Don’t blink – Lapel, Indiana

Only hinting at the forgotten dreams of founders long gone, small towns guard their gifts from the casual masses – those frenzied motorists passing through in high speed metal, growling at the single stoplight that checks their headlong rush to nowhere.

These unpretentious jewels in the Heartland lie waiting for the observant and the few.

Slowing, we turned off the state road and bumped over the railroad tracks. As our car slipped through the sleepy town, the items lining the sidewalk first caught our attention, peaking latent curiosity. We almost missed it. Behind a brick and mortar storefront quietly labored an artist whose heart over filled the building from the floor to the high ceiling.

“I ran out of nails,” a white haired gentleman explained, sitting in his chair in no hurry to get up. Looking around, we began asking questions.

Willing to talk and feeling our interest, he became eager to give us something personal. He showed us his handiwork and expounded upon his love of natural wood and added a perch to the birdhouse we chose.

For a brief moment in time we caught his fervor and entered into his passion for the lowly discarded fencing and fallen branches soon to be re-purposed into rustic usability.

There was a relaxed atmosphere pervading the air around us as the car slid slowly through the intersection. Soon a wren house will be hung on the fence in the back yard, and with that wren house hang memories of a quiet moment shared with an artisan because we slowed down in a small town.