What a great time to move back to Indiana. My husband, daughter (a few days shy of 18 months), and I moved to Northeast Indiana just a few weeks ago. I haven't lived in the State since 2000 when I graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington. Initially I thought coming back would be a bit of culture shock, but everything is just as I left it. My dissertation is a few revisions away from being done (defense May 24) and it's great to be nearer to family and enjoy all the comforts of home.
2016 is momentous for other reasons, it's Indiana's bicentennial. I was asked to participate in the four-part PBS documentary celebrating the bicentennial only a few days after we moved. The film crew asked me questions about Ligonier's Jewish history, what lessons we could learn about its diverse past, and what makes me a Hoosier. Needless to say, the first two questions were much easier to answer. We'll see what makes the final cut, or if I even make it in the documentary at all.
When I was back in Ligonier I saw a few things that disturbed me. First, Creps' bakery closed. Creps' was home to the cream center doughnut and I have fond memories of Dan Replogle bringing these to our all-day cataloging work sessions. Bye bye Creps', you will be missed-especially by my daughter who never even had the chance to taste a cream center. Shall we hope you may reopen someday?
Second, I saw the "For Sale" sign outside Ahavath Sholom and what's more, after a recent storm, several asphalt shingles strew around the yard. My heart aches for this building as it sits waiting for a new owner. The community loves this "gem of Ligonier" and we all want to see it with a rightful caretaker and a new roof.
As I unpack boxes in my new house, I wonder... just who will unpack theirs at Ahavath Sholom? Will it be this year or next? Will it be a family or a business? Will it be locals or out-of-towners? It seems to risky to leave up to chance.