Background Switcher (Hidden)

LIttle Towns, Narrow Roads and Old Houses

Thursday, July 21, 2011

People who visit us for the first time often comment that we live in the middle of nowhere. No, we don't, but you can see nowhere from here. And that's exactly how we like it. Every single day I thank my lucky stars that I get to live in the middle of nowhere.

Sometimes there's a day when the sky's intensity matches the land's, and somehow my Canon G-11 is able to capture the vivid blue of the sky and the shapes of the clouds without making the landforms too dark. This was such a day. A perfect summer day.  I was so happy that my photos were coming out as beautifully as the day was.
 As you can see, Bethel Twp Rd. 340 is not much more than a little driveway. That's how I like my roads. Doesn't this make you want to snoop around, see what's up there? Or more importantly, what's not up there? I've been doing that lately, taking country roads that have heretofore only been names or numbers to me. And I am never disappointed. Sometimes there's a sandhill crane or a fox or a bobcat waiting for me down these roads.

Lucky to live here, that's all.

The hamlet of Lebanon. There are several Lebanon, Ohios. This happens to be my Lebanon Ohio. It's probably the littlest one. That's how I like my towns, too.

 I think this old house is still being lived in, though I'm not sure. Maybe it's just storage. But it's untouched from how it would have looked fifty years ago. I like my old houses like that.

 It has a little shed friend. Oh how I would love to have a shed like this, a place to store the lawnchairs and bicycles. I've asked for one for my birthday. It will be a new one, but we will love it no less.

From the back porch of the old house, this is the view:

 Yucca and lilac: the two steadfast friends of little old buildings, keeping them company through the decades.

And across the road stands another shed, with a beautiful old water pump. Looking at it took me right back to the breathless anticipation of pumping my grandma Ruigh's creaky old pump, waiting and waiting for the rush of cool, iron-tinged water to come gushing into my tin cup. I didn't much like the taste of the water, but I loved that I could bring it up all by myself if I worked hard enough.

The sky was moody and blue, but our spirits were undampened. Speaking of breathless anticipation, all these vistas were ours on the way to Rolling Ridge Berry Farm, our favorite you-pick establishment of all time.


On the other side of this field lay Berry Valhalla.


I have heard that people actually pay to pick blueberries, but thought it to be a rurban myth.

They are among the easiest fruits to grow and if I were an amazing painter/writer/avieinstein person with 80 acres of rich Ohio soil ... I think I'd start a patch.

I love everything about this post. My grandfather's old home (gone now) had an artesian well that gurgled forth cool, sulphury water.
I loved it.

I had no idea yucca could survive that far north. Yucca alternifolia?

One can never have enough sheds.

The tin cup took me right back to the farm I lived on until I was 10. We had artesian wells, 56 degree water year round. Used to chill watermelons in the overflow. Nothing will ever taste as good as that water, straight from a limestone cavern, guzzled from a tin cup.

I want a tin cup for my birthday.

@Floridacracker: Bet you used to shake the yucca to see the moths take off when you were a kid, too.

I love these days and I also second that emotion. We are often told we live in the middle of nowhere - not even close to true, but we do live on a dead end dirt road up a steep dirt driveway with a background of wooded hilltop. Perfect, thanks! Your shot of the blueberries reminds me of a place near us that we call The Blueberry Jungle. It's got a GREAT old abandoned (I think) shed with a sign reading Blueberry Hill. I believe it used be a pick your own business but it's several years into wildness now and people are welcome to stop and pick through the jungle...and they do. Lots of red-winged blackbirds and dragonflies to keep you company. So, blue skies, bright sun, lush green, shades of berry...kind of screams summer to me!

I pray that I'll get to live in my own version of "the middle of nowhere" that is similar to yours someday. Beautiful!

There are many little ole country roads in Hocking County, yet, many are too quickly being paved with oily mixes and yielding to the litter throwing visitors. I spend several hours each week picking up after travellers in my neck of the valley on Big Pine Road. Travelling by bicycle is about the right speed for me. I see and find the best stuff from that seat.

Posted by Anonymous July 21, 2011 at 9:48 AM

And there is also a Lebanon in Pennsylvania, which is the county that i live in. Very nice pictures as well. Richard from the Amish settlement of Lebanon,Pa.

I'm enjoying (present, ongoing) this post a great deal. Whenever I pulpit-supply at a rural church, I love taking the backroads to it. Sometimes, after service is out, I go exploring and see where I emerge. Satisfaction on wheels. Literally.

Just like home. I like living no where, too. We have so many places to dawdle.

Lovely bit of nostalgia, Julie. I could relate as I grew up on a river in small town IL and enjoyed similar vistas and architecture. Have you seen Tree of Life? It too evokes the same moods and is beautiful to see. But I like your photos just as much.

Wow! Those berries look too beautiful to eat! I live in MI.,but, long time ago my husband, and my in-laws went to a farm that let you pick strawberries, and what not. Though went their to pick strawberries, it was awsome. I to pick fruit or vegetable! Thanks, have a good one!

This reminded me of the Kate Wolf song, "The Lilac and the Apple" - about a lilac bush and an apple tree, still growing on an old homestead even though maybe not even the house is left standing to show where someone used to live.

I prefer driving on state and county and township roads - so much more to see on the way to wherever you're headed. When I go down to Cinci to see the family I always try to go "the back way", unless I have a deadline that makes me have to drive the freeway. Slower is usually better.

Congratulations on being selected Blog of note. And, I wish I can live few years in Lebanon, Ohio in my life.

Posted by Anonymous July 25, 2011 at 11:40 PM
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

by reading and looking at your photos, it makes me want to pick blueberries and I don't even like them.

the weather it rather cloudy up here! i had to buy a umbrella..\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

Such beauty! I, too, appreciate the narrow roads and old houses. I love the photo of the shed, with the bright blue of the sky. Stunning, really.

Really liked this. Elegiac. But do you ever get scared living in isolation. I'm a bit of a wimp.

Nope. Never. Town's what scares me. The crazies are packed a lot tighter there, and can operate in relative anonymity. Out here everybody knows everybody, and their aunt and uncle, too.

[Back to Top]