Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Indiana: The Learn the States Postcard Swap

imageThe has come to send 49 postcards through the postal system as part of our participation in the Learn the States Postcard Swap.  (Actually we are mailing 50 cards – which I find a little bit odd because though there are 50 states in our Union,  I have chosen to not send ourselves an Indiana postcard.  So in reality shouldn’t I be mailing 49 postcards?  No matter, because in theory we should receive the same amount of postcards back that we ship out.) 

May life 069(Postcards we have received since February.) 

Anyhoo, as we were hiking the other day in search of spring water to make Water Kefir Soda (more on that endeavor later) I had this great idea if on our postcard we included a link to “The Blog.”  And at “The Blog,” I would include some additional fast facts about Indiana, so that those involved in the postcard swap could

1.) meet some of their fellow swappers and

2.) not have to search the internet for pictures of Indiana. 

I don’t know what anyone else does with their postcards, but when we receive our postcards, we look up pictures of the state tree, bird, flag, etc.,  in addition to coloring a picture from one of three books:

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We sent out three different postcards . . . sorry if you didn’t get the one you liked!

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The information included on each postcard (for those of you who didn’t receive a postcard . . . since you aren’t part of “the swap”)  was as follows:

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Indiana became the 19th state on December 11, 1816.  Our capital is Indianapolis, which is about an 18 mile bike commute from our house.  Not that I would have any reason to know that . . . or that the “record time” to travel downtown is currently held by a man named Brian who made it in 58 minutes. 

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Originally, the capital was Corydon.  By 1825, it moved to Indianapolis.  There was a huge push to transform our state from a wilderness frontier into a thriving metropolitan location on the map.  As a result, large amounts of money were spent on roads, canals, schools, and railroads.  It nearly bankrupt the state, but it did help us acquire the name “Crossroads of America.”  

To this day, people use our vast amounts of highway to transport them to the greatest spectacle in racing, known as the Indianapolis 500.  This is the day that my dad washes and waxes his cars, while thousands of fans watch some of the world’s fastest cars defy death (hopefully) for 200 laps around a 2 1/2 mile oval track!

Indiana is the 38th largest state in size, with a total of total area of 36,418 square miles of land.  Five United States vice presidents come from this land.  An estimated 164 people live per square mile.  Other famous “Hoosiers” are Larry Bird, Theodore Dreiser, Michael Jackson, John Cougar Mellencamp, Dan Quayle, Cole Porter, Kurt Vonnegut, and Wilbur Wright.

In our state, you will see a lot of farms, cattle, soybeans, and corn.  I am thankful for the many small farms that remain because we have some amazing Farmer’s Markets and a great company that exists to deliver food to many Hoosiers’ front doors called Farm Fresh

saurkraut 055(These particular cows supply our milk.  Really.) 

And the weather?  Well . . . it depends on who you are if you like our weather.  We certainly have 4 very distinct seasons.  In the winter, on some rare occasions, it can dip below 0 degrees Fahrenheit.  Typically, though, our winters hover between 17 degrees and 35 degrees Fahrenheit.  And the summer . . . hot and humid!!!!  But it makes for great gardens!  The highest recorded temperate was 116 degrees Fahrenheit in 1936.  But normal is somewhere in the 80’s and lower 90’s. 

May life 072(What is currently growing in my sons’ garden.) 

The state bird, a cardinal, reminds me of my grandmother who LOVED cardinals.    We saw a cardinal on a recent hike . . . and he didn’t cooperate by looking our way.  Not to mention that I forgot my zoom lens . . . so I cropped this photograph severely to allow you to see his beautiful red color.  And how do I know that the bird is a “he?”  Well, boy birds are more colorful. 

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Our state flower, the peony, is a flower that I have struggled to grow.  In seven years of living at our house, I have only had one bloom from this plant, which was last year.  You often see it in red, pink, yellow or white. 

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The state tree is the Liriodendron tulipifera.  I do not have a picture available to show you . . . so I guess you will have to follow the link I provided to see our tree.  (It was also a favorite of my grandma’s.)

Our flag is one that I have never owned but often see flying.


Thirteen stars shall be arranged in an outer circle, representing the original thirteen states; five stars shall be arranged in a half circle below the torch and inside the outer circle of stars, representing the states admitted prior to Indiana; and the nineteenth star, appreciably larger than the others and representing Indiana shall be placed above the flame of the torch. The outer circle of stars shall be so arranged that one star shall appear directly in the middle at the top of the circle, and the word "Indiana" shall be placed in a half circle over and above the star representing Indiana and midway between it and the star in the center above it. Rays shall be shown radiating from the torch to the three stars on each side of the star in the upper center of the circle.

Our governor, known during election as “My Man Mitch,” is Governor Mitch Daniels.  His daughters names all begin with the letter “M.”


Why are we called “Hoosiers?”  Well, that is a good question.  I have read a lot of different stories.  If you find yourself having some time and are so inclined, you can read about five different theories regarding our name.  

We are known as a basketball state.  Surely you have heard of the college basketball team from BUTLER?  And I’ll have you know that my husband and I went to high school with the coach of that team, Brad Stevens.  That is our claim to fame.  Just kidding.  It is almost weird if you don’t see a basketball hoop in someone’s driveway.  I guess that is why the movie, Hoosiers, did so well.  Other popular professional sports teams that make their home in Indiana are the Colts, the Pacers, the Firebirds, and the Fever. 

It is interesting to note that the very first successful goldfish farm in the United States was located in Martinsville, Indiana, in 1899.

boat race 002(Perhaps that is where our fish, Nemo, descended from.  He is still alive.  Still.  It has been since October.) 

And like India, not every county in our state observes the same time zone.  Talk about confusing.  Also, try telling your child it is time to go to bed (during the summer) when it is still light out at 10 PM! 

And that is Indiana, at least from my perspective.  Thanks to everyone who has sent us a postcard thus far, and we look forward to meeting the rest of you!

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