Friday Night Drive

Not every day can be fun. However, I think it’s possible to add something to every day that makes it interesting, fun or worthwhile.

After work yesterday, I hit the road to run some errands in Athens County. Along the way, I took a few turns onto some roads I have never traveled just to see where they go and to see what I might see.

It’s one of my favorite things to do, you know.

I liked this small barn in a bend in the road.

I agree with this sign. Trapping drunks seems smart to me. Sadly, this sign represents a neighborhood feud that you can read about here.

This barn was striking against the vibrant sky and grass. I like the lines and this scene makes me think that summer isn’t far off.

Friends, not every day can be a great day. But, if you can, do whatever is possible to make it a better day.

Bicentennial Barn In Spring

The Bicentennial Barn in Athens County is looking a bit shabby but I couldn’t resist swinging by for a quick picture this weekend.

Each of Ohio’s 88 counties received the gift of a specially painted barn as part of Ohio’s bicentennial celebration back in 2003. I have written about this barn a couple of times – once as a young newspaper reporter and once on this blog. In fact, I hope you’ll go read the blog story by clicking here.

The sky was a rich blue on Saturday and the bend in the road is such that it always makes me want to drive new roads. Instead, I drove home and cleaned my house but at least I had a moment to enjoy this day and place.

Sometimes we need that, even those brief moments, to recharge and be ready for whatever lies ahead.

Ohio’s Smallest Church

Last week’s meandering journey to Marietta and Woodsfield began with a stop at Ohio’s smallest church.

The Healing Chapel house of worship is a tiny place but it has as much heart as any big church you’ll ever see.

At just 10×14′ this church has a steeple with a bell, a pulpit, and stained glass windows. It seats about eight people and has been the site of more than a few weddings.

It’s plain and there are no services, much less the inter mural activities and social gatherings you find at America’s big churches today.

Years ago, churches were left unlocked and were accessible to all who were seeking shelter from the storm – both literal and spiritual. Vandalism, theft and general lack of respect have forced most churches to lock their doors outside services. This church is a throwback to a simpler time as it remains unlocked for all visitors at any time.

I like to stop in for a moment when passing by if there’s time.

The church has suffered theft and damages but it remains accessible. It’s just across the road from the rest area on Route 50 near Coolville in Athens County. Look for it and stop by for a reminder of a simpler time when churches needed no locks and spiritual needs were more important than amenities.

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.

Farm View


There’s this farm I pass by somewhat frequently. It’s visible from the highway to Athens, always well tended and, for lack of a better word, quaint.

On a recent trip, the sky and light were nice and the farm caught my eye. I drove by but couldn’t get it out of my mind. My trusty camera was on the seat next to me so I turned around real quick and headed back.

Here’s another view.


Isn’t it pretty?

It’s always fun when you suddenly notice something you’ve passed by countless times without a second thought. In fact, this is the kind of thing I live for. Happy travels, friends.