"" Writer's Wanderings: October 2020

Thursday, October 08, 2020

My COVID Book Corner--Be Patient

 There have been some very good things that I have found in the midst of this pandemic. One of them was the opportunity to begin reading through the chronological Bible--a Bible organized a little closer to the timeline of historical events. I got to Job and read through the book and then wondered what I had read. I've been through Job before but I don't think I ever took the time to try to understand it. I needed help.

Help came through a book by Warren Wiersbe called Be Patient.  Wiersbe takes all the flowery poetic phrases and makes them a little easier to understand. In a short period of time, Job lost his wealth and his children and his position in the community. We find him sitting on an ash pile and scraping boils with broken pottery.

Ah, but three friends spin a lot of rhetoric telling Job what is wrong with him and his relationship with God. Job continues to trust God through it all even though at times he questions why he has come to such ruin. Once Wiersbe puts it in language a little easier to understand, I realized how these know-it-all friends really didn't help Job much nor did they know it all.

While Job is a righteous man and trusts in God, he still questions why he has been put through all of this. He challenges God to show him where he has gone wrong. How often we question God when things go wrong.

In the end God triumphs over Satan in that Job remains faithful and He chastises Job's friends. Job intercedes for them and forgives them. In the end, Job's faithfulness is rewarded with a blessing of double what he had before he lost it all. 

While I've always heard the phrase "the patience of Job," in the end I think it was more the patience of God that prevailed. Oh, and I have to smile when Job's wife lost her patience and just told him to curse God and die. Hmmm. There must be a lesson there somewhere as well. Lots more to learn. Wiersbe's book is a good start.

Monday, October 05, 2020

The Falls of Cuyahoga Falls

 It all started with a quest to find The Gourmet Popper. It is a chain that makes the best caramel popcorn. There was one located in downtown Cleveland and before any Indians game we would buy a bag, request the bag be left open (they would fill it to the top then) and eat it down to where we could seal it before going into the game. Rarely did any make it home.

When COVID closed down the location, we went online and looked for any others we could find. In Cuyahoga Falls, we found one that was about to reopen in a new location and we eagerly awaited the news on their Facebook page that they were open. It came. We went. Our pantry is stocked up with the delicious treat. In telling of our trip to a fellow Pickleball player, he excitedly told us of a little restaurant/tavern that had the best Lake Erie perch dinners he'd ever found. We were hooked.

We searched the location and found the Boulevard Tavern. But our friend had mentioned walking to the falls. Hmmm. Were there really falls in Cuyahoga Falls.? It made sense. If Chagrin Falls had a waterfall, then it seemed reasonable the Cuyahoga Falls would too.

A little more research and we learned that there were two falls, one big and one small. The Big Falls had been covered by the dam that formed the reservoir there but the Little Falls was still there. The only problem was that it sits between the freeway and the back of the Sheraton Suites which has a fence all around it and doesn't seem to allow access. Down the road just a bit though was the perfect place to see it.

We found High Bridge Glens Park and parked. It was a chilly and windy but sunny late afternoon. There were a couple of walkways. One led to a pedestrian bridge from which you could see the Little Falls. It was a nice view even from a distance. Another walkway led to a ramp that weaved back and forth to a lookout point almost at the base of the gorge the Cuyahoga river had created over the many years it had wandered through the area.

Historical markers always catch our attention and we learned some interesting facts about the park. In 1879, a resort was built that spanned both sides of the river and included a dance and dining pavilion, lots of trails, overlooks, waterfalls and a suspension footbridge. They also think it had one of the earliest roller coasters in the area and one of its visitors was soon to be president, William McKinley. 

Eventually the resort gave way to industrial growth and the river was harnessed to supply power. In 2009, the park was rededicated and attention has once again been drawn to the importance of the Cuyahoga River which is one of fourteen National Heritage Rivers. The Cuyahoga is a unique river that flows both north and south because of the way it winds through the valley. Its name means Crooked River.

During our wonderful perch dinner, we noticed a picture above our booth that looked a lot like a cave from Hocking Hills in southern Ohio. Upon closer inspection we saw the notation that the photographer had actually taken the picture in Cuyahoga Falls. We googled the Mary Campbell Cave and found that the Summit Metroparks was nearby. After our dinner, there was still a little daylight left so we found the park and walked the trail we thought led to the cave but didn't find it before we decided we were losing too much daylight.

It was a great afternoon/evening. We felt like we'd had a travel adventure and didn't have to go farther than a half hour from home. 

Friday, October 02, 2020

September 2016 We Were In Search of the Northern Lights

 One of the most exciting aspects of visiting Iceland was the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights. Up until about the midpoint of our trip the conditions had not been good--well, except for the first night when we were so tired we didn't get up to check out the skies. We were at the northern side of Iceland and after checking the conditions at the website we'd found, it looked good. We anxiously awaited nightfall and found a spot away from town. You'll never guess what happened. Take a look: The lights were on! 

No matter what the brochures show you of any place in the world, they never picture the bad weather. On our eighth day of travel we found ourselves in the middle of nowhere and in the middle of a heavy rain, howling wind and roads that turned from paved to gravel. Whew! This is quite a story: Somewhere In The Middle of Nowhere

The sun came out the next day giving us bright new vistas to explore. The day was full of surprises including an orca, several swans and an unexpected historical place. WIFI was free and did not have a password in most places but in our hotel that day they did require one. You'll never guess what it was: Surprises 

While we enjoy the places we see, the most memorable experiences are always the people we meet. On one particular day when we made a stop at a restaurant more to be able to use the restroom than because we needed anything to eat, we met the most delightful lady who was kind enough to introduce us to an Icelandic specialty. Rainy Gravel Roads 

Several questions arose on one day while exploring the western side of Iceland. First of all who has the right away? Automobiles or sheep? Second, where are those elusive puffins? And I braved a trip to a small hot spring for a dip. Exploring the West

While we may have had a couple of rainy days that made it a bit difficult to enjoy the landscape as much, the people we met more than made up for it. A proprietor that went out of his way to feed us and an interesting newly engaged couple that was traveling the world with everything they owned in the trunk of their car. Here's the link to these stories: Another Rainy Day

The Icelandic horses were special and we finally got to see them up close one day. This post tells a lot of the background of how they got to Iceland and what they were used for. And there was the black church. Here's the link: The Horses! 

An afternoon of spelunking in an old lava tube and and the troll canyon. It was all followed by one of the most spectacular sunsets I've ever seen. You have to look at the picture! Spelunking and Trolls

One more glorious night of viewing the Aurora Borealis. It was spectacular. Lots of pictures in this post. Link: The Northern Lights Take 2

All good trips have to end at some time. Our last day had us returning to Reykavik and seeing how Iceland has used their hot springs and geysers for power. Link: Homeward Bound 

Thursday, October 01, 2020

Where Were We September, 2016? Iceland!

You might notice, if you follow my posts, that I skipped reminiscing the year of 2017. Although we traveled that year, we didn't go anywhere in the fall However we did go to Iceland the year before in September.

 One of the places we have been to that we would like to visit again was Iceland. We flew to Reykjavik and spent fourteen days driving the Ring Road that pretty much goes all around the perimeter of Iceland. We had driven to Toronto to fly from there to Reykjavik as it was a cheaper flight and straight through--about five and a half hours, arriving early in the morning.

Upon arrival, we rented a car and began our adventure with a few stops on the way to our first guesthouse. An historic lighthouse, a bridge that spans two continents and our first hot spring are all recorded in my first post: The Iceland Adventure Begins

Our second day was spent driving the Golden Circle. Several amazing waterfalls, a fish ladder and a secret lagoon were among the stops we made. Link to the post: The Golden Circle 

The drive on the third day was only an hour and a half with no stops but we managed to turn it into a full day's excursion with stops at several waterfalls, a long walk to see the wreck of a DC3, a glacier and a beach with black sand. And you'll never guess where we slept! Link: The Southern Coast

Mossy lava rock, some berry-picking ladies, and a beautiful glacier lagoon were some of the sights along our drive the next day. Hot springs and glaciers don't seem like they would go together but the large glacier we visited actually takes up 14% of Iceland, Oh, and did I mention there are also volcanoes? Here's link to that day's adventure: The Glaciers

Day five was a bit misty and rainy but it gave the landscape a mystique that was beautiful. A fish farm, reindeer and the tallest waterfall in Iceland were a few highlights. Link; The East Coast

This next post was of a day filled with all sorts of adventure. We saw a powerful waterfall and the power of a hot spring erupting (both are videos). Then can you believe we actually had dinner while we watched cows get milked? We finished off the evening with a dip in a hot spring. Check it out here: Ever changing landscape

Each day we checked the online prediction of seeing the northern lights. The next place we were to stay was looking promising for viewing because of the area plus the conditions that were predicted but first we were going to have to do some laundry. Now that was a real challenge as great as the challenge of a tunnel with a cross street. Yes. Take a look at my post: The Akureyri

But would we see the northern lights? Tune in tomorrow.

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