A Visit Home


Summertime for teachers is rolling to an end, and so we find ourselves attempting to squeeze one more day into our schedules just for ourselves.

Actually, school work for the upcoming school year has already begun. For some people I know and with whom I work, the current school year simply stops one day and the next day the next year begins.

My wife and I decided to make a trip to Lawrence County, Indiana today. It is my “home” place to be, the place I want to go when I want to get away from everyday life. Our usual trip takes us to Amish farmers to buy fresh produce, to an orchard called Applacres, and to the most home place of my home place, Spring Mill State Park. Lawrence County is the place I will be buried when my time has finished. I will rest in the Burton family cemetery in Mitchell. It is located on a road called Burton Cemetery Road.

My family derives from Lawrence County. They came here from North Carolina around 1820, and they were a huge family when they arrived. In the 1850 census there were about 1,800 Burtons in Lawrence County and adjacent Orange County. My father was born in Lawrence County, and he lived there for about 10 years or so before the family moved to Jeffersonville. His old house stood until just a few years ago.

My parents took us to Spring Mill often when I was a child. At that time the ice-cold lake was still open for swimming, and I spent many summer holidays freezing in it. Going to Spring Mill is likely the fondest of my remaining childhood memories.

So it was with great joy we ventured an hour’s drive northwest today, and we visited all of our usual spots. We returned home with a dozen ears of sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, and green beans from our Amish friends. All were fresh from the fields.

An interesting tidbit from the Amish farm was that there was a huge piece of equipment near the house. They were having a well dug so they did not have to go traipsing through one of their back fields to an existing well any more to get water. They had been digging for three days, and they found water at 110 feet today, so the family there is happy. They also discovered a cave as they were digging. That is not unusual for Lawrence County. It is filled with caves, mainly due to the limestone structure of big parts of the county.

We also arrived home with some goods from the orchard: cherry-flavored cider, some Amish wheat bread, chocolate-covered peanuts and chocolate stars, and a huge watermelon from Vincennes (it was the smallest they had; the three of us will have a difficult time eating it all.)

Next came a quick stop at the Mitchell Dollar Tree for school things for Denise and me, and some things for Michael (Dollar Tree is his favorite store in the world; he is a big believer in quantity over quality.)

Finally, we went into Spring Mill State Park and ate the at Inn, something we do a handful of times a year.

Determined not to end the day so quickly, we drove home an alternate route, through Orleans, then onto an 11-mile stretch to Livonia, and then back to Salem to reconnect on our usual route home.

We did nothing extravagant, and spent very little money (the produce from the Amish are priced really well; we got a dozen ears of fresh corn for $3.00.) All this to create a long-lasting memory.


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