Spring break ain’t what it used to be

The grandkids are having their spring break this week. My plans were to take them to the zoo yesterday, which were made pursuant to last week’s weather forecast of sunny and a high of 45°. A little chilly, but if we layered and ducked into the aquarium, and the Australian nocturnal house, and reptile house enough times, it just might be enjoyable. Well, that little plan got spoiled by Mother Nature. High of 30°, and three inches of snow starting in the early afternoon. They played in the snow instead—Nathan, Kaitlyn, and Joshie. Kaity came in first, because Nate pelted her face with wet snow. Then Nate asked me if I would help him get Joshie inside, because he was done, but his little brother didn’t want to quit. They had already been out for about 45 minutes, but I put on my Snowmageddon outfit, and stayed out with him for a while longer. And stayed, and stayed…he’s the Energizer Bunny when it comes to the outdoors. Finally, when it was almost dark, and he was getting wet from the heavy snow, I got his mommy, who was just returning from running an errand, to bring him in. He wasn’t too happy about it, but so far, we’re still in charge. So far.

I googled indoor water parks for something to do this week. That’s not happening. The good ones are already booked up, of course, and the two stars on TripAdvisor ones are too expensive for the quality of the accommodations. I really didn’t want to spend that kind of money anyway. I think it would be better spent on a summer membership to the municipal pool, where I can take them every day, if the weather permits.

The only movie they want to see doesn’t come out until Friday, and I don’t really consider that an activity. So, there’s bowling, if we can get a lane. I’m only counting indoor activities, because it’s supposed to be rainy and drizzly the rest of the week. Bah.

We’re members of the Ohio History Connection, so we’re heading to the Ohio History Center on Wednesday. They have a wonderful exhibit of a 1950s Lustron home, reconstructed on the site, and complete with costumed docents. Lustron homes are fascinating. They were manufactured of porcelain enamel-covered steel. They were touted to be the home of the future, fully maintenance free, and easy to clean, and made on an assembly line. Lustron was the wonder child of an Ohio businessman, Carl Strandlund. There’s one in Marysville, although I don’t think it’s in mint condition, judging from the outside.

All of the historical sites in Ohio fall under the Ohio History Connection umbrella. We started Spring break early on Saturday with a visit and a hike at one of the most interesting locations—the Cedar Bog Nature Preserve, the largest and best boreal and prairie fen in Ohio (there are only two). I don’t know why it has bog in the name, because bogs are different from fens, in that “bogs clog, and fens flush”. Many cautions are handed out about staying on the boardwalk the entire time, mainly because the sedges (grasses are round, sedges have edges) are deceptive. You think you are stepping out onto grass, but you can sink into water as deep as your waist in a matter of minutes, and it’s muck under there, kind of like quicksand. The water stays at a constant 55°F year round, even in the most bitter cold and the hottest days of summer.

If that wasn’t enough to scare the young’uns, the over-the-top warnings about the Eastern Massauga rattlesnakes sunning themselves on the boardwalk, and the honeybee tree with the swarming bees was enough to make Nate want to stay in the visitor center. But we convinced him that, more than likely, we wouldn’t encounter any snakes. I don’t really think it was warm enough for them to be out of hibernation. As I thought, there were no scary encounters on our little hike. There were lots of skunk cabbages poking their little purplish heads through the muck, though. It was fun trying to spot them. And we did see the bee tree, but the honeybees were, as usual, minding their own business and not bothering anyone. I want to go back to Cedar Bog when the spring flowers are in bloom. It’s a sight to see.

We also did a short hike at the Darby Creek Headwaters Nature Preserve. The trail and viewing platforms were built and are maintained by The Nature Conservancy. They have an Ohio headquarters in Dublin. David’s sister Anita is an attorney for the national headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. They do wonderful work preserving natural places for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.

All of that hiking worked up a big appetite. We went to the little town of West Liberty, where we ate lunch at the only fast food place in town, a Subway, which is about the only fast food that I can still stomach. We were lucky to get there ahead of a girls’ soccer team, and a boys’ baseball team. Then we headed to the local ice cream shop, Nanzinger’s, where we had delicious ice cream cones, and I found a source for free-range eggs and bought two dozen. Nate doesn’t like ice cream (he’s not related to me!!), so after we had our ice cream, we headed to Marie’s Candies, a local candy maker. They hand out free samples, and have the best chocolates I’ve ever tasted. Yum. They had all their Easter offerings on display, and I’m going back this week to buy candy for the kids’ Easter baskets. Nate perused all of the delicious offerings, and finally settled on sour gummy worms. What?? I’m beginning to think that this child really isn’t related to me!

Joshie was plumb tuckered out and slept most of the hour’s drive home. The boys said it was a really great day (Kaity had spent the night with a friend and didn’t go with us), and when can we do it again? Soon, boys, real soon.

10 thoughts on “Spring break ain’t what it used to be

  1. Love the snow story. I’m glad you’re still in control. When will spring ever come? Our temps have dropped, and there’s nothing but rain in the forecast for the next three days. I guess we should be glad it isn’t snow and ice.

    How fascinating your visit to the Cedar Bog Nature Preserve was. What an adventure!. My grands would love that. I think I’m with Nate on the rattlesnakes, but with you on the ice cream.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope that’s the last we see of snow until at least December. At least it melted in one day, and of course, now it’s raining. But, we’re off to the history center this morning, if everyone is able. We had a rough sleeping night, so we’ll see.

      Believe me, I was on the lookout for the snakes the whole time, even though intellectually I was pretty sure there wouldn’t be. It was pretty cool, even with the constant vigilance. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Nature Conservancy is such a good group. There are three places they own/oversee within a couple of hours’ drive from here. Even us big kids enjoy going.

    We had the same experience here last week. It was spring break, so of course it was gloom, rain and coolish to cold. The big crawfish festival got really rained out on Saturday — six inches of rain, here. But the sun came out on Sunday (how appropriate) and I’m sure everyone had a fine time.


    • The Nature Conservancy really puts their donors’ money to good use, and not just here in the states, but around the world. They have some pretty high-power donors. My SIL was working on processing a donation of over $10,000,000 last week. She works a lot of late hours there. It’s nearly like a high-powered law firm, but she gets to do nice things, and she also gets to travel quite a bit.

      It’s raining here today. Oh, goodie. Our yard was almost dried out. Welcome, Spring!


  3. Sounds like my kind of good time but I couldn’t imagine getting Greg and Kevin there when they were kids! Sigh. I’m a little envious! We don’t start festivals here much till later in the spring — time has told in the past!

    Thanks for your comments on the Gypsy. I’m not sure why you’re not getting the messages… are signed up on the bloglovin’ site or googlefriend of direct mail? I’m never sure how to check that one! Basically, my schedule is usually every 3-4 days unless I’m gone! Sometimes more, but that’s usually more time than I have!


    • The boys love being outdoors with us. Gaige (the oldest at 13) kept inhaling deeply and saying, “I just love the way it smells outside in the spring!” I love that smell, too.

      Your posts show up in my WordPress feed, but sometimes they’re far down in the feed, so I have to make sure I scroll down past others that I’ve already seen a day or two before. Do you schedule your posts in advance? That’s the only reason I can think of for making them do that.


  4. I feel like I’ve had a guided tour of your (pretty damn interesting) neck of the woods. Lucky kids, to have you so willing to show them things that open their minds. I did not know about the difference between bogs and fens, and the nature preserve sounds like an amazing place! I had also never heard of Lustron homes, which sound like a really good idea with poor execution. (Kind of like what happens in my kitchen) Or were they just an idea too radical for the times?
    You are a mind of information, and far more entertaining than Wikipedia. But you do make me tired.


    • Deb, I’d love to give you a personal guided tour of our wonderful Ohio. We do live in an interesting state with a pretty diverse landscape. The whole fen concept is pretty amazing to me, especially the constant temperature of the water. There’s an amazing variety of plants and creatures that live in that patch of 800 acres. The alkalinity of the soil is so high (because of all the decaying matter), that if you took any of the plants out and tried to grow them in any other kind of soil, they wouldn’t live very long. They soil is the blackest I’ve ever seen.

      The Lustron homes fascinate me. Every time I passed the one here in town, I wanted to go knock on the door and ask for a tour, so when they opened the exhibit at the history center last year, I couldn’t wait to see it. It didn’t disappoint. I love that the docents act the part as if they’re living in the fifties, and of course, it’s furnished with period furniture and everything one would have outfitted a home with in those days. There are actually quite a few of them in the U.S. that have survived and are still in use. Some are much more well-maintained than others, of course.

      I make myself tired. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

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