Michiana Chronicles

The Michiana Chronicles writers bring portraits of our life and times to the 88.1 WVPE airwaves every Friday at 7:35 am during Morning Edition and over the noon hour at 12:30 pm during Here and Now. Michiana Chronicles was first broadcast in October 2001. Contact the writers at chronicles@wvpe.org and thanks for listening!

My friend is rehabbing a two-story brick house in the big city, renewing that sturdy old beast and contributing something of his own to an urban neighborhood that is making its comeback. I stop by once in a while to check out the progress. Cooler than cool but almost invisible are the twenty new solar panels up on the flat roof, with their web app that graphs how much electricity each panel generates on sunny as well as shady days.

April Lidinsky

As a nerdy kid with a competitive streak, I thought of summer reading as both a sprint and a marathon. My local library didn't host a “summer reading challenge,” so my only competition was myself … but I’m sorry to say how much I enjoyed flaunting my long list of conquered titles. Now, as a nerdy proto-crone with a competitive streak, I still relish this feeling.

Michiana Chronicles: The End Of The Line

Jun 8, 2018
Sid Shroyer

Back in April, that first weekend when it seemed like winter would, in fact, end, a group of Kiwanis fellows got together to pick up the trash along State Road 2 between Mayflower and the bypass.

This was my first time to the task, being a new member, and if I say I was surprised by the amount rubbish along the road, that would suggest that I’d given it some thought, which I hadn’t, really.  

“Sometimes you have a little trouble taking ‘no’ for an answer, don’t you?” That’s what Larry, my beloved, has said to me in the past when I have been, well, having trouble taking “no” for an answer.

Puppy Love

May 25, 2018
Andrew Kreider

Last year, my grandma died, my dad died, my car died, and my dog died.    Out of all of these, the one I had the most trouble mourning was the dog.  This is sort of surprising, because I never used to be a dog person.  But then we had kids.  And then one of our kids wanted a dog.  And then everybody wanted a dog.  My wife and I were having coffee at Barnes and Noble one night when it hit me.  I said to her, “We’re getting a dog, aren’t we?”  She just smiled.

And the very next week it happened.  April the dog adopted our family.

Just Looking

May 18, 2018
Heather Curlee-Novak

Sometimes a person wants a big change.  Life can get too easy or predictable.  I’ve been married for 11 years to my handsome husband. We have two kids, one dog, two guinea pigs and a fifteen cent goldfish that could survive a nuclear bomb. I love my life but wanted something new.  I wanted something younger and more exciting and so I did what anyone in my situation would do: I went online.  Pictures say a thousand words and I spent several weeks swiping left or swiping right looking for that special someone.  Before you judge me, you should know my husband was into it.

Trippin'

May 11, 2018
Jeanette Saddler-Taylor

Oh good, you’re here. Please come and sit down so that I can show you the 2713 (According to mathematician Larry, that’s a prime number.) pictures that I took on my recent trip. What? This is radio, and you can’t see them and thus are spared from this “opportunity.” Well then, a thousand words, give or take, will have to suffice.

April Lidinsky

Today, I offer an argument: States divide themselves one of two ways: by longitude, or latitude. For example, I grew up in Colorado, where the eastern flatlanders have little in common with western Coloradans who notch their belts by the lofty 14-ers they’ve climbed. And among western Coloradans, please don’t mistake the east-of-the-Continental Dividers from true Western Slopers. The Colorado state of mind is organized by longitude, fine-sliced on the vertical. 

 

At the Climbing Wall

Apr 27, 2018
At the climbing wall.
Courtesy of the author.

Driving south in the early spring is an excellent kind of time travel. In Michiana last weekend the magnolia buds were just thinking about opening and the tulips weren’t even close. But down in Bloomington on Saturday bulbs rioted on the street corners, the spring-flowering trees reached out gaudily on almost every block, and the grass needed cutting. Walkers and saunterers were out, uh, walking and sauntering, stylish patrons stood in lines in front of restaurants for the open-air seating, and I put on a baseball cap so I didn’t get a sunburn up there. 

Something There Is That Doesn't Love a Wall

Apr 20, 2018

I grew up in a place where people had “jobs.” The first time the word “career” hit me I was 15, listening to a song called “Here We Are in the Years,” on the first Neil Young album, that Joe Petro lent me, on the little yellow G-E “Wildcat” record player in my room.

...Lives become careers

……Let us out of here

Facing the Tiger

Apr 13, 2018

The best art is not tame, but wild, like a caged animal whose enclosure seems at first to be a protective barrier but expands and grows around us, so that almost before we know it we are alone with the tiger. Such art convicts us of our inadequacies, helping us to live with a refreshed sense of honesty. It makes us more serious about our lives. This happened to me in Tokyo last year, and I’ve been reliving the experience all this week during the visit of Taiko drummer Erika Fujii.

Andrew Kreider

Did you know it’s possible to kill a cactus?  I didn’t… until I did.  My friends, never trust an Englishman with your cactus.

Last fall, the day she left for college, my daughter decided to buy me a going-away present – a plant for my cubicle at work.  Let’s get you something simple, she said.  How about a cactus?  That should be easy enough for you to take care of.

Mug Stories

Mar 30, 2018
Heather Curlee-Novak

I have a question to ask you, friends…and all of you can answer this one, probably without too much embarrassment: How many coffee mugs are in your kitchen cabinet at this moment?  When this sentence formed in my mind I realized I would have to answer it myself: I have eighteen mugs in the cabinet and one on the counter, dirty.  I honestly do not know how my mug number reflects on me.  What is the average number of mugs in other people’s cabinets?  We have a tiny kitchen and there is truly not room for one more mug, but I am loathe to part with them.  Each mug tells a story.  Each mug carr

“My little body is aweary of this great world.” Portia blurts that out early on in “The Merchant of Venice,” and it’s one of my favorite Shakespeare quotes. Being something of a blurter myself, I empathize with both her method of expression and her sentiment. Frankly, I’m disgusted with having to be in this mood though. Here it is spring; life should be full of beauty and promise, but my mood is one of a great big whine: a spring-slump.

The OpEd Project

Question: How do you know for sure if yours is a bonafide nerd family? Answer: When 3 out of 4 of you are either college students or teachers, and 4 out of 4 of you happily spend the first day of Spring Break inside a classroom. Specifically, we sat in a seminar room above the Goodman Theater in Chicago with late-winter sunshine pouring through the plate glass windows while we began to wrestle our ideas into column-length arguments suitable for publication.

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