Friday, August 9, 2013

When in Rome…

“Give thanks for the fullness of the days spent together, the friends that we pray will be with us forever, the feelings we've shared, the food and good fun, with faith that God's blessings have only begun. Amen.”- Dutch Cafe in Kokomo, Indiana

I think that sums up my recent feelings. I went to visit my Aunts’ in Kokomo last week. I wasn’t sure I could do it, anxiety-wise, but I went and had a wonderful time. Yes, there were panic attacks, but on the whole, I did really well. They showed me around their home town and I was able to bask in my love for my state.

They had a big surprise for me. I was totally clueless on what they had planned. On July 22nd they finally told me what they had in store. We were going to Gene Stratton Porter’s home in Rome, Indiana, on Silvan Lake. 

For those unfamiliar with Porter, she is a local Hoosier author and was famous in her own right. Actually she was more than just an author. She was a naturalist, preservationist, photographer, musician, architect, etc. I had always wanted to see her Cabin in Wildflower Woods. She was an environmentalist before such a thing was popular. Porter was a woman ahead of her time. In her book, “A Girl of the Limberlost,” there is a character called the Bird Woman. Clearly she based the character on herself.

It took a couple hours to travel up there but the wait was well worth it. The wooded area near Silvan Lake was serene; the blue waters shimmered as they rippled beneath the breeze. The leaves of trees, some a couple hundred years old, rustled and birds made music for us. 

No wonder Porter loved it there. I more than wanted to lose myself in that magical place.

I was able to tour Porter’s house and discuss the author with the tour guide fairly intelligently, since I had read five of Porter’s books and a biography on her. Everything about her house paid homage to nature: the windows were perfectly situated to look out at the lake while she wrote at her desk. 

In one back room she managed a makeshift greenhouse.  Another tiny room was sealed off by itself and the window painted red, to be used solely for a dark room.

When the tour concluded, my aunt and I walked up to Porter’s monument (she shares it with her daughter) and paid our respects, then the three of us headed to the gift shop. Naturally we had to buy our share of souvenirs.

Our visit to Rome, Indiana had come to an end and we had to head back to Kokomo. We agreed that if we ever had the money, we would buy a house on the lake and move there. Until then we can only visit, possibly vacation there and daydream about it.

To see more photos of my trip to Gene Stratton Porter's Home, check out my Facebook page: