Archives For indiana


Claudia Jean Isley

During the past few years, my Grandma Claudy has gone from Grandma to one of my best friends. It’s rare we go a few days without an email or phone call and her sound life advice is something I’ve leaned on heavily as I made life transitions. She knows the details of my life possibly more than anyone else and always asked the right questions – always. I’m decently sure she could give T a run for his paper as a journalist.

She’s also the most enthusiastic fan of Rural Gone Urban.

If you’re an avid creeper, you’ve seen her comments on posts. What you don’t see is that they’re always followed up with by an email and most often a phone call. “I just read it like I’m there. Write more adventures, Brookie.”

So for my biggest blogging fan, I write this post.

My grandma passed away this week. Through tears, I seek peace knowing that in the end, she won. No, she didn’t have a long, painful battle with an illness. She had a minor surgery that went terribly, terribly wrong. But, she won.

You see, right now she’s rejoicing in heaven with our Heavenly Father and her son, my earthly father.

She gave me my infamous “k. bye.,” my nose, my ridiculous laugh, my creativity and hopefully – my outlook on life. She was just so – nice. 

This morning I submitted her obituary to the local paper. It seems fitting it could have real-estate on Rural Gone Urban, too.

Claudia Jean Isley
September 25, 1944 – April 21, 2014
Franklin, Indiana

Claudia Jean Isley was a lover of westerns, Saturday girls’ lunch, the color purple and bragging endlessly about her talented and wonderful children and granddaughters.

She passed away on April 21, 2014, and it was fiercely too soon.

Claudia, 69, graduated from Franklin High School in 1962 and then earned her cosmetology license. Her chair became a haven for many; unintentionally but importantly, it made her an instrumental pillar of the community.

She recently retired after 25 years at the Indiana Masonic Home Beauty Shop.

Selfless to her core, Claudia often took cookies to local librarians and firefighters for protecting the Dewey Decimal System and civilians, respectively.

Her family brought great joy to her life. Whether she was exploring new beaches with Chris; sitting on the patio with JR and his wife, Tina; cheering for Sydney during swim meets or watching Gidget marathons with Brooke, her desire to make small moments big memories will leave a lasting impression on those who hold her dear to their hearts.

Claudia, deeply loved by so many, will be missed for her thoughtful nature, sweet giggle and quick-witted personality. Reasonable, honest and kind, her life advice was useful – and uniquely hers.

She is survived by two children, Carl Richard Isley Jr. (Tina) and Christina René Isley, and two grandchildren, Brooke Isley Clay Haney (Travis) and Sydney Isley.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Wreatha Liss; sister, Crystal States; and son, Charlton Ronald Isley.

Rev. Charles Stanley will preside over the memorial service on Friday, April 25, 2014 at 2 p.m at Flinn and Maguire Funeral Home, 2898 North Morton Street, (U.S. 31 North) in Franklin.

Friends may call on Thursday, April 24, 2014 from 4 – 8 p.m. at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks you donate to the Johnson County Public Library overdue book fund and to do for others before you consider yourself, laugh until it hurts, find joy in seemingly small moments and spend a Saturday morning watching westerns.

Today, I hope you can make a small difference in someone’s life. Do it for Grandma Claudy.

k. bye.

Whirlwind.

08.29.12 — 1 Comment

Everyone’s life is a whirlwind, right?  This month I’ve been on two significant road trips and one amazing plane-trip. Somewhere in the middle I’ve managed to lose a new BCBG pump (just one), cover a Reckless Kelly concert, dress like a superhero, fall in love with Crossfit.

Of all the chaos, the epicenter of my world is my family. This is why I didn’t hesitate to drive for 12 hours to stay for 24 and drive another 12 hours home. Spending a Saturday night at my cousin’s wedding was one of the most memorable nights of August – and maybe my life.

We were raised as a tight group where cousins are more like siblings and aunts and uncles are staples in a lot of life decisions. Even though half way through my childhood my parents moved us 700 miles away to Oklahoma, I’ve found that not every family is as close as we are. As the sixth oldest granchild of 10 (on just one side of the family) life is never dull.

Sitting at the cousins table during the wedding we laughed as we talked about the first time someone got into trouble in grade school, someone driving the odyssey through a garage door and a million other stories that were so ridiculous they shouldn’t make an appearance on the blog.

There were tiny humans. Everywhere. Sitting in the pew was the equivalent of sitting in an all you can eat buffet of candy, crackers and things-that-make-children-quiet-during-weddings.

Am I mature enough to hold in giggles during a perfectly timed “uh oh,” during the ceremony. Absolutely not.

It’s crazy to think that this entire family story started sixty-something years ago when my grandparents (the most legit people in the western hemisphere) decided to make a family. Sometimes I wonder if they knew what they were getting into.

My grandpa restored the first tractor he ever owned just for this wedding. The tractor secured the wedding’s spot as a perfect “Pinterest Wedding.”

Not a day passes that I’m not thankful for this whirlwind of a life – and the characters who make it so wonderful.

Thank you.

04.18.12 — Leave a comment

If we’re social media friends (and in real life friends) you may have noticed I made an impromptu road trip my birthplace. Aka: Indiana. It’s true, it was for a funeral. And, I truly thank you for the encouraging texts, phone calls, emails, tweets (I could keep going here…) I know, with all my heart, my Papaw is in a better place, a cancer-free place, and I look forward to joining him someday to talk basketball.

To me, he’ll always be the man who bought me my first basketball goal. Which lead to hours upon hours of playing “HORSE,” with my little sister.

The man who played Santa Claus at Christmas.

And, the man who forgot he was an IU fan just long enough to put an Oklahoma State sticker on his car.

It’s truly astonishing how wonderful my friends are. I’m thankful for each of you every day, without fail.


When you get in your not-mid but not-early-yet-either twenties, you start to look around and see who your real friends are. It’s not some epic event that happens, and it doesn’t just happen to a few people – it’s just part of life.

I have this friend, Jenna. & She’s pretty awesome. She was my first friend outside of my cousin realm. Which, is a really big deal when you’re the only girl in a house full of boy cousins.

By the way – can someone please appreciate those turqouise pants I’m wearing in this throwback picture?

We {Jenna and I}  talk on the phone every few weeks and when I happen to make it back to the 317 we always, always, meet up for a trip to the outlet mall and/or lunch.

During my Easter trip ‘back home,’ Jenna took me to the cutest place – with this blog in mind! The Cafe Patachou in Carmel, Indiana, is uh-mazing.  It’s the ‘Student Union for Adults.’ For the record: I can get on board with that.


The chalk board wall was right up my newly urban alley. We need one of these in Oklahoma City. I pinky-promise I’ll go atleast twice a week for lunch.


It’s apparently where the cool kids go. Thanks, Jenna, for letting me be a cool kid!


Tuesday I joined in on a twitter #foodchat session. To one of the questions I replied I let my pocketbook and my tummy decide where I’m going to eat. This place is deffinetly somewhere I want to eat.


On my next trip back we’re going to have to work on our picture taking skills. Because this Wilson-Wilson picture just isn’t cutting it, Jenna!


8 grandparents. 8 aunts. 11 uncles. 24 first cousins. 9 baby friends. (two I’ve never met)

I come from a very normal American family. Read as: functionally dis-functional.

They all live in one teeny-tiny county in Central Indiana. Thanks to the witness relocation program, I don’t. Neither do my parents or siblings. My siblings are just now able to drive. {remember: functionally dis-functional.} I was the accident on the top-side.

This is going somewhere – I promise.

Next week is Easter. Which means, I’m loading up the ninja (my stealthy black gas guzzler), probably a sibling or two and heading to the land of soybeans, corn, paved country roads and grandma’s mashed potatoes.

I plan to stay up late and catch up on all the gossip, spin toddlers until they spit up everywhere, take a 1.2 million pictures of grain bins, go out late – but make it to church, and eat approximately 4.2 gallons of Kroger’s French Onion Dip.

These people {my family} may be a gazillion miles away, but they made me who I am. They get me.

I’ve never been more excited.