Wednesday, April 6, 2011

drive south

Since Pat and I moved to Ohio, we have made a concerted effort to explore our state. Growing up in Illinois, between school trips and my Dad making sure we explored all of Illinois, I became pretty well versed in Illinois history. I took an Ohio history course, but that just wetted my appetite for more. We have explored eastern and western Ohio and think a trip to Columbus from Cleveland is something we can do on a moment's notice. We had never explored Southern Ohio. I don’t know where Southern Ohio starts but I am pretty sure that we drove through it on our way to Ashland, Kentucky this last weekend. It’s kind of funny how age changed my interests. In my youthful past, I was always looking for historical markers where some famous dead guy stopped. That is still fun but know I want to see parks and gardens because that’s where the plants and flowers are. Greenhouses, nursery centers, and flea markets have taken the place of brass plaques as places to stop.
North of Columbus the landscape was all brown and gray. Spring was holding its breath. The further south of Columbus we drove the more hint of spring we saw. The tips of trees and bushes were green. Farm fields had a three day beard of green. By the time we made Chillicothe (our first state capital), the landscape was verdant. Forthysias were in full bloom, daffodils covered the front yards of houses we passed. Magnolia trees and crab apples were in flower. Spring was marching north, just not fast enough.

Pat and I went to Ashland Kentucky for a John Prine concert. The first thing we did after checking into the hotel in Ashland was find the magnolia trees we passed looking for the hotel. The magnolia trees were in full bloom. Ashland must be a month ahead of us.

In the old days (whenever that was), Pat would be dry when the Ohio River flooded in the spring because she is standing on the dry side of the flood wall. If she was on the other side, she would either be treading water or floating down river heading to Cairo (that is Karo).

The concert was very cool. We had center stage pitt seats. I was giddy with excitement, or at least as giddy as I get. Now the people next to us were giddy. It was funny being in an auditorium filled with gray haired middle agers who knew the words to all of the songs. We made it back to the hotel just in time to see the University of Kentucky lose some basketball game. There was a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth at the hotel, but not by the concert goers. A bunch of us gathered around the bar and talked about our children and where we lived. Then it dawned on me, well maybe better late than never, Pat and I had turned into our folks. Now that is funny.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Sounds like you had a great time, beautiful flowers and good music.


Marguerite said...

I'm jealous. John Prine is a favourite in our house. Center seats too!

Anonymous said...

Great essay. My husband loves John Prine. He would have been right there with you.

Alistair said...

Seems like you had a great trip Jim, I always enjoy your journeys. Lets horrify our children and tell them that they will one day turn in to us.

Shady Gardener said...

One of the best things about moving (living) somewhere is the exploration. We still have a LOT of things we haven't found in Iowa! My guess is, Ohio is also "loaded" with fun things to discover! :-)

compost in my shoe said...

I grew up east of Cleveland in a small town called Geneva. Dairy farming was about a lot of snow shoveling. Looks like the snow has melted!

Unknown said...

Jim, I'm glad you had such a great time. Sounds like you were chasing Spring and reliving joys of the springtime of youth, simultaneously. :)

Esther Montgomery said...

Apologies. This isn't related to your post but a request for advice and information.

I use garlic to deter aphids. I understand slugs and snails dislike garlic too.

I have never grown hostas because there are so many slugs and snails in our garden, they wouldn't stand a chance - and I don't want to use pellets.

With your hosta experience - have you found garlic can be used as a defence against creatures which like to eat them?