My Thoughts About One of My Favorite Places--Northeastern Indiana's Amish Country

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Rollin' Like a Tourist

So, Gary and I decided to take care of some errands the other day, and it turned into a very nice day out in Shipshewana.  We used to be tourists here (well, first me, and then us) for thirty years before we moved here five years ago, so we've seen it from both sides.  I'd forgotten how nice a few hours in Shipshewana can be!

Since I was with a man, first things first: food.  I had seen some info on Facebook about a new food trailer called Guilt Free Protein Donuts, and I was intrigued.  If they're as good as they look, this is going to be a new obsession for me!  But since it was a flea market day, she was camped out there, so we decided to wait for another time.  When I finally catch up with her, I'll do a blog post on her food.

So we went to one of our favorite eating places instead—Millie's Market Café on the top floor of the Davis Mercantile building.  As usual, the service was excellent, as was the food.  Always a winner.  I got the grilled cheese sandwich from the children’s menu, and Gary got roast beef.

There’s an awesome candy store on the third floor of Davis Mercantile too, and my husband would never let that get past him, so soon I was walking out with a pound of dark chocolate covered nuts and a smile on my face.

I'm a new grandma these days—a real treat, since I didn't get married until I was 52 and I thought that ship had sailed!  On the last visit to suburban Chicago (where we're from) to visit the grandkids, I brought along a 50-piece jigsaw puzzle.  I've never done a jigsaw puzzle in my life, so I figured my 3-year-old grandgirl and I would be on equal footing!...  We had lots of fun with it, so from now on, I'm The Grandma Who Brings a Puzzle and I had to stock up at the toy store across the hall from Millie's.  That toy store is seriously amazing, and I'm gonna need to write about that place too.

Didn’t find the puzzle I wanted, though, so the next stop was the actual puzzle store on the second floor of Davis Mercantile.  What a dizzying array of puzzles!  Not a ton of puzzles for young children, but I did find two excellent ones, 60 pieces each, for myself and the grandgirl.

Next stop was the excellent Lang Store on the main floor of Davis Mercantile.  Every fall we get a wall calendar there—something beautiful to hang in the wooden calendar holder near our kitchen cabinets.  As always, we found a lovely one there.  

Back in the Jeep…  I had wanted to check out the new consignment clothing store in town, so Gary dropped me off there next, while he went over to Yoder’s Meat and Cheese.  The consignment store is new and is run by a couple of Mennonites.  They have both Mennonite and Amish specialty clothes, and also regular clothes.  I walked out with a new shirt and a promise to myself to do a blog post on the store, after my sister and I spend some time there next week.  It is called Graceful Threads Consignment, and is located on State Road 5, south of downtown Shipshe, near East of Chicago Pizza.

Next stop was Yoder Popcorn, at their beautiful new store south of downtown at the corner of 5 and 20.  Their microwave popcorn with butter has spoiled us for all other popcorn, so we try to keep a few boxes in the cabinet, and our supply was dangerously low!  I wrote about Yoder Popcorn a few years ago, at their old location south of town (which is now a veterinary clinic), and I have a blog post half-finished on the subject of their new location.  Here’s a preview:

And last but not least: Gary has been wanting an old pot or pail for a mum we bought, and I’ll take any excuse to go to my favorite Amish junkyard, Glick's—where buggies go to die.  Seems like a funny stop for a typical tourist, you say?  Perhaps so, but I have done a private tour where the couple specifically asked that I take them there—and they loved it!  This time, Gary found his pail, and I couldn’t leave without some more “rusty junk” for my garden.  I wrote about Glick's in this post.

On the way home, Gary helpfully pointed out that the big wheel above wasn’t going to stay vertical in my garden—where I wanted to set it up to add height to an area—and suggested I might want to have a big spike or something welded to it, to use as a stake in the ground.  We are familiar with at least four good Amish welding places in the area—Six Mile, Architecture, Hilltop, and Shady Lane—so this time, we stopped at Shady Lane, which is right down the road from where we live in Middlebury.  Fifteen minutes later we drove away with a long spike welded to one edge of the wheel and only $10 poorer—after talking a bit to the owner about the recent and tragic death of his wife at age 51.  They’re a good family and my heart hurts for him.

Soon we were back home, remembering why we used to spend weekends out here!  Our tummies were full and Gary had a 2023 calendar, some ground sirloin, cheese, and an old bucket.  I had chocolates, puzzles, a new shirt, popcorn, and rusty junk.  It was a very good day!

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