Our Holiday

"Keep your face always toward the sunshine
and shadows will fall behind you."
Walt Whitman

It was a strange kind of arrangement for a holiday weekend; my husband had made plans with a friend of his, our son was camping with the church youth group, and Jacki worked on Saturday. Dale suggested that I whisk her away on Sunday and Monday for a mini vacation, an idea I greeted with a joyous burst of enthusiasm. 

Given this unexpected opportunity, Jacquelyn and I quickly seize the moment, booking our bed and breakfast less than a week in advance and happily begin planning our abbreviated version of a weekend outing. How delightful to go on a mother/daughter ramble once again. Gathering our lists of places to see in Ohio, we packed our bags, and traveled south after the morning service at Oasis Tabernacle.

Lunch was at Sababa Mediterranean Grill in Columbus, a superb little eatery if you like hummus, pita, shawarma, etc... It is the Greek/Israeli version of Chipotle Mexican Grill or Piada Italian Street Food, at least in our modest opinion and somewhat limited experience. We are not world travelers. Not yet! But we loved the food and thought the service was great!

Our destination is Adena Mansion and Gardens in Chillicothe. As we slowly climbed up the winding, tree-lined avenue leading to the estate we felt the usual flutter of excitement at a new discovery.

But what is this we catch sight of just around the bend? A rather shabby property just off to the left and a glimpse of a stone house across the fields on our right. As to gardens, we scan the surroundings and are left wondering. Ten dollars per person for this?

Still, we press on...

Avoiding the visitor center altogether, we drove back down the road to a pull-off near the mansion. Perhaps if we venture up to the kitchen garden and take a peek inside we will find a bit of beauty.

The trail leads us to a short flight of stone steps with a promise of cultivated beds beyond. This view brings a smile to our faces!

You may even notice a quickening of the step and a gasp of delight. An enclosed garden with pathways sprouting off in multiple directions will have that effect on us.

It is not such a grand arrangement or stunning display. Many a garden we have explored has more to offer. It is that we have this quiet plot of earth all to ourselves on a late spring afternoon amid sunshine, blue skies, and billowy clouds overhead. It is a gift to these village dwellers who, now and then, long for peaceful countryscapes.

As we walked down the lane we came upon this charming spring house in a sheltered glen.

It must be examined more closely.

Without a doubt, it is pleasing!

This simple little wash house is so primitive I cannot imagine doing laundry in here, but I love the wood and stone and metal details. It speaks of another era, of days gone by, a slower pace...

After our satisfactory trek around the property there was one more thing I had to do. Returning to the visitor center, I promptly went inside and paid the twenty dollar fee. Having taken so much pleasure in the gardens it seemed only fair to pay for our wanderings even if we never got the official tour.

From there, we drove to downtown Chillicothe and found a festival in full swing. As Jacki and I are not at all attracted to a carnival atmosphere, our stay was rather brief. We snapped a few photos, managed a short stroll, then took our leave of the noise and clutter.

It was time to check in at our bed and breakfast. We had seen a Castle Inn advertised online and jumped for it. We both admit now that the photos looked a bit chintzy. It's just that we never get a chance to stay at a castle and it sounds so adventurous and exciting, right?

Wrong! At least for this particular castle. Jacki and I decided it's a classic tourist trap and we fell headlong into it! Slightly creepy decor did not help. But I don't even want to go into descriptions of this dark night. Suffice it to say, I did not sleep well at all, this part of our holiday was a fail, and we couldn't wait until morning!

Not every choice we make will come out perfect. I am learning to trust in the Lord to guide me, then not stress too much if plans seem to go awry. Believe me, I hung onto promises of His Presence during the long night hours!

And I can assure you that joy comes in the morning!

To be continued...