April 6, 2014

The Four Seasons of Indiana and Ruth J. Hartman

I’ve lived in Indiana my whole life. Different cities for different phases of my life, but always in the central to eastern area. Our little town is perched on the very edge of the state, teetering precariously, ready to topple into Ohio with a very strong wind.

I live out in the country surrounded by cornfields, deer and the wild cats I feed every day, who live in our shed. With an acre of land, we have a little bit of privacy, but neighbors are close enough if we feel the need to talk to someone besides each other.

When we’re out in the yard, we wave at passersby, most of whom are driving pick-up trucks, whether we know them or not. If my husband and I are taking a walk, our hands go up in greeting to any vehicle that drives by. We don’t even think about it. It’s a reflex, like Pavlov’s dog. That’s not a bad thing, though. I’m convinced the world will never see enough kindness, so we need to do our part.
If you love having all four seasons, then Indiana is for you. This winter, an especially tough one brought more snow and icy temperatures than Hoosiers had seen since the late 1970’s. Several feet of snow, frozen pipes and power outages became the norm.

Last summer was a scorcher with lots of sun and highs in the 90’s, which was great for our huge garden and fruit trees, but hard on those of us who wilt when the humidity reduces us to steamy puddles.

Give me fall, with leaves of red, orange and gold beneath a deep blue sky and cooler temperatures. Or spring, which will be especially treasured this year, as we look forward to a much-needed thaw.

Sure, everybody complained about this year’s winter, but how much sweeter will it be when spring finally does show up? I think we’ll appreciate the purple crocuses and yellow daffodils even more than most years. And even those are eclipsed by the birds. Lately I’ve noticed more robins and fat Carolina wrens hanging around. They always seem to sense spring before we do.

And when the goldfinches turn from brownish gold to bright yellow, we’ll know the birds were right. Spring is finally here.

Ruth J. Hartman lives with her husband of 31 years and their three spoiled indoor cats.  Her newest, The Unwanted Earl, releases this month. Visit her website, www.ruthjhartman.blogspot.com for news about her romance novels, memoir and children’s book.
(All pictures provided by author)


  1. Being from northern Iowa I understand the love of rural life. Since retiring we have considered moving south, but I think I would miss the changing of the seasons--even Winter.

  2. Nice post! I've been through Indiana four times and loved Ferdinand where we spent a night. I have a dear friend in Muncie--author Marta Stephens--and plan to visit her in the near future. Thanks for the post and best wishes with your books!

  3. Nice summary of love for your state. Definitely agree with raising a hand in greeting to passersby.

  4. This look at Indiana brought back so many memories of when I was young. It was a time where we also sat on the porch and waved to others. A time when you were not afraid to speak to anyone.

    How wonderful you may still experience this in your town. I envy you this. Wonderful piece, enjoyed it very much and the photos were fabulous.

  5. Ruth, your writing is very descriptive. Surely, your writing reflects it too. Some of my in-law's family are from Gary, Indiana. They always wanted me to go back with them to see their hometown. I never got a chance to go. You paint a wonderful picture of your place and her people.

  6. Thanks, everyone for your comments! Yes, we treasure the four seasons here and a community that feels most often like family. :)

  7. This winter has been particularly brutal to all of us in the Midwest.

    Your impressions of Indiana remind me that Indiana is like Illinois in that there is a split personality-thing going on in the state. I live in Chicagoland, up north, but my daughter goes to school downstate, and I went to college in north-western Illinois. The rural areas are NOTHING like the cities.
    Thanks for sharing.

  8. I'm a little farther north, but I agree with you. Having all four seasons is the best, even though extreme summer and winter can be difficult.

  9. I love your post and also love the four seasons. I grew up in Pennsylvania and when I moved to Texas I really missed the changing of the seasons, but didn't want to move back to PA, too much snow. That's why I settled in Arkansas. Four season, but a very short winter.

  10. Hi, Ruth,
    As a former resident of Indiana (I lived in Bloomington for 3 years), I know how beautiful the state is. I haven't spent much time in the eastern part of the state, except to pass through it driving to and from school, but I always loved its rural character. Thanks for the tour!

  11. I enjoyed your description of Indiana. As a cat lover, I'm happy to know you're taking care of the feral cats.

    East Coast born and bred, I've never been to the middle of our country except when I went cross country by train many years ago with my family and we passed through some of the midwest, but not Indiana. You make Indiana sound like a place I'd like to visit. I like your book covers too

  12. I live in Albion (probably east of you), and wouldn't live anywhere else ... except during winter. :-)

  13. I am enjoying this trip through all the states, with colorful writing shared by many great authors!

    By the way -- Arkansas has four seasons too, but the winters aren't as harsh and (at least here in the Ozarks) the summers not as hot.


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