Wheatberry Books

There’s a shortage of bookstores in southern Ohio but I’m fortunate to have an excellent independent bookseller in a neighboring town. Wheatberry Books is a cute shop in downtown Chillicothe. For what it lacks in size, it makes up for in character and charm.

It’s also packed with excellent books.

I don’t allow myself to visit very often because I’m supposed to be reading the books I already own.

(Insert eye roll here)

However, I pop in periodically because I think it’s important to support the businesses you want to see thrive.

Their selection resembles my own book collection in many ways with a mixture of bestsellers and sleepers alike. There are always fun surprises to be found and their staff picks are typically spot on.

Right now, they are offering mystery books- wrapped books underneath the tree with a brief explanation as to why you might like the book! Plus they have story time for the kiddos and knowledgeable, friendly staff to help with your needs.

I stopped by a couple of weeks ago and was thrilled to have a few minutes of quiet with their books and the soft light of a November morning pouring through the large window that faces Second Street. For me, book shopping is about the atmosphere as well as the books. This place has it all.

I realized when I sat down to write this that I have not one decent picture of the store. This is likely because I’m too distracted by all the books to think about pictures so you’ll have to take my word for it. The atmosphere is fantastic.

Stop by Wheatberry Books and give them a chance. In fact, make a day of it and hit some other shops, dine in one of the restaurants and pick up homemade candy and baked goods. You’ll need a midnight snack for when you’re up late reading!

Visit them here and follow them on Instagram or Facebook to keep up with their news.

The Last Pie

My Aunt Mary Ann was among the last of the old fashioned cooks in my family. She was skilled with abilities that were handed down through generations of women who could create meals, seemingly out of nothing more than flour, egg and bacon grease.

Pies, noodles, dumplings and fudge were among her specialties. She also made great lasagna and the best deviled eggs I have ever eaten.

When she died back in August, I couldn’t help but look ahead to the holidays and think about the empty seat at our family table and the foods she would normally provide.

I would especially miss those deviled eggs.

So, when we discovered a homemade pie in her freezer, it really should have come as no surprise. After all, she liked to have a baked good ready when someone in the community died or when there was another need.

My parents invited the family for an early Thanksgiving dessert night over the weekend. Everyone brought a homemade treat to share. We had red velvet cake, chocolate pie, peach cobbler and butterscotch pie.

Mary Ann’s pumpkin pie was there too. Everyone got to enjoy a small, symbolic piece of her last pie.

As much as Mary Ann enjoyed baking, she loved having her family together more. She told me that her happiest memories as an adult were when my grandparents were living and all the family gathered together for a meal. I think it would please her to know that her pie brought everyone together again.

I wrote a story about Mary Ann just weeks before she died and read it at her funeral. If you’re interested, click here to read that story. Otherwise, here’s wishing you a happy day, wherever you are, and a happy Thanksgiving if you are here in America.

Be safe, be well and try not to eat too much!

Don’t Be A Grinch

The stores are already playing Christmas music. I’m typically not a huge fan of Christmas in public before Thanksgiving but it’s not a huge deal to me. In fact, at this stage in life, any attempt someone offers to make the world a little happier is fine by me.

Standing in line at TJ Maxx over the weekend, the Christmas music was playing and a young woman behind me in line was softly singing along to Jingle Bell Rock. She seemed perfectly happy. Happy until some other woman came marching up, stomped her foot, huffed and said loudly “Christmas music already?”

The woman who had been so happy two seconds before suddenly stopped and stood very still.

Don’t be that person. If someone finds something that brings ‘em a little joy, let them have it. That music wasn’t hurting anyone and being a jerk about it just ruined someone’s day. I didn’t even care about the music but suddenly felt myself feeling deflated, sad and a little defensive.

No need to be a Grinch, after all.

Doors Of Pomeroy

Downtown Pomeroy, Ohio has a number interesting doors. Dark, colorful, ornate and simple can be found up and down the streets and the collection makes me smile.

The black and grey atop the coffee shop seems both modern and old.

These Methodist Church doors speak of history and hopefully of welcome to all humans. I was a stranger and you welcomed me.

And this pink is so flamboyant that you can’t help but smile.

Seeing unusual doors always makes me think about how what a difference a nice door makes to any building. It really makes me want to paint my own boring white door to liven up my home. For now, I’ll just appreciate all of these.

Do More

Do more than just exist.

It’s up to you to decide what that means. Travel. Go back to school. Get a better job. Retire. Walk in the woods. Go fishing. Buy a cute outfit. Turn up the music. Soak in some bubbles. Eat chocolate. Celebrate life. Do things you enjoy.

Life is more than drudgery. Do more than exist. Today is the first day of your life. Go live it.

Favorite Spot

My favorite spot in Columbus, Ohio is right here under this glass ceiling. It’s at Franklin Park Conservatory which I have told you about a few times.

I was there this fall and was glad to spend a little time in this spot, staring up at the pretty glass in all the fun colors. The ceiling was created by renowned artist Dale Chihuly whose work can be found throughout this place.

I have seen people walk through this area without ever looking up. They’re talking or they’re tugging at fidgety youngsters. What a thing to miss!

No matter what, always look up!