies ES 2

And if you’d like your own buggy, just drive around a few of the back roads. We’ve seen several of them for sale.

Buggy for sale

Since the Amish don’t use motorized vehicles, seeing horse drawn buggies and horses used for farming are common sights around here. But as we were driving down one back road yesterday, Terry said, “I see a zebra!”

And sure enough, she did! In all the years we’ve been hanging out in this part of the country, we had never heard of Dutch Creek Farm Animal Park. They were closed, but Terry was able to get one picture from a distance through their fence that included zebras, camels, and a bunch of other exotic critters. They have over 300 animals and it’s a popular place for kids of all ages, who come to take a safari style ride and feed and pet the animals. We will have to go back and check it out sometime.

Animal farm

In yesterday’s blog I talked about some of the oddball questions I get, and the comments from readers sharing their own experiences in response were pretty interesting, to say the least.

But some letters just go to show that we can’t please everybody. I received an email from someone who took objection to me including a story on Diamond Caverns in Kentucky in the new issue of the Gypsy Journal. To maintain their natural state, the caverns are not handicapped accessible and this person and felt it was very insensitive of me to write about places where the handicapped population cannot go. Unfortunately there are a lot of natural places where handicapped people may not be able to go, including hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. And there are also some man-made places where it might not be possible. The Washington Monument and the Bunker Hill Monument are two that come to mind.

We try very hard to be sensitive to all people, no matter their race, physical capabilities, sexual orientation, or whatever is concerned. But should we just ignore places that every possible reader can’t go to? I have a real fear of bridges and I’m not comfortable with heights. Should I not write about high places or bridges? All we can do is try to have a variety of stories so there is something to meet everybody’s interest.

Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Big Lake Blizzard, the fourth book in my Big Lake mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.


Thought For The Day – I seriously need a speed bump between my brain and my mouth.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “Cruising With My Baby”

  1. Keep it real, Mr. Russell. Tell us like it is.

  2. It seems to me the insensitive person was the commenter. We’ve been many places that have not been Handicap Accessible but we forge on the best we can. That doesn’t stop us from taking pictures to share with others that might not be as mobile as we are and they appreciate it. Keep up the good work Nick and Terry.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It’s about time.

  3. Some folks just down the road from us have a Zebra,….not what you expect to see in the mountains of Az. 🙂 Ed

  4. We saw a zebra mixed in with a few horses on a farm in Florida, too.

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