Yesterday and today finally warmed up to about 30°F. With almost no breeze and plenty of sunshine it actually felt quite warm today after so many days that hovered around 0°. Here an Amish horse-drawn buggy pulls onto the Holmes County Trail. The trail is part of Ohio’s rails to trails where old rail lines have been converted to hiking and biking paths. The Holmes Trail is unique in that it has been designed to accommodate horse and buggies in addition to pedestrians and bicycles. The trail is twice as wide as most. Today was also the first day that I took to the trail to walk this year. Lovin Holmes County Ohio.
Several days ago when I took my wife to work near Walnut Creek, Ohio I noticed an odd phenomenon on the hillside at the nursing home where she works. There were hundreds of little snow ball looking clumps on the hillside. They looked to be anywhere from a couple of inches to about a foot in diameter. The next day when I was reading the local paper I discovered that they are called “snow rollers”. I’d never seen anything like them in my lifetime. When I asked my mom about them she said it was the first time she had heard of them. Apparently they are VERY rare and it is not likely that I will see them more than once in my entire lifetime. They look pretty cool so I found some more information about them. According to Wikipedia, A snow roller is a rare meteorological phenomenon in which large snowballs are formed naturally as chunks of snow are blown along the ground by wind, picking up material along the way, in much the same way that the large snowballs used in snowmen are made. A number of conditions must be met simultaneously in order for the little snowballs to form. I went out to Schrock’s Amish Farm to take some pictures of them. Most of them were between 3″ to 8″ but I found one that was around 12″ in diameter. According to wiki, they have been found up to 24″ in diameter.
Yesterday was the annual pajama party sale in Berlin, Ohio. An arctic wind also blew in plenty of snow and frigid temperatures. Every year hundreds of ladies descend on Berlin, Ohio this time of year to take part in the pajama party sale. Karen Lamp, of the Country Craft Cupboard, started this annual event almost 20 years ago. But it’s not just for her store, there are over 30 Berlin area merchants that participate as well. Anyone who comes in their pajamas can take advantage of some pretty impressive discounts. Late forenoon, I saw these ladies from Pennsylvania braving the wind, snow, and sub-zero wind chill. They asked me to take their picture with one of their cameras. I could see that they weren’t about to let the inclement weather dampen their spirits. They were on an adventure!
For more area events click: Ohio Amish Events Calendar.
This week Wanda and I stayed at The Premier Carriage House Cottages, located several miles from Berlin, Ohio, on County Road 203. I’ve seen the cottages before but this was the first time we’ve stayed there. There are seven beautiful cottages on the property; we stayed in the number seven unit. As soon as we walked into the cottage we knew we were going to enjoy our stay. This unit is very spacious and has about everything you can imagine. It’s a perfect place for a romantic getaway, a honeymoon stay, to celebrate a special occasion, or just to “get away from it all”. [Read more…]
This morning, my day to sleep in, I crawled out of bed at 6am and went to unlock the gymnasium at church for a basketball tournament. When I got home I thought I’d head on over to Hiland High School, just west of Berlin, Ohio, and take a few pics of the start of the Berlin Amish Country Half Marathon and 5K race.
I love to go on walks and ride my bicycle, but I must confess, I’m not inclined to run much, especially when it’s 20 degrees F outside. I know some people who like to run and it seems to me that they really like to run, like you could maybe call them fanatical (you know who you are).
There were a whole lot of runners and well-wishers around and you could feel the excitement building as the start of the race drew near. I caught the fever pretty quickly and hung around for a whole lot more than the start of the race; the half marathon started at 8:30am and I didn’t get home till around 11am. The race is touted as being “designed for runners by runners”. That’s all well and good but Holmes County is not flat. I was right there watching the runners chugging up the long steep hill just east of Charm, Ohio, on County Road 70. There was a whole lot of huffin and puffin goin on. [Read more…]
Today I participated in an Amish Fundraiser. The Amish community is famous for working together to raise a new barn, when one of their members or neighbor’s barn burns down. They are also quite adept at raising funds for various needs and causes in the community. A number of years ago I helped out with a pizza fundraiser, so I said yes when Mr. Hostetler asked me to be one of the van drivers. I got up at 5:30 this morning, before first light, and headed over to Walnut Creek to pick up “my people”. Last time I went, I drove a couple of Amish men around to sell and deliver pizzas. This time Emilene Hostetler and Melissa Miller got the honors to distribute the goods. This was the first go around for the young ladies, I think they were a bit nervous as to how this was going to go down. [Read more…]
This Saturday I headed up to the 3rd annual Holmes County Book Signing Event at the Gospel Bookstore in uptown Berlin. Several dozen authors were present to talk to visitors and sign their books. Eli (Small) Hochstetler, the owner of the book store (a.k.a. the Mayor of Berlin) puts a lot of time and energy into bringing authors of Amish related works to the area. There’s a great variety of books, including biographies, devotionals, novels, and a cookbook. Famous area photographer, Doyle Yoder, was also present, selling his 2014 Holmes County Calendar. Eli does a lot of promotion for this event. All products are twenty percent off and since so many people like to read, they make great Christmas gifts. There are both local area authors and quite a few from out of state. I find the authors to be quite interesting and have been able to get to know a good number of them. With so many of them present I didn’t have nearly as much time chatting with them as I would have liked to. Here are some pics and a complete list of the authors present at the book signing. [Read more…]
This morning I went up to The Gospel Bookstore in Berlin, Ohio to a book signing event that Eli “Small” Hochstetler arranged with Marie Monville, author of “One Light Still Shines”. In the book, Marie shares her story of the tragic events that rocked her, and her family’s world, in October of 2006, seven years ago this month. The tragedy: The shooting of young Amish school girls at The Nickel Mines Amish School in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania by her husband, Charles. After shooting the girls, Charles committed suicide. I already had a copy of this excellent book and was deeply touched by the message of forgiveness, amazing love, and hope in this small Amish community, amidst unimaginable grief and pain. [Read more…]