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What I Learned This Week – 10/2/16

This week I learned that Lena’s Italian Restaurant in Blissfield, Michigan still has the best pizza I have ever eaten.

I was told by my asbestos friend, whose opinion on pizza I highly respect, that Pizza Junction in Huntington, Indiana was the best pizza ever. (She is the one who introduced me to Lena’s, afterall*.) She knew of it because she had attended Huntington College back in the day.

She has mentioned several times that Pizza Junction was the best pizza ever. I really wanted to test that theory, but I knew I would never go all that way without her. And when she made the pilgrimage, it was always a family affair.

I looked up Pizza Junction on Facebook, only to discover that it is named that because it located in an old train depot that still has railroad tracks next to it that used to be part of the Wabash line. There were even videos of a classic steam engine roaring by at high speed. Now, if you have stopped by this page very much at all, you will realize that my family is a little crazy about trains. Last year I redid my son’s room to look like a train station. M flipped when he saw the Pizza Junction videos.

My asbestos friend’s husband was out of town. So I snuck into her car and put in a cassette tape with hidden subliminal messages for her to take me to Pizza Junction.

What, you don’t believe me? She totally has a cassette player in her car.

Actually, I just sent her a suggestive text or two about how lovely it would be to go. So when the opportunity presented itself to us the very next day to accompany my asbestos friend and her brood to Indiana, we took her up on it.

The road trip was awesome, even being squeezed six into a car. We saw two Norfolk Southern trains go by as we ate in the station, and they were flying. The bruschetta was excellent. The pizza was great, but not quite as good as Lena’s, in my humble opinion. We explored a place called the Sunken Gardens, photos from which you will see below.

Sidenote: Last weekend a memorial was erected in our local cemetery to honor the long-ignored Italian immigrant victims of the 1901 Wabash crash just north of Seneca in Lenawee County, MI. Then my family went about figuring out about where the crash might have occurred. That track is now run by  Norfolk Southern.

Some people were very happy to arrive at Sunken Gardens

Some people were very happy to arrive at Sunken Gardens

I could have stayed her for a very long time...until it started to get cold.

I could have stayed here for a very long time…until it started to get cold.

FYI: The journey of 252 miles starts by back tracking to home.

FYI: The journey of 252 miles starts by back tracking to home.

If we could have traveled by train, we may have gotten to Pizza Junction quicker.

And consuming orange juice is like drinking sunshine.

*Expressing “afterall” as one word is a conscious, stylistic decision made by the blogger.


Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!

Spiral Slide

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This isn't THE slide. But this is a similar one I found a picture of, so that you can get an idea.

When I was growing up, I always remembered that there used to be a big metal spiral slide in the park in town. I think I may have only gotten to play on it once in my life. Maybe during a kindergarten picnic. When I was little, I really liked slides. I think that may have been the only spiral slide I had ever seen. (I didn’t get out much. I was only six.)

Notice how I said “used to be”. The local gossip I had always heard was that they had removed the spiral slide from the park because some kid got hurt on it. I was always mad about that. For like 15 years. I know how to hold a grudge. How bad could the kid have been hurt, anyway?

Years later, I had started dating my future husband. We were in the car, headed somewhere. Probably looking for somewhere to make out. I think I looked at the park and what usually ran through my mind came out my mouth as well. Something like, “I can’t believe they took out the spiral slide just cause some kid got hurt.” Hopefully, I didn’t say much more than that. There is a reason why I can’t remember. That is because my future husband looked at me with an “I see dead people” expression and told me he was the kid. I thought he was joking. Then I didn’t know if he was joking or if he was serious. Finally I let it lay in case he was serious.

What are the chances?

Talk about a small world. Apparently when he fell he fractured his skull. Which sounds bad enough, but recently we talked to his cousin who was older at the time it happened and could remember more. Apparently he also stopped breathing and the fire department had to revive him. Scary stuff. Especially on a four year old.
I can’t believe in all the years I knew that story, I never knew who it was. His sister was in my grade in school and I still didn’t know. (Now, everyone knew which kid got his arm ripped off on the bridge—he was the kid in school with one arm.) If my husband hadn’t of made it that day, my son wouldn’t be the blond-haired (shut up, it isn’t red), blue-eyed, curious cutie he is today. It is amazing how our lives can be changed by tiny moments. (See my great-great-great-great grandparents falling through the ice.)

And it is also amazing how easy it is for one to put one’s foot in one’s mouth.

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