Tuesday, August 28, 2007

postcards from somewhere else

We are back from a week of family doings in and around Columbus, Ohio. Here is some of what we did. But only some.

on the banks of the o-hi-o

This shot is from the waterfront walk in Pomeroy, Ohio looking across the beautiful Ohio River to the banks of Mason City, West Virginia. The river was quite high. There had been quite a bit of rain, although we were many, many miles from the flood area in the northern part of the state.

the bounty of nelsonville

After two days on the farm we headed back to Columbus. On the way we stopped at a roadside stand in Nelsonville to buy corn, tomatoes, cucumbers. These tomatoes were so beautiful and, later on, so delicious.

through the Hocking Hills

This impressive sight is called Ash Cave. It is in the heart of the Hocking Hills, a popular hiking and resort area south of Columbus. We drove through the area on our way back to Columbus after a couple of days down in Meigs County. Ash Cave is a towering cliff formation in the woods. You can get an idea of the size by the contrast with the people; that's the Patient in the red shirt. The Hocking Hills are becoming a trés chic weekend and vacation get-away spot for Columbusites. In fact, there was quite an article in the NY Times about the growing popularity of the place.

the cousins

Saturday we went to the bi-annual reunion of the Patient's family. It was held in Ohioville, PA, just across the river about 160 miles northeast of Columbus. This photo is of the Patient (on the right) and two of his favorite cousins. There were about 50 people there, three generations. Lots of good food, old stories, great fellowship. This is the fifth reunion we have attended. The numbers are shrinking, however, as second and third generation cousins are not as close as is the first generation. I just hope we can continue to attend as long as the enthusiasm lasts.

in jane's garden

We stayed with the Patient's sister Jane during our time in Columbus. She has a beautiful, colorful garden. Outside her front door she has two big bushes of Moon Flowers. This is the time of year when they are in bloom. Each day the plant produces about 30 buds which then bloom at dusk. The scent is just delicious, sort of like a magnolia flower. A tangy, lemon-y scent. The blossoms are still there in the morning, but soon they wither and get plucked off to make way for the next batch.

charm school

Monday morning we took off for the Ohio Amish country located to the northeast of Columbus. We drove first to the town of Charm, of which the above is the school. And you thought "Charm School" was just a joke!

We were headed for Kidron. On the way we went through many picturesque tiny settlements, including Winesburg. I first heard of this place as the title of Sherwood Anderson's book, a cycle of short stories about small town life in Winesburg at the end of the 19th century. Yes, it surely is a small town. I read this book many years ago and as I drove though it I thought about the people Anderson had told us about ~ George Willard, Wing Biddlebaum and Doctor Parcival.

The countryside in this part of the state is green, gently rolling, dotted with tidy, prosperous-looking farms, acres of neatly mown lawns, miles of corn fields. Gardens are colorful with masses of blooming flowers. Evidence of the Amish is everywhere. We saw men tilling the fields with horsepower, many carriages and wagons, adults and children going about their daily rounds in their distinctive dress. There are also identifiable shops in the towns; blacksmiths, harness shops, used buggies for sale. No electric wires can be seen going into Amish homes. No telephone lines, either. But I did see them working in shops dedicated to selling Amish-produced goods. I did not take any pictures of them, but did get this shot of a horse and buggy tied up at a shop.

That's about it for now. I have a few other pictures and some more stories about the trip. I'll save them for later when life gets dull and I have nothing to report. It was a truly fine holiday. Now it's time to get ready for Italy and other parts, and we only have 6 weeks to do it!


At 10:16 PM, Blogger mary ann said...

Great photos and post ~ welcome home! I missed reading about your life. I had never heard of most of these places, so it's wonderful seeing them. The Patient looks terrific!


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