This Day

“It looked like the world was covered in a cobbler crust of brown sugar and cinnamon.” – Sarah Addison Allen

We are expecting rain here in southern Ohio today. I intend to use this day for rest and some much needed catch up work around the house. If I play my cards right, I’ll make time to cook something tasty and nutritious for this week’s lunches as well.

Not every day can be for adventures. Sometimes we have to stay home and recover – or better yet – prepare for what’s ahead! Enjoy this day, friends!

The Church of Saint John the Baptist Episcopal

This church was a bit of a mystery to me when I found it back in 2021. The Church of Saint John the Baptist Episcopal is located on a pleasant street in Dunkirk, New York. I stumbled upon it while exploring the area around Jamestown in 2021.

I had gone to Jamestown for the Lucille Ball attractions and was out planning to see other things including a statue to the native son who created comic strip canine Marmaduke.

The slate roof of the church drew me right in and down Fourth Street for a closer look.

The front doors are gorgeous and inviting, adorned with festive Easter wreaths.

And yet, look up to find a broken window directly above the doors. Did they not know the window had been broken?

The church seemed well cared for with its pretty wreaths and some nicely tended spring bulbs in the side yard. They had Easter services just a couple of weeks before my visit. Surely someone would have been by to notice and at least board up the window.

I’m dying to known what’s going on there now but their Facebook page hasn’t been updated in over a year. I’ll have to cruise by if I’m ever in the neighborhood. Then again, maybe I’m better off not knowing. I may not like the answer.

Grand old churches like this one are at risk in towns and neighborhoods across the nation. Between growing maintenance and operations costs, aging congregations and the lure of big churches with community center type facilities, it’s hard for a simple House of the Lord to keep going. I see them all the time empty, run down, and often sold for cheap housing. It’s a sad fate but a very real one.

This church reminded me of a sweet old grandmother with a lot of life left in her, much wisdom and warm hugs to share despite a prominent broken tooth.

Here’s hoping she is getting the care she deserves and that the doors are still open for those who need a place to go for spiritual guidance.

St. Paul Catholic Church

I haven’t forced you to look at any churches or doors for a while. This photo kills two birds with one stone, so to speak.

The church is St Paul Catholic Church in Athens. In a town with a lot to look at, it’s easily missed even though it is along the beaten path.

The congregation has been around for a long time and was founded by Irish immigrants. There’s even a tie to the communities of Wilkesville and Zaleski which are near to me. They tell the story of that past on their website in case you’re interested in learning more.

It has some gorgeous attention to detail including the doors, stained glass and that small white cross.

St. Paul’s Catholic Church

I haven’t forced you to look at any churches or doors for a while. This photo kills two birds with one stone, so to speak.

The church is St Paul Catholic Church in Athens. In a town with a lot to look at, it’s easily missed even though it is along the beaten path.

The congregation has been around for a long time and was founded by Irish immigrants. There’s even a tie to the communities of Wilkesville and Zaleski which are near to me. They tell the story of that past on their website in case you’re interested in learning more.

It has some gorgeous attention to detail including the doors, stained glass and that small white cross.

A Walk Around Gambier, Ohio

The town of Gambier is quaint. Home to Kenyon College, it’s hard to tell where the downtown and the college begin and end because they’re so closely aligned.

The university buildings are largely stone and old, in some ways resembling backdrop for a Harry Potter film.

I’m dying to go stay at this cute bed and breakfast. The weird thing is that I really don’t enjoy a B&B as I typically prefer more privacy and personal space than they offer. But I have a burning desire to curl up here with a book and blanket on a cold winter day.

There are some cute shops and restaurants including some with sidewalk cafe space for these warm weather days during the age of Covid.

And there’s an overall sense of civic responsibility and human decency that you often find prominent in a liberal arts college town. Be kind to your neighbor, shop local, be a good citizen are common themes found on many of the posters and signs here. People are also very careful to wear their masks and keep a safe distance.

My brief walk around town left me wondering about real estate prices and wishing that I had gotten my education here. What a delight it would have been to study here!

But that ship has sailed and I can take solace in the knowledge that visiting is always an option!

A Pulpit Gets A New Home

Some objects come into our lives, not to stay forever, but so we can take care of them until they move on to their next destination.

That was the case with something that moved on from my life this week. I gave away a pulpit that has been occupying a corner in my home for a few years.

The pulpit was handmade by a relative named Jake. When I knew Jake, I was a kid and he was an old man with shaky hands and poor hearing. He lived like a pauper although he was believed to be quite wealthy. Jake was a humble man, gentle and evidently very talented.

He made the pulpit for the Athens Nazarene Church many years ago. When the church closed and sold, someone salvaged the pulpit and gave it to one of my relatives. I’m not sure but I think it was passed around in the family a couple of times before it came home with me when it was up for grabs at a yard sale.

I had no plan for it, no need for it, but hated the thought that it would be sold outside the family or to someone who wouldn’t give it a good home.

And then I got it home and realized that it really had no place in my house. But I wasn’t ready to part with it and had no one to take it anyway.

So I kept it safe. That was my job. I kept it safe until I was ready to part with it this summer. We were planning a garage sale and I compulsively knew that it was time for it to go. I posted a picture on Facebook and it found many admirers at the sale but there were no takers.

Truth be told, I didn’t want to sell it to just anyone and really wanted it to go to a church but had no leads.

So I posted it on Facebook Marketplace and waited. After just a few days, I received a message from a pastor asking if it was still available.

He came to get it on Saturday along with his youth pastor who will put it to good use. It was a gift for their church’s youth ministry. After he chatted with my family for a bit, I learned a little about his church – the MacFarlan Community Church in MacFarlan, West Virginia. It’s a country church and looks like the kind I would pull over to photograph, the kind that I go chasing on Saturday morning adventures.

And I knew that I had found the right home for Jake’s pulpit.

I was at peace, seeing it loaded up and moved down the road. It went to a church where someone will polish it up and speak to a new generation of believers. If inanimate objects have life, I am certain this one was exuding joy and pride at the prospects of soon being back to work.

The folks of MacFarlan should look out. Their church has a fascinating story and you never know when I might wander that way to photograph their church and to share that story with all of you!