Summer Has Arrived

Ohio weather quickly shifted from cool and rainy to downright hot and humid. That’s what we do here. About 349 days out of the year are uncomfortable for one reason or another – humidity, heat, rain, snow, sleet, high winds… and during the shoulder seasons you’ll sometimes experience all of this in a single week.

My next statement will likely win me some hate mail but since I NEVER complain about winter, I reserve the right to say this at least once.

Yesterday’s heat made me miss winter.

You can only take off so many clothes and, when it’s humid, the only place to find relief is in the air conditioning. You can’t even breath when it gets this humid. But when it’s cold you can still bundle up and go outside at almost any time of day. Plus, there’s nothing more purifying than a deep breath of fresh air on a chilly winter day.

Besides, isn’t it pretty?

So here begins my summer quarantine where all outdoor activities occur early and late and where the rest of the day is spent sprinting from one air conditioned oasis to another while trying not to have a heat stroke or sunburn along the way.

If you need me, I’ll be sipping cold ice water in the air conditioning and counting the days till fall. Whatever you’re doing today, enjoy the day but try to stay cool and safe.

Handyman’s Book

This fun little number popped up while antiquing Friday. Since I had never seen one in real life and since it was just $8, it clearly had to come home with me!

Isn’t the cover great? It’s a 1957 reprint of a 1951 guide to everything you need to know about tools and household handy work.

Much of it remains relevant today. Some of it is quite sexist. I love the graphics but am a little annoyed by how adoring she looks here.

Nonetheless, I look forward to studying it a little more closely. It’s well organized, illustrated and easy to follow.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll learn something useful!

Take What You Can Get

This photo always elicits the same reaction – sometimes you just have to take what you can get.

This great old truck was parked in the nearby village of Laurelville earlier this year. Located at one of the busiest intersections you’ll find in any small town, there was a seemingly endless stream of cars, semi trucks, tractors and motorcycles moving by.

And then there was a break – a break exactly the length of my camera’s shutter.

I made one picture before a semi moved into the frame, completely blocking the feed mill across the street.

The light was harsh and I don’t care for the way it’s framed but there wasn’t time to stand around waiting for a second try.

Thus – sometimes you have to take what you can get! Maybe if I had more time I could have grabbed another opportunity and made something nicer. But that wasn’t really an option that day and I’m happy to have something to remember the truck.

And friends, isn’t it a great old truck?

Label Those Photos

One of the collections born from my junking habit is a box full of old black and white photos. They’re easy to find- usually for fifty cents or a couple dollars apiece.

They often aren’t labeled but sometimes you hit the jackpot and find something with names, a date or even a description of what’s happening.

This weekend I stopped by my favorite local antique mall and picked up a few small pieces including the above picture.

Isn’t he dapper in his uniform?

But I didn’t buy the picture just for the picture. What caught my attention is what’s written on the back.

It’s a passage from the Gettysburg Address, evidently read during a memorial service in Witchita Falls, Texas in 1945.

I’m not clear on whether the memorial service was for the man in the picture- I assume that’s the case but it doesn’t really say.

A quick google search proved that the auditorium still exists and actively hosts events. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything about the man listed on the back.

Consider this a gentle reminder to print and label those family photos. While you may know who is in the pictures now, it’s easy to forget and future generations may want to know as well.

These Shoes

These shoes. I love these shoes.

They’re nothing fancy. Just some New Balance trail runners I found cheap on clearance. But they’re comfortable and sturdy and they have good grip for climbing and hiking. Yet they look like a tennis shoe so they transition well to walking around town too.

They’re like old friends, these shoes. We’ve been to a lot of places together. In these shoes, I followed my friend Johnna up giant boulders in Canyonlands National Park and waded through ankle deep sand at Utah’s Great Salt Lake. If you look close they’re still stained red from Utah’s sandy terrain.

I’ve worn them lots of other places including the gritty streets of Pittsburgh and the muddy trails of Ohio’s Hocking Hills.

I like to think that I’m carrying with me a little piece of all the places I’ve been when I wear these shoes.

Alas, their days are numbered. They’re getting enough miles on them they will soon be too worn out to be useful or healthy even though the tops still look good.

One of these days I will be forced to replace them with a shiny new pair that I hope will take me on even more grand adventures. But I’m hoping to wear them on one more big adventure to Wyoming this summer.

By the way, I’m also grateful for the feet inside these shoes that take me everywhere I want to go and occasionally some places that I’m not sure I really want to go. If you’re able to get out of bed every day, walk around and do things for yourself, count yourself lucky.

Regardless of the shoes you wear, you are lucky.

A Little Drive With Scout

Scout hanging out in his backpack!

Scout and I went for a little drive after work Friday. I loaded him up in his backpack and we went to Londonderry for a milkshake at the donut shop.

To be clear, I had a milkshake. He just rode shotgun! Also, the milkshake was delicious, in case you were wondering.

Overall, this adventure was pretty successful.

He rode like a champ, talking some along the way but staying calm. The problem with the backpack is that he can’t see out the windows and he loves to look around. So I let him sit in my lap on the way home and he was much, much happier.

I’m not sure what the long term solution will be. Having him loose in the car isn’t a good plan. He stayed on his leash and attached to the backpack so he couldn’t bolt if there was an accident but I’m not thrilled about him being out. Not to mention, if there’s something especially interesting to see he tends to climb on my shoulder. Ha, ha, ha. I never did decide how I would explain that if I got pulled over.

Do you travel with a cat? What tips and tricks do you have for a safe, happy journey?

We had no issues with car sickness or anything like that. The excitement did seem to wear him out. He slept like a log when we got home!

Being able to travel safely with him is important. In fact, I hope to take him on a longish road trip this fall and am already starting to consider the logistics of traveling and sightseeing with the little guy.

Hit me up in the comments or on Facebook with your tips and tricks!

Toronto Skyline

Toronto skyline.JPG

Isn’t the Toronto skyline beautiful? This is the view from a ferry ride at sunset a couple of years ago. If you’re visiting a city that offers a ferry – even if it’s really a commuter ferry – take a ride! It’s usually just a few bucks each way but offers you a different view of the city and offers you a fun diversion.

This particular ferry took us to Toronto Island Park which was practically deserted that October evening as darkness had all but fallen when we arrived. But we walked around  a bit before hopping on the next boat back and enjoying the city lit up for the night.

This was a trip of many amazing memories and experiences but this inexpensive little boat ride is hands down one of the best things we did.