My friend Lisa and I took at trail walk in Holden Arboretum today. The morning sky was completely overcast, but as I drove down Sperry Road to the arboretum entrance at about 1 pm, the sun came out. Admittedly it was still only about 50 degrees, and winter hasn’t entirely loosened its grip on northeast Ohio, but with the sun shining down on us from a deep blue sky, we couldn’t have had a better day for the first spring trail walk! Today we’re celebrating spring and hoping it will soon be here to stay.
Thanks for coming by today to say hello. See you soon!
On Christmas Day, our church (Willoughby United Methodist) serves a free turkey and ham dinner with all the extras to anyone in the community who wants to join other people for a delicious holiday dinner. This year it followed our Sunday worship service. We give teddy bears as gifts. We also take bears to give away when we go Christmas caroling in nursing homes. People of all ages love teddy bears!
Despite all the snow and ice that have plagued blessed us in recent weeks, this is not going to be a white Christmas here in northeast Ohio. Warmer temps and light rainfall have melted most of our snow, so there will be no beautiful pictures of birds or deer in gently falling snow. It’s just not going to happen this year. But despite the un-Christmassy weather, I still want to send greetings to my blog, Blipfoto, and Facebook friends. Whether you are experiencing rain, snow, or sunshine, I wish for you a wonderful Christmas, a happy New Year celebration, and many special trail walks in the year to come. I will be taking a blog break in the week ahead. See you in 2017.
This picture was taken last month, before the recent snowfall, at Lake Farmpark.
Bob and I exchanged our marriage vows 57 years ago at my family’s church in Cardiff, Maryland, a half mile down the road from the home where I grew up in the very small town of Delta, Pennsylvania. So today, November 27, 2016, we were discussing how we wanted to celebrate the occasion..
Bob-Where would you like to go for dinner?
Me-It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just some place scenic where I can take a few pictures…some place we will both enjoy. A place that is peaceful and relaxing.
So we agreed on some place photogenic, some place casual, and some place where we could get really good food, and we decided to start with a visit to the LakeMetroparks Farmpark where the animals and activities serve up photogenic 24/7 (except on Mondays).
According to the tagline on their website, the Farmpark is…”A family-oriented science and cultural center devoted to agriculture and farming.” It is that and so much more. For us, it was a beautiful and casual place to take pictures (me), talk to the animals (Bob), and enjoy our special day together.
Our first stop was the Well Bred Shed and the equine area where we visited with sheep, goats, chickens, and beautiful percherons that were on loan for the park’s annual Country Lights festivities.
Bob conversing with a percheron
The horses were eager to get their supper.
Love that beard!
He was very curious.
Maya, a visiting horse, with a member of the Farmpark “Volunteer Posse”
The horse wanted to go back outside and eat some grass.
This fellow was apparently content to stay inside.
More meal time conversation
Out in the barnyard where supper time was in full swing, we watched the animals digging into their food troughs, after which they cast hopeful glances in our direction. Their expressions seemed to say, “Did you bring us anything to eat?” Take a look at the faces I captured. Who could resist them?
The last stop in the barnyard was to visit this steer:
He wandered right up and engaged in an over-the-fence chat with Bob, while I snapped more pictures. He is a very photogenic animal.
Back at the visitors’ center, numerous families, many with small children, were entering for the sold out Country Lights event, but we paused so I could snap a few more pictures.
And now it was time for us to get that really good food we had anticipated when we embarked on this special day. Bass Lake Taverne in Chardon sounded good to us, so we drove there and polished off our celebration with delicious warm bread, excellent entrees, and desserts that were (as the saying goes) “to die for,” bread pudding for Bob and warm chocolate Tollhouse pie for me.
It was a wonderful ending to our special day.
Thanks for joining us for our celebration.
See you soon!
A note to my blog friends: I wrote this blog post especially for my friend Dollie. None of my regular readers know Dollie, but if you had a special connection with a friend at sometime in your life, a friend you haven’t seen for many years, my words in this post may resonate with you. If they trigger memories for you, as this experience has done for me, you may even find yourself creating blog posts based on those memories. If that happens, I wish you happy blogging!
Several weeks ago, a special message showed up in my email box. As I read it, my eyes got wider and my smile grew bigger. The message was from someone I have never met, but she introduced herself as Kim, and explained that she is the niece of one of my very good friends from high school, which was a long time ago…back when I was growing up in southeastern Pennsylvania.
Our high school wasn’t large. As I remember it, there were only 61 members in our graduating class. Located in the country, surrounded by beautiful farms with rolling hills and lots and lots of cows (my father was in the dairy business), the school was new when we entered 10th grade. The students came from different elementary schools. Many of us only knew a few of our classmates at this new school. Fewer than a dozen had gone to grade school with me, so high school became a time for making new friends, which thankfully didn’t take long. That is when I first met Dollie, and we were good friends all through our three years at Kennard-Dale High School.
After high school, I went off to Philadelphia for college. There, as these stories often go, I met someone special. When I graduated from Beaver College (now Arcadia University) in 1959, Bob and I were married. He started a career in sales, I taught school, we raised three daughters, and I never returned, except for short visits, to my home town in southeastern Pennsylvania. As a result, I lost contact with my friends from Kennard-Dale.
But home never stopped being important to me, and occasionally we still drive through that little town on the Maryland-Pennsylvania line, bringing flowers to the cemetery, located on top of the hill with a wonderful view of the valley and houses below. We drive down Main Street (There is only one main street. It really is a small town) to see what has changed. And of course we always drive from end to end on Chestnut Street, past the home where I grew up, which sadly has changed way too much. One of these years I expect the old homestead, built by my grandparents in 1907, will be gone. That will be a sad day for me.
My parents are both gone now, and my sisters as well. My husband and I rarely make trips back to the corner of Pennsylvania that I still call home, but there is a very special corner of my heart where I keep my memories of that time and place. Was I glad to get an email from Dollie’s niece Kim? I was more than glad; I was deeply touched, delighted, and grateful. It means so much to me to reconnect with that time and place and with my good friend, Dollie.
Happy Birthday, Dollie. I hope you have a wonderful day, and I hope we can continue to keep in touch. As they say Best Friends Forever (BFF)!
A few more pictures
Grandsons Alec and Jake at the Mason-Dixon line, Delta PA and Cardiff MD
On Sunday, August 23, 2015, my friends Lisa and Terry hosted a big 90th birthday celebration for Lisa’s mom, Betty. The family gathered at Lisa and Terry’s home for a picnic-swim party-all-around-fun-time to celebrate her 90th birthday, and I was the lucky one to get to take these pictures of this happy group! (Click on a picture to enlarge the gallery.)