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Food Pantry and Teachers

May 31, 2013

Ohio – Wednesday, May 22

I headed east to Zanesville this morning to start my walking, and to see some of the things that make this town unique. Zanesville used to be known as the Pottery Capital of the US and they had several large pieces on display in various places around town. Tula and I did a little walking, but she’s dragging a bit. So she waited for me in the car as I walked around town some more. I walked over the “Y-Bridge” – there aren’t many of them in the US. Zanesville’s Main Street is said to be the first one in America, and it’s part of the old National Road that I first ran across in Frederick, Maryland. I also noticed a canal with a path alongside it, so Tula and I took a walk along that too. There were a couple 10-11 year old boys pulling a wagon loaded down with fishing poles and stuff (playing hooky from school?!?!) – again, such a timeless activity! I walked past the canal locks, and it looks like they might still be used – I’ve been running across more canals than I ever expected to see, and there’s something fascinating about them! I walked a little over 3 miles in Zanesville.

Then I started heading west again along a scenic drive to Lancaster. Ohio is beautiful to drive through – lots of green rolling hills dotted with farms. I had read about the Lancaster Food Pantry, which is part of the Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio that was formed back in 1912, making it one of the oldest social service organizations. They offer a variety of programs, but I was interested in making a donation to the food pantry. I called to see if they would prefer a food donation or a check, and discovered they were going to be closing for the day in about 1/2 hour. There wasn’t time to shop for food, so I went and dropped off a check. Their food pantry was very neat and organized, and they were helping a few final people before closing for the day.

Then there were a couple parks side-by-side in town that I was going to visit to get some more walking in. Tula and I started out in the Rising Sun Park, and she walked along happily for about a mile and a half before getting tired. I’m on the wait list for an appointment at Tara’s vet tomorrow. It was starting to sprinkle anyway, so I put her back in the car, then I did some more walking in Rising Sun Park, then crossed the street to go walking in the Fairgrounds Park. I always like fairgrounds, and this was a big one, with lots of livestock barns, including a round cattle barn. There were goat barns, pig barns and a long row of horse barns in addition to a racetrack. One side of the fairgrounds was full of old buildings that had been moved to be on display – sort of like an outdoor museum, which included an old doctor’s building, a country store, a covered bridge, a chapel, a schoolhouse etc. I walked all around the whole place a couple times and didn’t mind to get rained on a bit. There were other people out walking too. Then I crossed back over to Rising Sun park and walked up onto one of the trails on the side of some big hills where the trees kept me protected from the rain. I saw some deer, and one of them walked toward me like it wanted to pose for my camera! I finished my walking for the day despite the rain, and I didn’t even get all that wet.

By now it was late afternoon, and it was time to make a beeline for Tara and Josh’s house where I could spend time with the grandkiddos again! Since I had finished all my walking, and had more than an hour of driving ahead of me, I wanted to stop and get a cold Diet Coke for the drive. I passed a McDonalds, and at first I wasn’t going to turn into that one, because there was a lot of traffic in the opposite lanes. But there was also a traffic light, so I figured it was as good a place to stop as any. I was waiting in the drive-thru line when I noticed about a half dozen adults in red t-shirts who were talking to all the drivers in line, and it looked like they were selling something. It turned out that they were teachers – and the principal – from the Bloom-Carroll Middle School, and they were selling chocolate chip cookies to raise money for the school. And this turned into a fun donation opportunity for me! I told them I could do a little more than buy some cookies, and I pulled out of the line, wrote a little note, and wrote out a donation check. The teachers and principal were wonderfully supportive and interested in my journey, and that made the donation all the more fun. One of them told me that they were specifically raising money for a new display case to showcase their Students of the Month in their Hall of Fame. The students of the month are not necessarily chosen for their academic or athletic talents (they have their own hall of fame), but are chosen for their own personal achievements that are milestones for them. I was happy to be able to help a little with something like that.

Then I finished my drive to Tara’s – a little later than expected, but it’s always good to be there! I’ll be enjoying grandma time and using their place as a home base for the next few days 🙂

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