Category Archives: Central Ohio

Record Snowfalls, Record Fun

Snow memories (and winter “survival” strategies) from February 17, 2010:

Cocooning is overrated and easily overdone. Long periods of inactivity may be a course of self improvement for caterpillars, but the results are generally not so favorable for people.

If there were ever a winter to compel hibernation, this might be the one. Record snowfalls and low temperatures make for interesting reading and better than average “how about this weather” conversations, but they also make it more likely we’ll have to live without bananas and bread for a few days.

My winter survival strategies include traveling to “summer” somewhere else in the world and taking time out for some of the indoor attractions that are forgotten with warmer weather. But my best game plan for a season that always seems to linger a little too long is simply to bundle up and get right out in the middle of it all. Then it’s fun again.

My daughter assures me that none of her future books will include a chapter on how her mom once made her run in snowstorms. I do hope, however, that she will remember the silly fun of making snow angels in the middle of the road after a trail run through Highbanks on the day we got over nine inches of snow.

Columbus Things To Do


Caroling at the Care Center

Sweet memories… Christmas caroling at the care center was an annual event until Grandma’s death on Thanksgiving Day in 2010. It took little effort to bring joy to so many. Someday, we’ll do it again to honor her memory.

Caroling 2008

From 2008: One of my favorite Christmas traditions continues to be caroling with Grandma Dugan at her care center.  We had a smaller group this year, but our visit was every bit as meaningful and allowed for more personal time with the residents needing an extra boost.  Lily was a big hit, as usual, and my youngest niece carried out her candy-gifting with confidence and charm. We wandered room to room, knocking on doors and singing in the hallways.  There was a group sing in the piano room, but most of our “performances” were for private audiences of one or two.

Caroling 2008 close-up

Highbanks Care Center houses both rehabilitation and long-term care patients, so we sang to both familiar faces and strangers that we’re unlikely to meet again.  Some were joyous, looking forward to returning home or entertaining loved ones at Christmastime.  Others are without family and fighting infirmity and loneliness in tandem.

One strikingly lovely lady, situated near Grandma’s room, caught my heart.  She was tearfully grateful for our visit. Her living space had been lavished with holiday love, but her family is far away and she is losing her hearing. She’s a music lover, no longer able to sing and struggling to hear anything at all.  She sadly showed me a wind-up kitty that she had thought needed batteries before realizing the extent of her hearing loss.

Standing next to her bed, I placed our sleighbells in one frail hand and held tightly to the other. The kids and I sang loudly then, hoping she could hear a melody and absorb some of the energy it carried. I won’t soon forget her delight as she shook those bells to “Jingle Bells”  -with such a smile.  It won’t be hard to pop into her room from time to time when I visit Grandma, so I guess I’ve made a new friend too.

Best of all, the kids realized anew how good it feels to give blessings to others.

**I’m headed to Mexico for a few days (with my camera, of course).  ~Should be able to post “Stories on Our Tree” from there; if not, look for it on Christmas Eve when I’m back in the US.


A Cooler Columbus

An In-Town Tourist Feature:
…because Adventure begins in the heart and Travel starts at the end of your own driveway.

From July 2011

Recent high temperatures and heat advisories have ramped up the cool factor of Columbus’ revamped Bicentennial Park, an anchoring destination along the city’s newest parkway, the Scioto Mile.  A mammoth 15,000 square foot fountain complex offers opportunities for the heat-weary to be misted, sprayed and drenched. Amenities include a new restaurant and restroom/changing area.

A feature of the newly opened Scioto Mile, the park is easily accessible via the Olentangy-Scioto Greenway biketrails. We rode down from north Columbus on a recent weekend and wandered the edges of the splash zone.

I had already carried a camera down the previous weekend but still felt an irresistible urge to photograph the refreshing updates, feeling very complimentary of my hometown all dressed up with its new river park frontage.

It was like seeing a good friend debut a chic new look.  Columbus’ “new look” also includes The Promenade, a riverside corridor lined  with swings, chess tables and fountains with framing views of the city skyline. A very becoming style and comfortable vibe.

I was proud of her.


Columbus Things To Do

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