Ahh, There It Is

All week the news has been telling us about this horrible snowstorm that we were supposed to have starting today. (Technically yesterday, but you know what I mean.) But as today progressed, it brought nothing more than rain… at least until almost midnight. But once it got here, boy did it get here.

After much debate with myself earlier in the evening, I decided to go in town to pick up Brianna and Ariel so we could go meet up with some of their and Christina’s friends – to celebrate what would have been Christina’s 44th birthday today. I warned them that I planned to bail when the weather turned – but even though I headed pretty much directly home with them… once they were dropped off and I was on the way to my house, it was a legitimate white-out situation on most of the road that leads to my house.

It was fun hanging out with everyone, but I sure wish I left about 15 minutes earlier than I did… because that drive home made my butt pucker. Luckily I’m familiar with the road, but for those that aren’t – there’s probably no way they’d have made it, since the road was completely snow covered, not touched by a plow or salt truck, nor even touched by another car before me… at least as far as I could tell.

So even though I was creeping along, the stress and limited visibility made my eyes hurt, my shoulder hurt, my neck hurt, and then topped it off with a splitting headache just as I made it to my driveway. But, as usual, as long as there weren’t any other cars spinning or driving into my path, I didn’t really have any problem driving. It wasn’t even slippery… just drifts of snow, effectively erasing the roads and making it a “choose your own adventure” drive home.

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Amish Country

So, the very next day after all of that dumb shit happened around my doctor appointment, that was the day that we had already set aside for going up to the “Amish Country” up in NE Ohio. 😐 The entire evening before, I was still livid – so I already knew what my plan was… stay up all damn light, do as much research and “planning” regarding my WC stuff as possible, and then as soon as the sun came up (as long as Genesee woke up early)Β we could be on our way. πŸ™‚ And that’s actually pretty much how it went, thankfully.

I’m not sure how I did it… all of it… but the trip was a success, we had a good time, I kept my mind fairly free of the previous day’s drama, and I also didn’t feel myself falling asleep until we were about a half-hour from home. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Despite it being off-season, and rather gray and plain up there, we still made it a “full sized” trip – leaving home around 8a and getting back somewhere around 7p. 😧 And I even made myself to stay awake for several more hours, which allowed me to force my sleep schedule back on a “normal” track. Honestly though, I give all of the credit for anything “good” like that from the day to Genesee. (Actually, she gets the credit for that for the entire duration of her trip here. 😏)

I drove, so we did the official Batina path and itinerary – as if we were traveling with Aunt Carol. πŸ™‚ I’m not gonna spell check any of this… but we started by going up through Charm, then to the Guggisberg Cheese place – where I got some gummy bears and meat sticks, over to Miller’s Bakery – where we stocked up on cheese crowns, followed by a short drive to Hershberger’s farm store – where there were unfortunately no flowers or critters, but I did get some Amish sweet pickles, and then it was off to Berlin for a stop at an antique/craft mall and thrift store, along with the mandatory stop at Heini’s Cheese – where we taste tested all sorts of weird cheese and fudge, and I left with some co-jack and green onion varieties… 😳 and then the last stop was at Wendell August… the place where they create every type of carved and stamped metal “thing” that you could imagine. 😊

Dinner was also at the traditional Aunt Carol place… a huge pretty-much-Amish-style restaurant / buffet – where we both poofed ourselves on potatoes, noodles, stuffing, shredded chicken, rolls, misc salad goodness, etc. 😁 It was too cold to sit out on their long wrap-around porch to un-poof a bit before hitting the road again, and we were starting to lose the light anyway – so we decided to just keep moving. (We took 77 south to 70, and even stopped off at Gabriel’s in Zanesville… and I’ve got no idea how I summoned the energy for that.) Then we took 22 to Lancaster from Zanesville, basically cutting a south-western path that saved us quite a few miles compared to taking the freeway over to Millersport and down. πŸ€”

It wasn’t an ideal trip on paper… off season, cold, no sleep, having already been busy all week… but it ended up being perfect. ☺ Got all the goodies that we wanted, kept myself distracted from anything that might have made me angry, had quite a few flashback memories from different trips with Aunt Carol and my grandparents, and the “goody” from the trip lasted through the evening, even after I was home and Gen was off to her next stop. πŸ™‚

Abandoned Exploration

I’ve found myself getting lost in “abandoned buildings” videos on YouTube over the past week or two… and more specifically in the ones where everything was just left behind, as if someone got up and went to work one day and just never came home again. 😯 I’m not sure why it fascinates me so much. It might be because, like Mom, I can look at any old home and imagine what life it used to hold. ☺ Families, holidays, birthdays, ups, downs, day-to-day boring life, just everything

I think the saddest part about these videos though is thinking about each of the individual items that people come across. Because you have to think… each item had a purpose, a reason at some point. πŸ€” Some more sentimental than others, but yeah… whether it’s old photos, stuffed animals, dolls, toy cars, nick knacks, CDs or cassettes, maybe even VHS or 8mm movie reels… every one of those things has a story behind it, but now those things are forgotten by the world, dissolving to time. πŸ˜”

I think that I may relate a little too much to some of these videos. 😏 Granted, it’s only because of the story that I create in my mind, but when you see an old house that is basically untouched – you sort of suspect that whoever lived there last was likely old and alone, with no kids to gift his possessions to, so for whatever reason the property just sits. That’s why exploring feels important to me, so even when someone is gone and forgotten by time, someone else comes along and does a great documentary and shares it on YouTube for those people and memories to live on.

It actually creates a moral dilemma for me though. πŸ˜’ The “rules” of urban explorers dictate that you take pictures, you take video, but you never take stuff. In theory I agree, because it still does belong to someone else, whoever that person may be… but I struggle with that rule because of the asshats that inevitably discover and vandalize such places. There’s just a large segment of the human population that would rather destroy the things that they find rather than appreciate them for what they are and what they were.

Most of the time it’s stuff that I wouldn’t even want for myself. Just stuff that deserves a better fate than to be overtaken by weather and nature and eventually destroyed. 😟 Antiques, porcelain dolls, old books, and other vintage items… it would be so hard to not collect them up just to donate them away, knowing that they’d then live on in the hands of someone that appreciated them. But maybe that’s not meant to be their fate. Maybe, sometimes, our stuff is only meant to live as long as we do, and suffer the same fate once we’re gone. I dunno… I’ll have to work this one around in my head a while.


  • PS: Having watched enough videos to say this, I think that there’s a lot of folks who don’t know the difference between “abandoned” and “unused” when it comes to the buildings they come across. For example, if you find an office complex that hasn’t been operating for six months, going inside and going “Wow! Look at all this office stuff left behind!” I feel like you’re more “breaking and entering” rather than exploring something that’s truly been abandoned. I guess this hobby has lots of moral quandaries.