Last week I shared with you some pictures of our recent trip to Granville, Ohio. I mentioned that several themes seemed to dominate my pictures. One of those was barns and surrounding countryside. I have always loved barns of all shapes and sizes. I think they speak to me of a time in our history that is slowly fading away. A time when life was simpler and people depended on the land for survival. A time when young children knew that milk came from cows and not the grocery store.
To me a barn speaks of family, thankfulness, hard work, integrity, and perseverance. It speaks to the part of our soul that needs to slow down and focus on those things that really matter. There is nothing like a drive through beautiful countryside, dotted with barns, to help you gain perspective.
This is a short drive, but no less, soul filling. So, roll down your windows, settle into a slow drive, and be refreshed.
The next time you are out and about, take the time to find a barn or two. It might just restore your equilibrium. At least for a few moments. We all need space to breathe.
In my last post I mentioned that we had been on a trip to Granville, Ohio. Years ago when my husband was taking some college classes we had a music studio in an old Victorian farmhouse in Lancaster, Ohio. We took over the studio from a teacher who was moving to California and were fortunate to be able to rent the same house he had lived in and taught from. The house is no longer standing, which makes me sad. On our trip, we drove through Lancaster and took a picture of the spot where the house used to sit. It was raining while I was taking them, which was somehow appropriate. It was as if heaven was crying with me over the loss of a house. Am I the only one who is sentimental over old houses? I just think it is wrong to tear them down if at all possible to keep them.
Granville, is situated about an hour Northeast of Lancaster. One Sunday afternoon, when we lived in Lancaster, we set off on an adventure to Granville. We found it to be a charming picturesque little town, much like a New England town, full of older homes beautifully restored and well maintained. We were hard pressed to find any part of town that looked dumpy.
You could smell the history, a little bit of preppy and money in the air. We instinctively knew that it simultaneously was, and was not, our kind of town. The was, captured my heart and made me want to move immediately. The was not, of course, would mainly be the money part as in we didn’t have much back then, and still don’t. We knew if we ever had the chance we wanted to go back for a longer visit.
This summer we felt the need to have a few days hiatus away from all that was familiar, but we wanted it to be no more than 2-4 hours away and it had to be a quiet non-touristy place where there were shops if we wanted and other things to do such as gardens or museums. And of course, lots of homes to drive by and some beautiful countryside nearby. It also needed to have a charming place to stay that was not too pricey.
I remembered Granville and how I had always been fascinated by the town, so we decided that it met all our requirements and booked a room for three nights at the Buxton Inn, which comes complete with a few resident ghosts, including a ghost cat, named Major Buxton. Or, so the story goes. Thus began our quiet adventure. You can google ghosts of Buxton Inn, if you are interested in that sort of thing.
We arrived in Granville on a quiet Sunday evening, checked into the Inn, unpacked and proceeded to find sustenance. We drove around town to see what was available and finally settled on Brews Cafe. It was a quiet family type of evening and we both had fish and chips. We went back to our room, The Rose Room, and settled in early for the evening. I did not see any ghosts.
The Buxton is a charming Bed and Breakfast type of Inn. I would describe it as slightly dated with a shabby air, but very clean and lots of character. The staff were wonderful and the host was quite the charming older gentlemen. He and his wife acquired the Inn in the seventies and over the years have added other houses on the block to their little compound. I think they have a total of 5-7 houses, surrounding a garden courtyard that is full of lights in the evening. We were in one of the annex buildings, Founders Hall. Rumor has it that the entire complex is for sale to the right buyer. If only.
We really enjoyed our stay at the Buxton and would go again. The following pictures are of the Buxton grounds and houses.
Traveling in Grace,
I took lots of pictures on this trip and a few themes stood out: Houses, Churches, Barns, Cemeteries and lots of pictures at Dawes Arboretum (met our gardens requirement) and the Avery Downer House (met the museum requirement). I also took a few pictures on the Denison campus and of some of the places we ate, including the greenhouse room at the Buxton. I could bore you to tears with too many pictures. However, if you are interested, over the next few posts, I will organize the pictures into categories and share some of them with you. We also made another little day trip last week with my parents that I will tell you about soon.
I really do have a jumbled ball of yarn rolling around in my head waiting to be untangled. In my particular case it has to do with writing. Mostly. Other things are tangled there too. However, this series is about the writing so we’ll stick to that for now. Sort of. I may have to wind around a road or two on the way to my point. Procrastination.
Road # 1:
We recently moved from a Seminary campus to a little house next door to my parents (a story for later down the road) so that my husband could finish his dissertation. Since moving meant I no longer would have a job, we decided to take a hiatus from work for a few months and then I too could concentrate on my writing.
The first step in my writing focus was this blog. It seemed a safe enough place to start since I could count my faithful readers on one hand. If it flopped then only a few would know. If it didn’t…..well, that was up to God. God can do more than we can ask or imagine, but we have to give him something to work with. Which brings us to…
Road # 2:
We moved at the end of June. And until a few days ago I had only posted once since the move. I was in some kind of inertia. This tends to happen to me after a major change, which in my case usually means a major move (I think this is address number 20 or something – another story for later down the road).
Since we’re going to be unraveling (See day one) all over the map on this journey, I thought procrastination was a good place to start. After all, that’s kind of why we’re on a 31 Day trip.
The point really hit home with me today, because I procrastinated all day instead of writing this post. I had lots of thoughts – some were actually inspired by all the lovely blogs I spent time dallying over (which was time well spent). I did write out some notes, but there were so many ravels on that ball of yarn that I really didn’t know where to begin.
Around midnight or so (don’t worry, staying up late is in my DNA, yet another story), I realized that I was procrastinating. It is classic behavior. I have learned over time that inertia brought on by major change can lead to procrastination. I have also noticed that if I have too many choices, or too many things on my to do list I start feeling crowded and I back into a corner, becoming powerless to scratch anything off the list. Sometimes it ends up crumpled in the garbage like so many pages of writing that didn’t make the cut.
I think writing that doesn’t make the cut and procrastination have more in common than living in a crumpled heap at the bottom of the garbage can. I think they are both rooted in the need to prioritize so we can focus on what needs to be done. Prioritizing can sometimes mean we have to keep the list short. (Sounds like a topic for a post)
Your priorities may be different than mine, but the fact remains that if we are going to be effective in our calling, then we must put first things first. For me, that means my first priority is time with God, then time writing, then everything else. Don’t worry, I’ll still leave room at the bottom of the list for lollygagging.
Winding in Grace,
PS – if you want to read some words I’ve woven in the form of lyrical verse you can click here to read a few poems on my other blog.
We usually end up in Cherokee Park by accident because we’ve made the wrong turn while circling the statue that sits in the middle of several streets. Then we take an unplanned drive around the scenic loop and it is quite enjoyable.
Sunday, Mr. Piano and I purposed to go there. And we eventually made it. After trailing down several residential streets on the outskirts of the park. That pesky statue again. Seems as if our adventures where Cherokee Park are concerned unravel quite by happenstance. I think I’m ok with that.
This adventure included walking around the scenic loop. We started at the top of the hill near the water fountain statue (not the same as the one circled earlier). We started down the hill at an enjoyable pace. I mutter something about having to walk back up that hill at some point. There were several others going our way and a few going opposite. One young lady out walking her poodle, pink leash and all, breezed by and smiled sweetly. That was about the point that I wondered if we kept following the scenic loop, if we’d eventually end up by the water fountain again. So, I remarked that she seemed to know where she was going and if we followed her we’d get back to where we started. She was soon out of our sights.
No problem. Keep walking around a curve or two and across a bridge. Mr. Piano pointed out a shortcut through the woods. If we take it we will be going back towards the fountain statue. Maybe. Only if we ask someone. No getting lost in the woods. Turns out it will bring us back closer to our starting point than continuing the scenic loop. Hope.
So, against my trepidatious (might be a new word) misgivings of what lurks in yonder wood I reluctantly agree to take the shortcut. A bridge veers off to the right. Which way. The girl with directions said left so we keep going straight down the path as there is no definite left. A little futher the path splits – a clear left and a clear right. Which way. The girl didn’t say, so assume left again. It’s going to be dark soon. Hope we’re out of the woods. Finally, steps and the scenic loop is in sight again! Which way.
Forgetting the sage advice I learned while on family adventures as a young gal, which said when in doubt always go left, we chose to go right. Walking. Doesn’t feel right. See that pavilion up on the hill over there. That is not the pavilion by the fountain. I think the girl must have meant when we come to the end of the path, turn left. Keep walking. Wait, there’s the poodle girl walking towards us. Wow, she has made good time, but shouldn’t we be going the same direction as her? Follow her. Of course she is out of sight in a flash. No mind. I’m going to ask the next person I meet where the fountain is.
I have failed to mention that for the past several minutes there has been a voice in the woods calling out something that sounds like Ragee. You need to know this because……A car whizzes by. Stops. Begins to back up. Why is that car backing up. Why is no one else around. Wait, another car is coming, he better quit backing up. Car pulls over. Guy gets out. Are we safe. He wants to know if that woman back there is calling her dog. I think so. He hollers to her that her dog is up at the pavilion playing with the kids.
Pavilion. Question, which way is the fountain from here. He says we’re almost there. Just around the corner and up that hill. Hill. I knew there would be a hill at the end. Finally, yea! Fountain. I need to stop and rest. Catch my breath. Cool Down. A guy emerges from the woods. Says he sees we made it. Wants to know if we’ve seen the dog woman yet. No, don’t see the dog either. Hope they found each other.
Strains of Happy Birthday waft on the air from the pavilion as we slowly make our way back to the car an hour after first walking down the other side of the hill. Thank God we took the shortcut through the woods or we’d still be circling the scenic loop looking for a statue with a fountain.
We drive slowly down the hill, through the trees, sigh contently and head home knowing that we now belong to Cherokee Park.
Autumn is my favorite time of year.
It smacks of possibilities in the road not yet taken. The leaf strewn lane beckons the weary traveler to come see what lies ahead and find rest in the road others have long forgotten. I will not forget – this road is my friend and I will travel it well looking for peace in the autumn hues that feed my soul.
I hope you are enjoying the beauty of this season!