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COLUMN: Letters From Home continuation
Updated on: 08.15.12

Editor's note: The last few sentences of this column, by Cinda Crull, were accidentally cut off in the Aug. 15 Brown County Democrat. The entire column is reprinted here.

Hello from blessed Brown County.

I’m going to take a break from letter writing for a while and focus instead on my book and my practice. So, in this pre-respite communication, allow me to ruminate about some of what I’ve gotten from living in this extremely rare jewel of a place. Sharing a bit about my past couple of weeks may shed some light on how special County Brown is for those who wish to live simply.

I went to swim with a friend at a private community lake. It was silky and cool, beautifully ringed by a canopy of trees. While refreshing ourselves, we bumped into a nearby neighbor. Treading water together, I shared my appreciation and admiration for this opportunity and inquired about the history of the place. I was told how many good times were had there over the years. She shared about one occasion when the locals had a party. The music — remember there’s always music, as well as food, some sort of fire and stories at gatherings — was provided by a gentleman who floated aimlessly in a canoe for hours while serenading the social circle with his accordion. Not typical for most parties, you’ve got to admit.

Still bobbing around in the aforementioned lake, the neighbor continued at my coaxing to tell me another story about the time years ago when she was giving birth during a drought, not unlike the one in which we find ourselves now. It seems during a crucial point in the delivery, her husband, the father-to-be, burst through the door. She shouted to him that she was in labor. He shouted to her that the outhouse was on fire. The blaze he had started from lighting matches while indisposed caught the underlying dry grass ablaze. Priorities shifted as he grabbed the water that had been readied for the birth and ran out to douse the flames. Fortunately, the child waited to come into this world until the crisis was over and more water could be obtained. The day ended well for family and forest.

Last week, the county fair opened, and I was told practically the whole town attended. I could hear the midget car races a mile away carried out in the sawdust and dirt arena on the fairgrounds. I opted to stay home instead and caught a glimpse of two twin fawns with their mother by the pond, a clan of turkeys with six baby poults which I just call turklets, and my pileated woodpeckers, who were teaching junior with his wild Mohawk tuft of headfeathers how to dine on suet at my feeder. I planned on going to the fair, but the delight for me is cotton candy and ears of corn roasted in their husks over a giant outdoor grill, and then dipped in melted butter.

Last night I heard a clatter on the driveway just outside my home. As soon as I could, I went out to find only evidence left behind of the source of that noise, in the form of the biggest pile of horse dung I’d ever seen. Calling my neighbor, I asked if she glimpsed a horse coming down the dead end driveway, fearing it might now be in the woods beyond. She assured me that none of the horses was loose from the pasture and that one of the white Percherons was being walked by its person, who also had another horse my neighbor assumed at a quick glance must have been a colt in training. It turns out that the alleged colt was a full-sized adult that next to "Avalanche" or "Forte" would look like a mere lad by comparison. I hadn’t experienced a horse coming that close to my front door since I lived on the Navajo reservation in my 20s, and discovered that the wild mustang mothers and their foals liked to come down from the mesas and back up against the front door of the house to keep out of the winter wind. Luckily, I had a side door.

Recently, I was at my part-time job at a local shop, where a gentleman who volunteers and helps organize others to pick up the trash that the tourists leave, came in for a chat and a drink of water against the heat. He and the store owner had made a pact to exchange their homegrown beets and tomatoes. The beets somehow got lost in the store. Still can’t find them. This prompted the volunteer to state that — wait for it — the store was full of dead beats. Ba dum bum. I can’t make this stuff up.

Tonight I’m going with a friend and her 3-year-old grandson to my favorite café to listen to live acoustic music. Once again, there’ll be good company, food and probably fire in the form of a candle at the table. I’ll bring out my "small-town manners," as a friend calls them. Those are civilities that allow you to get along with most people, even those you may not necessarily cotton to, because we all have to live together and see each other often. I guess one of the things I’ve learned here is that while I still reserve the right to pick my enemies as well as my friends, most things just aren’t worth all the fuss, and most people have at least one redeeming quality.

I know you must be chuckling at my emerging mellowness, so unlike the "me" that lived often in cities where people can be more transitory and their frantic pace often divorced from nature. For that matter, you must be amazed that I’m living in an even smaller town than the one I grew up near so long ago as a farm girl. I am, too, but I sometimes fancy I’m living in the literary village of Brigadoon that emerged only occasionally from the Scottish mists, free of the tyranny of time that wore down the world around it. In Brown County, you can move to the ancient rhythm of the land that was washed, but not touched by the melting glaciers of the last ice age. Those glaciers gave us our ravines, which fill with Indiana mist in the early mornings and after a refreshing rain. Here, it’s possible to be almost timeless, and ageless too.

Well, I’m gonna go. My neighbors and friends await me for dinner, and I long for more stories.

Keep in touch,

Cinda

 

Cinda Crull is a Brown County resident. She can be reached through the newspaper at newsroom@bcdemocrat.com.

Obituaries
See Full List »

Ronald Larry Williamson, 81, Columbus
  Brown County native

Billy Ray Salmon, 88, Nashville
  Namesake of the County Office Building's Salmon Room

James L. 'Jim' Richardson, 79, Brown County
  Husband of Sally (Holmes) Richardson

  • April 19
    Art of poetry program for adults, teens
    2 to 4 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • April 19
    'Cinderella' musical at BCHS
    2 p.m. BCHS, 235 School House Lane
  • April 19
    'Cinderella' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • April 20
    Helmsburg Sewage Board
    7 p.m. Brown County Community Church, 2370 Main St., Helmsburg
  • April 20
    BC Water Utility to elect two directors
    6 p.m., 7 p.m. Sprunica Elementary School, 3611 Sprunica Road
  • April 20
    BC Public Library Board of Trustees
    6 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • April 20
    Brown County Council
    6:30 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • April 21
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • April 21
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • April 21
    Nashville Development Review Commission hearing
    4:30 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • April 21
    CSCD Board of Directors
    7 p.m. CSLOA Clubhouse, 8751 Nineveh Road
  • April 21
    Art of poetry program for children
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • April 22
    BC Parks & Rec Board
    5:15 p.m. Parks & Rec Office, 1001 Deer Run Lane
  • April 22
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • April 22
    Free storm spotter training at Nashville Police Station
    6:30 to 8 p.m. Nashville Police Station, 200 Hawthorne Dr.
  • April 23
    Go Club at the library Thursdays
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • April 23
    Gospel jam & sing at Gnaw Bone church
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East
  • April 23
    'McFarland, USA' at the Playhouse
    7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • April 23
    Morel Mushroom Festival kickoff at music park
    from 7 p.m. Bill Monroe Music Park, 5163 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • April 24
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • April 24
    Wildflower foray slated at historic site
    TC Steele State Historic Site, 4220 T.C. Steele Road, Belmont
  • April 24
    'McFarland, USA' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • April 24
    Annual library plant sale
    3 to 6 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • April 24
    Morel Mushroom Festival at music park
    9 a.m. to midnight Bill Monroe Music Park, 5163 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • April 25
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • April 25
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • April 25
    Wildflower foray slated at historic site
    TC Steele State Historic Site, 4220 T.C. Steele Road, Belmont
  • April 25
    Art classes set for fourth Saturdays at winery
    3 to 5 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, Coachlight Square, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • April 25
    Women invited for free day of pampering
    10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hope for Hearts Farm, 1005 State Road 45, 1 mile west of 135/Bean Blossom
  • April 25
    Youth art show award presentation
    1 to 5 p.m. BC Art Guild, 48 S. Van Buren St.
  • April 25
    Plant sale planned at state park
    9 a.m. until all sold Brown County State Park, State Road 46 East
  • April 25
    Craft fair to support Brown County 4-H
    9 a.m. to 3 p.m. fairgrounds
  • April 25
    Annual library plant sale
    9 a.m. to noon Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • April 25
    Morel Mushroom Festival at music park
    9 a.m. to midnight Bill Monroe Music Park, 5163 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • April 26
    County history center dedication slated
    2 p.m. Brown County History Center, 90 E. Gould
  • April 26
    Wildflower foray slated at historic site
    TC Steele State Historic Site, 4220 T.C. Steele Road, Belmont
  • April 26
    'McFarland, USA' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • April 26
    Morel Festival gospel service at music park
    10 a.m. Bill Monroe Music Park, 5163 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • April 27
    BC Alcoholic Beverage Board
    11 a.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • April 28
    BC Area Plan Commission
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • April 28
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • April 29
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • April 30
    WRAPS
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • April 30
    Gospel jam & sing at Gnaw Bone church
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East
  • May 1
    Bingo
    5 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • May 1
    'Back to the Future' at the Playhouse
    7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • May 2
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Brown County State Park, State Road 46 East
  • May 2
    Spring Blossom Parade and food drive downtown
    11 a.m. downtown Nashville
  • May 3
    Read to a therapy dog at the library
    2 to 3:30 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • May 7
    BC photography club
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • May 9
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • May 9
    Open house conducted at New Song
    9 to 11 a.m. New Song Mission, 7202 Keith Donaldson Road, Freetown
  • May 14
    Local Coordinating Council
    8 a.m. Comm. Corrections Office, Suite B, lower level of Veterans Hall, 902 Deer Run Lane,
  • May 16
    Historic site hosts outdoor art contest
    7 a.m. to 4 p.m. TC Steele State Historic Site, 4220 T.C. Steele Road, Belmont