It Would Be Fun

Scout’s favorite activity right now is pushing things off of flat surfaces onto the floor. The higher, the better.

I look at this picture and can’t help but think how much he would enjoy pushing this bust over and watching it shatter into a million pieces on the wood floor.

And honestly, I can’t blame him. That would be fun. It’s funny how quickly you start to think like your pet.

Incidentally, this photo is from a tour of Blennerhassett Island last October. I was there just before they closed for the season so I haven’t written about that visit yet. This is close to where I live and a fun day trip so I’ll tell that story before they open for the season.

A Public Service Announcement

I interrupt this road trip to share a public service announcement. When you road trip, there is one thing you should always carry with you

A map.

I know, I know. It’s the 21st century. You use the app on your phone to get you around. It may not always give directions that make sense but your phone always gets you there.

That’s super but let me tell you something, friends. There are still places in this country where your phone will not work.

I live in a rural area where my phone works about 95 percent of the time. There are pockets though where a call drops, the music dries up and you can’t get a text through.

On this last road trip, I went for miles and miles without service in parts of West Virginia and Maryland. You see, I had stopped to take a picture somewhere and accidentally closed the maps app. When I opened it again, there was no signal and therefore no directions.

I knew I needed to continue on this road for a while so I soldiered on thinking that I would soon regain service. And then I started looking for a McDonalds or some kind of business that would offer free WiFi. But you don’t see a lot of free WiFi in sparsely populated mountainous areas where even the radio signal has stopped working.

Luckily, I had my trusty atlas and the ability to read and direct myself.

Let me tell you something kids – I would’ve been in trouble without it!

Technology is great but we need to be prepared to think for ourselves and to direct ourselves when necessary. If you’re going to be a serious road tripper, always keep that atlas handy. You never know when you might need it!

America’s Oldest Five and Dime Store


If you’re looking for a trip down memory lane there’s no better place than Berdine’s Five and Dime in Harrisville, West Virginia. This is America’s oldest five and dime store and it’s a truly special destination.

They’ve been in business since 1908 and not much has changed over the years. With hardwood floors, a pressed tin ceiling and antique wood and glass display cases, it’s like a step back in time.

They have a neat selection of novelties, including kitchen gadgets, toys, games, bulk candy, soaps, ointments, tin toys, sewing supplies and all sorts of interesting things. In fact, it is packed from floor to ceiling and after three or four trips around the store, I was still discovering new things I hadn’t noticed before.



Aren’t these cabinets magnificent?

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And they have all sorts of fun toys for a few cents to a few dollars.

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Check out the bins of little plastic animals, Army men, cowboys and Indians!

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I loved the tin toys so much I bought a wind-up train!

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They have a nice selection of fun, vintage candies as well as this great case of bulk candies.

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They even still have the original cash register which I believe goes up to $3.

I absolutely love this place. It smells magnificently old and it was great fun to hear different generations so excited to find things that reminded them of their own childhood. It reminds me of Perdue’s, a five and dime that used to be in Wellston. We stopped there often when I was a kid and I was devastated when it closed. It has since been torn down and replaced with a parking lot. Perhaps it’s that loss that makes me appreciate Berdine’s all the more.

There’s something about an old building – the smell, the light, the creak of the wood floor – that makes you forget what’s happening in the outside world. It feels like magic.


Berdine’s is located at 106 North Court Street in Harrisville, West Virginia, about 45 minutes from Parkersburg. If you go, be sure to take cash and check their website or Facebook page for current hours.