The Roaring Twenties

Courtesy Huffington Post

The Roaring Twenties are starting to make sense to me.

After an intense period of war and pandemic, this was an era of economic prosperity that gave us technological advancements in radio, telephone, cars and many electrical appliances for the home.

Modernity was a major theme of these years. Women had finally taken the right to vote and were beginning to claim their place in higher education and the workplace.

It was a period of excess, progress and of modern convenience.

This period also gave us the rise of the Jazz Age, dance clubs and flappers with their bobbed hair, shorter hemlines, silk stockings, fabulous accessories, and high heels.

After years of war, sickness and economic troubles, people just wanted to dress up and go have some fun.

Yesterday, I had nowhere to be and nothing to do when I got there but badly needed out of the house so I ran some errands. It is an exaggeration to say that my usual errand running attire these days is a step above homeless chic. However, it IS fair to say I have spent most of the last year in yoga pants and running shoes.

Yesterday I put on my favorite jeans, a cute jacket, my favorite hat, a necklace AND a shoe with a slight heel. My faux leather lime green purse looked cute with my blue sweater. I know this because I received several compliments and the pharmacist at CVS even asked why I was “all gussied up.”

Friends, it felt good to dress nicely. Note, I wasn’t dressed up. Just dressed better than my new normal. And evidently better than the normal at the pharmacy.

The experience made me want to put on a dress, get my hair done (perhaps a 1920s bob?) and go DO something! Maybe take myself out to dinner or a movie or stroll through a museum!

I am curious to see how this will all end up. Will the new normal be even more casual than before the pandemic? People were already wearing pajamas to the grocery store so it’s hard to believe we could get much more casual.

Or will we swing the other direction and embrace putting our best foot forward? Given how hard it is to buy a nice dress or work appropriate blouse, I suspect casual will win the war. But I’m going to do my best to push back.

And no, don’t look for me dancing on tables in a speakeasy! Just don’t be surprised to see me quietly browsing a bookstore in a dress and fabulous accessories.

Post Covid Bucket List: Travel

I’ve been allowing my mind to wander toward all the places I might physically wander this year.

I’m supposed to fly to Denver to see a friend and then road trip home this summer. The likelihood of that happening seems less and less with each passing day.

Another friend and I were talking about road tripping to DC this year.

Even if states don’t have in place quarantine measures for interstate travel, I question the safety of commercial flying. Not to mention, will the museums and things I want to see be open?

As a thinker and a planner, it is hard for me to have so many questions that are unanswerable today. Flying by the seat of my pants isn’t my way but that’s where we are right now.

If that big trip doesn’t happen, I’m thinking about some fun things to do around Ohio and neighboring states. I’ll be disappointed if I don’t get to see my friend out west this summer but there will be other trips.

What are your 2020 travel plans?

Checking Off The Bucket List At Uncle Buck’s

I checked off one of my Post Covid Bucket List items with a trail ride at Uncle Buck’s Riding Stable.

Once upon a time, I was the marketing director for my community and often sent visitors to Uncle Buck’s but somehow never made it out for a ride.

This was my first time on a horse and I’m sure it wasn’t very pretty but our guides were patient and super to give clear, helpful guidance.

We took a trail through the beautiful Zaleski State Forest to the infamous and possibly haunted Moonville Tunnel. The trail weaves through peaceful forest and is simply lovely.

I’m a hiker but it was fun to see the woods from a different perspective.

My horse was gentle and so familiar with the trail I’m sure she wished I would just relax and let her do her job.

That’s hard for a control freak like myself.

It’s hard for me to be a passenger in a car or to watch while someone else does something I know how to do. I fight those tendencies but it’s hard to squelch those control issues.

It was unfamiliar territory being on an animal that I didn’t really know how to control or communicate with. Adding in my timidness about handling her because I didn’t want to hurt her created a sort of bad combination but things worked out anyway. It’s probably a kind of personal growth that I’m able to acknowledge not doing something well and being ok with it.

I would absolutely go back to Uncle Buck’s and maybe next time feel better equipped. At this point, I’m just grateful that I didn’t fall off given that I’m neither graceful nor coordinated!

I do almost everything by myself but was glad to be there with friendly company. I was with a friend, her niece and another friend. None of us cared about being uncoordinated and silly in front of each other and that made it easier.

Want to take a trail ride at Uncle Buck’s? I hope you will! They’re great folks who provide a fun service for all ages.

They’re a seasonal business that has lost a couple of months worth of income. Let’s help them catch up! Visit them online for details. You can also find them on Facebook.

If not this small business, look around your community for small businesses that you can support. Remember that those big box stores and many online retailers have been making money hand over fist during the pandemic. They’re doing great. The chain restaurants will survive. The conglomerates will be fine.

The mom and pop stores, restaurants and service providers need you. They need all of us. Let’s give ’em some business! Have a favorite small business you want to support? Tell me about it!

Post Covid Bucket List: Car Shows

I just did a bucket list item yesterday but we can do two days in a row.

I’m dying to hit a classic car show. My apologies to all of you who take your modern cars to shows. I’m sure they’re great but my heart belongs to the old vehicles. If it has tail fins and lots of chrome or even if it’s not perfect but is pre-1970 with great patina – I’m in.

With all the festivals and events being cancelled this year, I suspect it will be hard to find a good car show in the area this year but we can hope!

The pictures here come from a car show in Logan, Ohio last year. It was a warm, sunny evening and there was plenty to see.

This is from the interior of the car pictured above.

And then there’s this great old Dodge truck and a VW van!

The VW isn’t perfect but I did not care. When it comes to classic cars, it’s easy to forgive flaws because they have great character!

By the way, a car show is a great place to play with your camera. The owner expects people to gawk and take pictures so there’s no judgement. And while you can sometimes hear a great story or two, having others hanging around takes the pressure off of you to visit for too long.

Just look out for all the reflections in that shiny chrome. Sometimes you can capture architecture or another interesting detail. However, if you’re not careful you might bring home images of a stranger’s knee cap or something equally distressing reflected in a wheel.

Post Covid Bucket List: Shop For Summer Clothes

I’ve been thinking about all the things I want to do when this is over and one of them is extremely simple. I want (and need) to go shopping for summer clothes for work.

One thought has repeatedly crossed my mind these last few weeks. If I had known my last trip to TJ Maxx would be my last trip, I would have appreciated it more.

This is where I tend to find good deals on cute dresses and tops for work. Not to mention shoes, cute bags, and fun household goods.

I am not a trendy person but tend to stick with more timeless styles and especially enjoy a good bargain.

My summer wardrobe consists of many things that are either too big or too small and a handful of things that fit. It’s time to buy new clothes but purchasing new online is just a miserable experience.

In fact, I recently read a story about how online shoppers buy multiple sizes of a piece so they can try on and return what they don’t need. That’s great except that many retailers throw away the returned items. It evidently is more expensive to pay someone to check the item for quality and repackage it for sale than it’s worth – an appallingly wasteful system that I’d rather not engage in. Plus I’m not going to the office right now so it can wait until clothes shopping can again be an experience and treat!

Meanwhile, I can’t help but wonder – does TJ Maxx miss me too?

Quilt Barn At Uncle Buck’s

One of my bucket list items this year is take a trail ride at Uncle Buck’s Riding Stables. Saturday was gorgeous so I took a drive after my hike and wandered past Uncle Buck’s.

The owner is a friend and he was outside so we socially distanced and chatted for a few minutes before I snapped some phone photos and headed down the road.

Their barn hosts one of the quilt blocks that I told you about last week. This happens to be one of my favorites because it’s just so different. The colors are striking and the local artist who painted the horse did a great job. I also like the setting. It’s peaceful and pretty out there.

David and I talked some about why Ohio won’t allow his business to operate right now. Ohioans can golf but they can’t take a trail ride through the wilderness. That makes no sense to me, especially since David says the average horse is eight feet long and you can social distance on a horse just as easily as you can on a golf course.

So he waits while his seasonal business loses money. His horses are still lovingly cared for and he’s counting the days until they can again welcome visitors.

News stories are always about the stock market or about industries. We talk in broad strokes about issues but we often don’t hear the compelling stories of the small business owners who are struggling.

If you can afford it, order lunch, contact your favorite shop for a gift certificate, and make plans to support those small businesses when it’s safe to do so. If you can’t afford it, share their posts on Facebook or tell others about your favorite small businesses.

Every little bit helps.