Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘winter’

Beautiful Ohio’s Winter Wonderland

Jackson Park near Byesville provides a scenic place to walk on a winter day.

Jackson Park near Byesville is a great place to walk on a winter day.

Snow flakes fall against the window panes while the wind howls through the cracks in the wall. Looking out the window here in Ohio, there is snow as far as the eye can see. This is the perfect time to get out the picture album and reminisce about other snowy days.

Dad shovels snow.

Dad bundles up to shovel snow.

Shoveling snow has always been a winter chore throughout the years. Often this task got delegated to the man of the house as he bundled up in buckled boots, old overcoat, and toboggan to protect himself against the winter cold. At the time of this picture, the car wasn’t driven into the garage because the tires had chains on them to enable better traction in the snow. Sometimes it may have been days before anyone cleared the roads. It may be a neighbor with a blade on his tractor or perhaps the highway department, that finally opened the roads for needed supplies. Often when the snowplows cleared the roads, they would push a pile of snow a couple feet high across the end of your driveway. Or you may have lived in a place where the winds blew drifts several feet high. Those were and still are the times that try men’s souls and their backs.

Children enjoy a sled ride.

Children enjoy a sled ride.

Children always enjoy a ride on their sled whether they are being pulled by someone or gliding down a hill. Many neighborhoods have a favorite hill where children gather to race on their sleds. Sometimes they may use a large lid or piece of cardboard with the front bent up so it can slide easily down the hills without getting caught in the snow. An old innertube also provides a great way to slide down a hill. You can be certain that everyone is going to come home covered with snow and ready for some hot chocolate.

Carrot nose placed on his first snowman.

Carrot nose placed on his first snowman.

Another favorite activity in the wintertime is building a snowman. Parents enjoy helping youngsters build that first snowman as it makes dad and mom feel young again too. To add the finishing touches, a nose is created by using a carrot, while its mouth and two eyes are made out of coal. Many times a hat is placed on the snowman’s head with a scarf around their neck. Then everyone hopes it doesn’t melt away too quickly after all that hard work.

Pepper, the Pony, pulls a sleigh through the snow.

Pepper, the Pony, pulls a sleigh over the snow.

If you are lucky enough to have a horse of your own, or a kind neighbor with a horse, hooking up a sled or sleigh behind a horse is great fun. It is important that someone either lead the horse or ride it as otherwise the horse might take off too quickly leaving passengers on the ground in the snow. What a treat when it works properly!

Deer wander over the Ohio hills.

Deer wander over the Ohio hills, as seen from my kitchen window.

This is also the time to see animals seemingly enjoying the snow as well. Kittens leap over snow covered chairs and playfully wrestle on the ground, while dogs might just sit and watch the activites around them. Deer graze on a few blades of grass still poking through the snow, while keeping alert to any danger around.

While this is not a favorite season for all, many truly enjoy taking a walk in the snow, skiing, or ice skating on a frozen farm pond. Winter recollections can be an enjoyable way to pass a homebound day. Wonder what your favorite wintertime activities might be? To tell the truth, this gypsy would rather take a road trip on a sunshiny day!

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Magical Sleigh Ride

Waiting at the theaterTap, tap, tap! Sitting on a cold bench outside the theater, Katherine tapped her foot impatiently waiting for the show to begin. Dressed in a warm cape with a red knit scarf around her neck, the winter chill didn’t bother her. The Christmas season always brought her out to watch the crowds pass on their way to shop for the holidays. But Katherine didn’t need to shop for anything, she only wanted to see the Christmas show.

While she waited, she heard the clip-clop of horses’ hooves on the pavement.  Riding in a horse and sleigh would be more fun than playing charades at a party, thought the young lady. The second time she heard it, she jumped from the bench and moved quickly to the side of the street.

“Any chance you could pick up a lady for a short ride?” Katherine smiled as she approached the driver of the sleigh.

“Usually people pay to ride, but I’m in the Christmas spirit tonight so let me help you up here.” Then the driver wrapped a warm blanket around her legs before they headed off on an adventure.

Katherine and the sleigh just seemed to float over the town almost like a magic carpet with sleigh bells attached.  She could look down and see all the mannequins along the street. There were those beautiful courthouse lights she had heard so much about but had never seen.  Katherine’s laughter warmed the air as she pleaded with the driver, “Could you circle around again so I can see those lights a little better. Slow down!”

The driver settled the sleigh softly on the roof of the bank building. Then he watched with Katherine as they enjoyed the beautiful courthouse with pulsating Christmas lights synchronized to holiday music.

Later as they drifted over the city, Katherine was as excited as the kids at a chestnut roasting. Her heart skipped a beat as they swooped down around the frozen Salt Fork Lake. The dazzling snow-capped firs and pines were the perfect hide-out for a family of deer. The snow glistened in the moonlight creating a magical feeling in the air.

Mannequin still waitsThe evening flew by with Katherine feeling like a young girl again. Happiness like this was a priceless treasure even though she knew it would soon end. As the sleigh came back to the theater, it dropped down to the street and the clip-clop of horses’ hooves was heard once again. Katherine sat back down on the bench and waited with the ticket still in her hand. Perhaps that ticket will bring her more magical happenings in the future. But for now, Katherine is again the mannequin that sits on the bench in front of the theater, hoping the passers-by will enjoy their walk through Dickens Victorian Village.

Story Behind the Story

Being a volunteer at Dickens Victorian Village in Cambridge, Ohio brings me lots of pleasure. A few weeks ago, however, one of  the mannequins was stolen from the bench in front of the theater.  Strangely enough, the next day she was back on her bench. Another volunteer, who knows I enjoy writing stories, suggested that I create a story about her adventure while she was gone.  Hope you enjoyed Katherine’s little sleigh ride!

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