Back home again in Indiana
Southern Indiana sounds like a great place to live if you listen to Elonda Mix and Andrew Shirmeyer.
‘We’re very excited about the area,’ said Shirmeyer, 26.
Attractions they’re especially interested in include the Hoosier National Forest, the public caves, lakes and the Ohio River.
They also like the ‘nice’ people they’ve met here. ‘Most people want to go out of their way to help,’ Mix said.
Mix is from northern Indiana. ‘It’s real flat,’ she said. For the couple, Southern Indiana’s topography is a welcome contrast.
‘We had been talking about getting back to Indiana,’ Shirmeyer said. ‘We like the idea of a smaller community.’
He and Mix, 25, moved to Harrison County in mid-May from Durham, N.C., when Mix accepted the position as program technician for the Farm Service Agency located in Corydon. The FSA serves Harrison, Crawford and Floyd counties.
‘North Carolina was nice, but we wanted to come home,’ said Mix, a native of Shelbyville.
The couple met while at Ball State University in Muncie. Shirmeyer, a native of Fort Wayne, earned a bachelor of science degree in 2000 in natural resources, specifically outdoor recreation management. He had a minor in biology.
Mix earned her B.S. in 2001 in natural resources and environmental management.
In North Carolina, Mix worked with AmeriCorp and was the environmental education coordinator for the soil and water department. She became a certified environmental educator for the state. The last 1-1/2 years she was employed by the Durham Farm Service Agency.
‘I’m excited about learning new stuff, to broaden my horizons,’ Mix said.
She has been meeting producers here, and she said she’ll be happy when she gets to know them by name. As part of her duties at the FSA office in Corydon, Mix will help customers at the counter and handle the computers.
Shirmeyer quit his job in Durham to return to Indiana with Mix. He’s looking for employment. In North Carolina, he was a wildlife biologist for four years for a private company that removed unwanted critters from businesses and homes. That included snakes, bats, squirrels, raccoons and opossums. Some of the creatures were relocated, if possible; others were taken to rehabilitators. Some had to be destroyed, depending on the circumstances.
‘The job was as much educational for the people as anything,’ Shirmeyer said. ‘It was very interesting.’
Besides outdoor activities, Mix enjoys reading fiction and non-fiction. In North Carolina, she took hip-hop dance lessons. One of her main ‘hobbies’ was working at Old Navy.
Shirmeyer volunteered as a firefighter for a district on the outskirts of Durham. He also does woodworking and carvings ‘ several items are displayed in the couple’s rented duplex in southern Harrison Township.
The couple said they will miss the hockey and baseball games and some of the local restaurants in North Carolina, but, Mix said, ‘We’re not going to miss the noise and crime.’