Old Scenes, Fresh Joy

I live in the country but still get excited seeing cows or horses in a pasture and chipmunks in trees. I had to stop several times for deer while on a drive the other day. I was grateful to not hit them and thrilled to have such a close view of them.

That’s probably weird.

The good news is that a scene like this brings me unmeasurable joy.

What makes you happy?

Same Farm, Fresh Perspective

I spotted this farm on the Fourth of July. I’ve driven by plenty of times before but always coming from the opposite direction, always missing something really special.

Look more closely.

Isn’t it fabulous?

And check out the detail on the barn.

It’s a small thing but it makes a big difference.

One of the best things you can do when wandering around this big world is to turn around and go the other way. If you always turn left, go right. If you always take the same route, turn around and drive it the other direction. That fresh perspective may reveal things that have been unseen for years. It may just help you better appreciate the sights by viewing them from a new angle.

And it could turn up nothing new but at least you tried!

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!

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.

Post Covid Bucket List: Uncle Buck’s Trail Ride

The first in the series of things I want to do when we’re free again is to take a trail ride at Uncle Buck’s Riding Stable and Dance Barn. I’ve known the owner for many years but somehow have never made it out for a ride.

His name is Dave but everyone just calls him Uncle Buck. He’s a good community minded man who loves his horses and who makes pretty music with a couple of local bands.

They do a few different rides but I have my eye one one that goes through the Zaleski State Forest to the Moonville Tunnel.

Moonville is a ghost town and the tunnel is said to be haunted. A rail trail has been built in the area and goes right through the tunnel. The state forest is expansive and is beautiful especially in spring and fall. I’ve been to Moonville and to these woods many times but never on a horse!

Uncle Buck’s draws a large number of tourists but they take out small groups so you still have an intimate and authentic experience. Once upon a time I ran the county visitors’ center so I’ve sent a lot of people their way over the years. Yet I’ve never done a trail ride.

Maybe I’ll get some friends together or I may go solo. Either way, this is the year I go support my friend’s business.

Want to read about Uncle Buck’s? If you’re ever in southern Ohio, I’m sure they’d love to get you out on the trail!  Read about them here.