A weekend full of firsts can come in many forms

“I need a 6-foot piece of 3-inch schedule 80, with a 3-inch transition adapter flat metal stamp and plastic collar guard.”

That’s what you say when the REMC contractors are nearly ready to take down the overhead line and heat up the new meter for the underground line, except they realize your outside meter is missing a necessary piece. So contractor Greg told me exactly what to say to the ever-helpful Lowe’s employee in the electrical section … and I felt like I learned a new language.

Ever experience a week of “Well, that was a first?”

After they installed the underground line, I had the pleasure of looking out my kitchen window for the first time in 24 years without viewing the electrical line. Thanks to Johnson County REMC and their contractors, like Greg.

In another well-that-was-a-first turn of events last Saturday, I found myself wandering around the elaborate gardens of Don and Kathy Smith in Floyds Knobs, with umbrella in hand to deflect the pouring rain. The founder of the Midwest Peony Society, the Smiths have more than 300 peonies with sculptures from Hoosier artists sprinkled in. Gardeners are a unique breed of people, and the Smiths invited the entire busload of 31 dripping, raincoated people into their home at 9 a.m. to view some of their exquisite artwork.

As we removed our wet shoes and tiptoed across their oriental carpet to view the collection, the Smiths mentioned they had donated a half-million dollars worth of artwork to Indiana University and are loaning part of their personal Hoosier Art collection to the Indiana Museum of Art for the state’s 2016 bicentennial celebration.

Hoosier hospitality at its best and another well-that-was-a-first experience for 31 of us.

The “firsts” continued:

A gorgeous ginko tree with an 18-foot circumference, bald cypress, cedar of Lebanon and a 200-year-old beech stand among the 500 varieties of trees and shrubs on the 296 acres at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky. Cave Hill is Louisville’s only arboretum and has 26 of the largest tree species growing in Kentucky. And just in case I was boring you with the horticulture information, Cave Hill is also the burial site of kindergarten teacher Patty Hill, who wrote the “Happy Birthday” song, and has a section near one of the five of spring-fed lakes that is a national cemetery for 5,500 soldiers killed in the Civil War.

We also toured the private LinCliff estate of Steve Humphrey and his wife, novelist Sue Grafton (best known for her alphabet mystery novels “A is for Alibi”). Humphrey showed us the gardens full of fastigiate hornbeam, weeping copper beech and espaliered apple trees surrounding their 15,000-foot 1912 mansion perched over the Ohio River. As you read this, they have a tent set up overlooking the Ohio River for their annual Kentucky Derby Party.

Cheers to hoping you have a weekend full of “firsts.”