You know you’re a redneck when … you’re working on your basement and your wife needs to do laundry so you hook the washing machine up — out in the backyard.

I have a standing joke with my son Joshua. I tell him he moved away — to Indiana and became a hillbilly. When I go to visit, it is like being in a different country.

There are no direct flights from Massachusetts to Indiana so there is always a layover.

After safely arriving at his house last week, I found a note in my luggage that the airline had “checked” my belongings. It probably had something to do with the chourico I had in my bag.

As my nephew Michael pointed out on Facebook, “They're always suspicious of a French woman bringing Portuguese items to Redneck-ville USA.”

Josh told me that one time on his way back to Indiana, he was pulled out of line after his bag went through the Xray machine. “I had links of chourico in there, the security officers told me it looked like I had a duffle bag full of dynamite,” he said.

A foreman in a coal mine, he enjoys what he does and that makes me happy and proud.

Last year I went to his wedding there. At the outdoor reception, I wondered why there were so many little birds flying around. Turns out they were cicada bugs. A very noisy, almost prehistoric, large bug. I hate bugs.

Knowing my dislike for flying and crawling things, near the end of this visit my son tried to gently tell me that while working out in his garage he ran into a brown recluse spider. He made a circle with his hands about three inches around.

“Don’t worry … I killed him,” he told me.

Well it wasn’t “him” I was worried about, it was his family and friends.

While riding in Josh’s very loud truck, I noticed there was no inspection sticker. Don’t need one. I don’t even think you need a windshield.

Indiana is certainly different.

First of all — there are NO Dunkin Donuts!

Instead of sidewalks, there are drainage ditches all along the roadways.

The land is beautiful though. Miles of corn and soybeans grace the landscape.

But the most beautiful things in Indiana are my grandchildren and great granddaughter. My daughter-in-law Leighan has her hands full for sure with 6-month old Maggie, and 18-month old Phoenix (called “Bubby” for brother).

My granddaughter Ivy had her first day of fourth grade the day I left (I got to sneak a note in her backpack). My oldest granddaughter, Kinzee is out on her own now and has an adorable little girl.

I love snuggling with my grandbabies. I love the big smiles they make when they first wake up and see you in the morning.

Whether they live upstairs, two towns away or 1,019 miles away — they have my heart.