Prison Chapel

This is the chapel of the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield. I had a surprisingly nice time touring and playing with my camera here last year.

There is beauty in the old and faded. There is value in the unused. There is something interesting to see around every corner of this life.

There is also something haunting about this space. The way the mid-day light floods this room reminds us that even the darkest places, like an old prison, aren’t so dark that they can’t be illuminated even for a few hours a day.

Maybe I liked this space so well because much of the prison isn’t so light and spacious. I could almost feel the cell walls closing in on me.

If you ever get a chance, I would recommend a tour here. It’s where the movie Shawshank Redemption was filmed and they do have some movie memorabilia for you to enjoy.

Want to go? Click here for details.

Pencils In A Field

This world is filled with roadside attractions and oddities great and small. One delightful example is in a field in rural Ross County.

Down a country lane not far from Frankfort, the entrance to a field is marked by a gate that’s flanked by these larger than life concrete pencils.

I have yet to meet someone who can explain their purpose and they’re a little weathered but cool nonetheless.

If you go, they are on private property so be mindful of that. The GPS coordinates are N 39° 21.772 W 083° 07.060.

Flying In The Age Of Covid

Going to Denver last month required flying. I normally enjoy flying but was apprehensive given the state of Covid in this country.

I am selective about where I go and who I spend my time with on a normal day. Travel is by car. Dining out is rare and typically in the car or outside. Shopping is mostly utilitarian now rather than entertainment.

I have found ways to travel around the region and even down to Virginia while being safe and feeling secure but it is always by myself in a car.

The thought of air travel – even a couple of weeks before the holiday rush- made me squeamish but my research was reassuring. Friends who fly regularly were able to provide some insight. What I had read about my airline was reassuring too.

Flying out of the John Glenn International Airport in Columbus on a Tuesday afternoon was a smart choice.

The place was a ghost town.

Some shuttle lots are closed, most businesses were closed or operating with limited hours, and there was no security line. Literally, friends, there was no line. I walked right through.

There were people cleaning and so few travelers it was easy to social distance.

Flying in and out of Denver was arguably a mistake.

This is one of our country’s busier airports. Getting off the plane and leaving was fine. The airport train wasn’t at all busy and I managed to get out the door without cause for concern.

Sadly, the flight out was a much different story. The TSA line was enormous. It moved quickly but most people were making no effort to social distance.

Once through security, there was plenty of space to spread out even though it was busy. Everything felt extremely clean and there is hand sanitizer available everywhere.

All the same, if I had known it would be this busy, I would have flown out of a smaller airport.

The experience made me grateful that I’m typically a road tripper and am not flying during the holidays.

Have you flown lately? I would love to hear your story.

First Snow

Our first snowfall of the season began Monday evening and yesterday saw large fluffy flakes fall to the ground throughout the day.

Scout was transfixed.

He spent much of the day staring out the window, a nice distraction from his terrorizing the Christmas tree – a different story for another day.

Let’s just say I was grateful for the reprieve.

Snow has a calming effect on me and a snow covered landscape is positively magical so it was fun seeing him take it all in yesterday.

I wondered what he was thinking. Personally, I was grateful to be homebound with my little cat and a pot of soup on the stove.

Golden Santa

Golden Goods in Golden, Colorado is all ready for the holidays. I always marvel at what the right person can do with some paint and imagination. How they bring such charming scenes to life on a window is beyond me.

Tis the season for lots of decorations, handmade efforts and surprises around each turn. All the pretty things and the shiny lights are probably my favorite part of the holidays. This store window, however, is hard to beat. It looks like a Little Golden Book illustration brought to life!

Where Did This Month Go?

It’s November 30th and this is what our landscape looks like here in southern Ohio. It’s stark but pretty, especially in places with pine trees to offer some softness and color.

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is December. How is that even possible? Where did this month go?

The weather app claims that snow will find us tomorrow and I am glad. When snow blankets the landscape, it’s not just pretty. It signals to me changes in nature and changes in the rhythm of my own life. In winter I tend to slow down, to rest better and to breathe deeper.

It’s a visual cue to begin a season of quiet.

I wouldn’t enjoy it so much if I didn’t have a warm home or were called out at night to clear roads. However, from the comfort of a warm place, there’s nothing better than waking up to the first fresh fallen snow of the year.