Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Thursday, July 12, 2007

We took it easy today. Slept in. Started to get used to the three hour time difference.

Went to Wal-Mart in Shelbyville and bought a new digital camera. Our old one, an Olympus, finally gave out on us. I bought a Samsung S850 for half the price of that old one with twice as many features. Yeah, that's how quickly the technology changes and becomes less expensive.

By the way, I know Wal-Mart is supposed to be evil and all, but it was a pleasant shopping experience. I didn't expect to find much in the way of vegan foods, but had no problem finding Boca burgers, chocolate soymilk, and veggie meats from Yves there.

We swam in my uncle's backyard swimming pool. The boys had a great time. Here's a picture my aunt took of the four of us.

One of the first things we've noticed is the quiet. When we woke up this morning, my aunt was surprised that we hadn't heard the small airplane that was circling a nearby field. My wife reminded her how close we live to SFO, not to mention the train tracks not too far from our front door.

It is amazingly quiet here. There is the breeze going through the ash and maple trees in my uncle's backyard. And from time to time, you can hear the cicadas buzzing. Walking down the street at sunset, we could heart the power lines vibrating in the breeze. You can't see them moving, but you can hear them.

And not long after sunset, you can see lightning bugs. I'd forgotten about them. I told my wife that as a boy I'd caught them in my backyard and put them in a glass jar. She thought that was just something from the movies.

The second thing is the sky. It's a big sky, unmarred by mountains and smog. You can watch the sun set on the horizon. Before the sun had completely set, I could find Venus and Mars in the sky, and a short while later some of the brightest stars were also visible.

And the air is clean. You can see for miles through air that's transparent instead of tinted yellow. We live not too far from the Pacific Ocean with pretty much constant onshore breezes, but our air quality is no match for what I've found here in rural Indiana.

Addendum: Obviously we talked to my uncle about things we might do while we're visiting. The next page in my journal is the address and directions for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He recommends it to visitors regularly and said they always have a good time.

My aunt and uncle's back yard has no fence. Right now rows of corn surround their yard on three sides, forming a natural fence. Here's a picture I took; this is the view from their back yard, looking out over the corn.

I took a lot of pictures that first day, experimenting with the new camera. Here's another one in that dusky light, my boys, already in their pajamas, against the back drop of the cornfield "fence."

My uncle has a dog, Maddie, that the boys love. She is the friendliest, gentlest dog. Her size intimidated my youngest at first. He kept saying, “She’s going to eat me,” when she’d come toward him. But she loves nothing better than to be petted as you can see here.

He quickly got over his fear. He wakes up in the morning and asks, “Where’s Maddie?” And he makes sure that her water bowl is constantly filled.

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