A Breath of Fresh Air

This is your midweek reminder that a breath of fresh air is better for you than any medicine, diet, therapy or expensive new toy. Find a park, find a trail, find yourself.

Find your happy.

A Closer Look

This painting caught my eye as Nichola and I were on the hunt for the Da Vinci painting at the National Gallery of Art. After paying my respects to Da Vinci’s Florentine girl, I did some backtracking to get a closer look.

It’s called The Adoration of the Magi and it dates to the fifteenth century. It’s credited to Fra Angelico and Fra Filippo Lippi but it’s believed other artists contributed over a lengthy period of time. In other words, this isn’t the work of a single master and it wasn’t painted quickly.

I marvel at the way art historians can study a style or a brush stroke and identify the artist. What a skill. All I know is that the colors are magnificent and that the details draw my eye. It’s pretty. It’s also round which is quite unusual. It’s called a tondo, by the way. That’s the technical name for a circular painting.

It shows the three magi or the three kings presenting gifts to the infant Jesus who is held by his mother Mary while Joseph stands close. This painting is all about movement and joy. Celebration and vibrancy.

I’m glad I went back for a closer look.

Ghost Walk Tour: Masonic Lodge

The Chillicothe Halloween Festival hosts a Ghost Walk in late September every year. It’s a fundraiser for the festival and draws into the city’s historic downtown a crowd of people who may not normally spend a lot of time walking around this area of the city.

This year it coincided with a bike race and Chili Fest right outside the Majestic Theater which was one of the four stops.

It was Covid cancelled last year so I was happy to pay my ten bucks and set out at my own pace to visit the old county jail, the historic Majestic, an antique store and the Masonic Lodge which hasn’t been a stop on the ghost walk in fifteen years.

Tour guides at each site share stories about ghostly events that are said to have happened on site and reports from paranormal investigations that take place prior to the public event. They also give visitors a significant chunk of history about the town, the building and the people connected to the buildings.

I had a fantastic time. One stop was the Scioto Masonic Lodge #6 where we saw inside ceremonial and lounge spaces, the formal banquet room and kitchen and lots of other spaces in between.

It’s a great old building and there are a number of supernatural stories here but none of the occurrences sound malevolent. There are lots of reports of hearing clinking glass and murmurs of conversation in the empty dining room. There are stories of the crack of balls on a billiards table and a gentleman who reads a newspaper in the lobby before disappearing as he walks up the stairs.

More than anything, this tour provided a glimpse into a building that the public usually cannot access.

Here are some more pictures.

I’ll show you the other stops soon!

There’s No Place Like Home

When L. Frank Baum wrote his iconic tale “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” Dorothy’s slippers were silver. When Metro- Goldwyn-Mayer made the 1939 film classic, the shoe color was changed to red to take advantage of the modern Technicolor technology.

They used several pairs in the filming but only a handful are known to exist today. You can find a mismatched pair of those famous shoes at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. They were painstakingly restored by the experts at our nation’s most famous museum and are everything you would expect them to be.

It is possible that I completely nerded out over this iconic movie memorabilia.

Having grown up watching the Wizard of Oz on television every Easter, Dorothy’s ruby slippers are an important part of my childhood. They were important to my grandmother too. This was the first movie she saw in a theater. Can you imagine that the first time you sat in a movie theater was to experience the moment when Dorothy opened the door of her displaced home to find herself in the magical, vibrant, extraordinary world of L. Frank Baum?


As for me, I just walked around these shoes and attempted not to drool.

That’s the amazing thing about the Smithsonian museums. They have gone around the country gathering up incredible artifacts, the famous and the obscure, telling the stories that make up the fabric of our identify.

I’ll sprinkle in more stories and pictures here and there as time allows.

Jack Pine’s Pumpkin Patch

This weekend marks the beginning of that painfully short window of time that is the very best of fall. It’s marked by blue skies, moderate temperatures, changing leaves, and the kind of crisp, clean air that makes you think you could live forever.

If we’re lucky, it lasts through mid November here in Ohio but it more likely is cut short around Halloween. So we must use our time wisely and DO ALL THE THINGS while we can!

Last night I went to Jack Pine’s second annual Pumpkin Patch. Jack is a prolific glass blower with local roots and vast experience in his area of expertise. His work stands head and shoulders above most of the glass blowers I’ve seen and it’s a true joy to witness in person.

He started this event last year, an ingenious way to showcase his art in the best possible setting. For real, friends. You haven’t appreciated glass art until you’ve seen it sparkle under the late September sun.


I believe there are some fantastic pictures on my camera but I ran out of time to process pictures. So I’m using phone images to illustrate with the promise we’ll revisit the artsier images later this week.

More than anything, I want to you to consider going if you’re in the area. Learn all about it here! You can also read the story from last year if you wish. Click here for that one.

Go. Check out the pumpkins and work by other artisans. Have some pumpkin ice cream or some other food truck goodies. Sit and enjoy live music. Soak up the glorious first weekend of fall.

I have another adventure planned for today and look forward to reporting back!