Making the Best Of A Bad Situation

This is a visual representation of what happens when you make the best of things. It’s in the front yard of a lovely home that I passed during an adventure Saturday.

Losing an old tree is a traumatic experience for those of us who love trees. To add insult to injury, dealing with the tree trunk left behind is a pain.

These folks made the best of a bad situation and turned theirs into a cute little home suited for a gnome.

My apologies for the angle of the photo. There was nowhere to pull over so I just stopped in the road and snapped this through the open car window. In case you’re curious – the roof is red and super cute.

Bicentennial Barn

In another time and a universe far away, I worked as a newspaper reporter and editor. I wasn’t trained to be a journalist so it was a fun but challenging job even though I didn’t last long. The burnout rate at a small town paper is pretty high.

But in those few short years, I covered some fascinating stories and met some amazing people.

One of those fun assignments was covering the selection of Athens County’s Bicentennial Barn. To prepare for Ohio’s Bicentennial celebration, a Commission was formed and this entity worked to bring a big celebration to all eighty-eight Ohio counties.

One way they did this was by selecting a barn in each county to be painted with the bicentennial logo. This was an ingenious way to create a long lasting landmark and to gain community buy-in across the state.

This is how I met my friend Nichola whose brainchild it was to paint these barns.

Consequently, I will never drive by this barn without thinking of my friend and smiling in gratitude that we met.

I also think of the property owner. Her name was Mary and I always wonder how she’s doing. She was extremely nice to the young reporter who showed up asking to write about her barn.

The Bicentennial celebration was in 2003 and all the barns were painted in the years leading up to the celebration. I think the Athens County barn was painted in 2001 so the paint job is going on two decades old. Hard to believe it was so long ago but the paint job is starting to show it’s age.

I love it anyway and am glad for the good things that came my way because of it.

Regrets and the Pictures You Don’t Make


If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that I never regret making a picture. What I always regret is NOT making the picture.

A good friend took me on an adventure this winter – down some roads I’d never been on to places I’d never seen. Honestly, I was completely turned around and have no idea where we were most of them as he weaved his truck in and out of two counties and across narrow, muddy backroads that my little nerd mobile could never navigate.

Toward the end of the adventure, the already gloomy day was turning more so by the minute. That’s when we passed an amazing old church.

Wood clapboard siding with faded, pealing paint. Clearly abandoned but still maintained by someone. We commented on it but didn’t stop. I almost made him go back. Had I been driving, I would’ve turned around. But we were tired and hungry and daylight was fading.

I have regretted that decision ever since.

So my friend gave me directions and I went back Saturday, hitting the road before sunrise so I could make the ninety minute trek back to the middle of nowhere for a picture. It’s a great church but I’m fairly certain it’s the wrong church. In my memory, it sits high on a ridge with no trees or buildings around. The road was wide but there was a big curve and it felt like you could see for miles.

I remember thinking I would frame the church to the left and show that openness in the other two-thirds of the photo.

But maybe my memory is playing tricks on me. Who knows?

Either way, I got to see this great old church.


There’s a fence with a padlocked gate. Another gate facing the yard of the house next door was open, making me think the neighbors probably tend to it. I thought about knocking on their door but saw no cars in the driveway. Besides, it was before 9 on a Saturday morning. Who wants a stranger on their porch at that hour?

I can’t tell you a single thing about this church but think it’s worth sharing anyway – along with a warning – always stop for the picture!

That day also took me to the Silver Moon Dinner, through some beautiful farm country and to a Dress Barn location for some desperation shopping because I have no clue where I’ll buy professional work clothes in southern Ohio after they close. I’ll share some pretty farm pictures off and on this summer. 

Have you ever regretted not making a picture? I also regret not photographing more of the people in my life but that’s a whole other ball of wax. Tell me your story in the comments.



Silver Moon Diner

Saturday’s adventure took me on roads I’d never driven and to a diner I had never visited. It’s been on my bucket list for a while so it was pretty exciting to finally get there.

The diner is called the Silver Moon and it is located at Vincent, Ohio just across the street from Warren High School. If you’re from my neck of the woods, you might check it out on the way to Marietta or Parkersburg.

This place has fantastic atmosphere and my breakfast was tasty too. I had strawberry pancakes and scrambled eggs – the eggs were ok but the pancakes were delicious.

I talked to someone who said their deserts and soft serve ice cream are delicious.

Strawberry Pancakes.

However, the real headline here is the atmosphere. It’s all done in blue and white with some interesting artwork on the wall. Some especially unusual booths are actually fiberglass car seats. Plus there’s a counter with stools and a jukebox.

In fact, just look at these pictures.

Looks like a great place for friends and ice cream.

Diners mean great dinette sets.

Diners also mean counters with stools!

I love a jukebox!

Unique car seats!

Interested in trying the Silver Moon Diner?

They’re located at 7665 St Rt 339, Vincent and they’re open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Big Lessons From A Little Tree

We can all learn a lot from this little tree. It’s growing out of a sliver of masonry over a second story window in the village where I work.

First, you never can tell where you’ll find a little bit of life and goodness. Who knew that if you just took a moment to look up you might find a nice little tree where you least expect it.

Also, if you want to live and grow and be happy, you can do it no matter where your roots are. The phrase “bloom where you’re planted” comes to mind.

Notice, it’s not only surviving – it is thriving.

Life is a series of choices. Always look up, look for the good and do your best to bloom where you’re planted.