September 18, 2017
These pictures/story are from our July trip to Wisconsin;
I just realized I hadn’t posted them yet.
It was early evening and Steve, Sarah and I had been on the road since early morning. As a result, all of us were suffering from a severe case of what Steve likes to call,”T.B.” (Tired Butt.)
As various road signs flashed by announcing food options, we were all trying to decide if we could stand to stare down one more fast food burger. The basic consensus was a pretty big negatory but there didn’t seem to be any other option.
But then, what to our wondering eyes should appear? A sign advertising a Bob Evans restaurant!
We started thinking about all the non-burger fare available–salads, breakfast foods, BLT’s, baked potatoes, chicken salad and soups. We were sold!
The sign said the restaurant was about a mile and a half off the road. As we took the exit and trundled along looking for the usual cookie-cutter restaurant tucked in between a dozen other cookie-cutter restaurants, we were taken aback to find ourselves out in the country, out in the middle of absolutely nowhere.
Where had Mr. Evans and his plates of fabulous food disappeared to? Our hungry stomachs weren’t really in the mood for a tour through the Ohio countryside, lovely as it was.
And then we rounded a bend on that winding country road and saw a sight we hadn’t expected.
Bob Evans. Written on a silo.
It turns out we had just stumbled upon the original Bob Evans restaurant location and the homestead where Mr. and Mrs. Evans had raised their six children.
In short, we had arrived at the Bob Evans Mother Ship.
Well. We three Smiths snatched our collective collection of T.B.’s right out of the car and stood and stretched, all the while luxuriating in the balmy, early evening weather, the wide open spaces, and the beauty abounding on all sides.
I went into the restaurant with Steve and Sarah to order and then quickly headed back out the door for fifteen minutes of glorious wandering.
I was immediately presented with a wandering conundrum when I noticed that this barn had been painted a purple camo design while everything around it was painted in traditional farm colors.
Since curiosity is the middle names of all Smiths, I had to look it up.
It turns out that the Bob Evans company had given a military foundation $200,000 and also announced a plan to serve 6,000 meals to U.S. military service men and women. The barn was painted to illustrate Bob Evans’ ongoing support of the military.
This is the view from the front porch of the house. (The house is now a museum.)
I especially loved seeing this old dinner bell out back. I could only imagine Jewel Evans ringing that bell and calling her husband and flock of children in to dinner from all corners of their property. I have no doubt that those six kids were very well fed.
I mean, after all, their dad was Bob Evans!
I continued to poke around a while, so happy to not be confined in a car rolling down an endless freeway.
As I finally went back into the restaurant to eat, I noticed this sign near our table.
I absolutely loved that sentiment; its one I want to remember when I have guests in my own home.
In a world where people are so distracted and distanced from each other, sometimes something as basic as a simple, shared meal is enough to turn strangers into friends into family.
I’m thankful we happened to take that spur-of-the-moment exit; it was truly a treasured snippet of my life. For just a few minutes on that summer night, the Smith family crossed paths with the Evans family and we left refreshed by the decades of hospitality that still inhabit every corner and crevices of that farm and welcome every stranger as family.
And since I’m on the subject of traveling, here’s a little something fun we can do.
I know I have asked you before to leave a comment saying where you are from, but let’s change it up a little. This time, leave a comment about where you’re from, but don’t mention its name–whether it’s a town, a state, or a country.
Here are some examples of what I’m talking about:
Queen City of the south
Birthplace of Gone with the Wind
The original Home of Roddenberry Foods
Birthplace of Dr Pepper
If you see a description and you think you know where that place is, leave your guess under the comment.
(Edited to add: I had originally said to try and write down a location guess without looking it up on Google but I sure don’t want to squelch anyone’s curiosity! If you are dying to know, Google away! I just didn’t want to make things too easy! Also, if you want to pop back by in a day or two and write your location–if no one guessed–that would be fun, too!)
Thrift stores, fuzzy socks
and conversing with my Yorkie
are all on the list of things I love.