1. existing as the only one or as the sole example; single; solitary in type or characteristics: a unique copy of an ancient manuscript.
2. having no like or equal; unparalleled; incomparable: Bach was unique in his handling of counterpoint.
3. limited in occurrence to a given class, situation, or area: a species unique to Australia.
4. limited to a single outcome or result; without alternative possibilities: Certain types of problems have unique solutions.
5. not typical; unusual: She has a very unique smile.
My regular readers (I love you all) know that my 48 hours in Loogootee (la-go-de) were certainly unique.(that would be dictionary meaning #2)
I think dictionary meaning #3 was definitely experienced; especially as Curt and I drove down dusty rural dirt-roads and saw these signs everywhere.
This is not a “deer crossing” sign. Yes, this is Amish country in Indiana. However, if you “Google” Amish country Indiana, you will not find this place. What you will find is about 8 cities in northern Indiana that bid you welcome to tour their famous “quilt” barns, gorgeous clean farms, buy their delicious baked goods, stay in their cute bed and breakfast places, and maybe even order a famous Amish-made heater with a mantle.
No, this is a “conservative” group of Amish in southern Indiana who truly want to live out their lives according to their beliefs and “outsiders” are not sought out. I don’t know how many Amish farms there are in the Martin county area, but I drove by dozens. You will see no power lines, no tractors, but you will see beautiful big farm houses and barns. Every farm has draft horses galore, grazing alongside the buggy horses. I saw a remarkable little school house with children everywhere. It’s a large community. At least a dozen times we saw this sight out of our front window.
Just when I noticed we had power lines running along the road again, Curt made a turn down a paved county road and then onto another small dirt road. He pulled up in front of a most unique place. (Dictionary meaning #1)
Bill Larkin lives in a geodesic dome house and spends most of every day watering flowers and building bird houses. He’s made 850 bird houses so far this year and it’s just mid-May. Nothing is for sale. Everything is displayed inside or outside. Bill loves flowers, twinkle lights, bird houses, plastic birds, statues and painted rocks. His last count of items were: 9000 impatiens, 2000 marigolds, 80 tons of rock, 3150 bird houses and a huge bunch of painted birds, totem poles, stones, plastic butterflies, elves and children. I’ll give you a minute to digest my words. Go ahead…read that sentence again and we’ll continue.
So we have now satisfied all 5 meanings of my dictionary “word of the day.” Now you have formed an opinion that this guy must be nuts. I mean he told me watering alone takes about 6 hours a day. He’s a great guy, drinks a lot of beer, and loves people. He was a computer programmer at the Crane Warfare Center a few miles away. He retired in 2003 and doesn’t own a computer. He was as ordinary a guy as I’ve ever talked to.
But first, let’s start inside his dome home. Here’s a picture of my buddy and I standing in front of his TV. Let your eyes adjust. There are a lot of twinkle lights among the bird houses, butterflies, etc.
Here’s picture from the wrap-around porch out back.
OK, one more view and we’ll move on.
We left Bill’s house and I know my head was spinning. I kept thinking “why?” As we drove back into town (loogootee) we passed a large “home store” and I asked Curt to turn in. I bought 3 “unique” birdhouses and we drove back to Bill’s dome home. (I love saying that). When I gave them to him I told him to paint them in a “unique” way and tell people that some nut from California gave them to him
Then Bill gave me an ice cold beer