Posts Tagged summer
That feeling you have when you send your child off to camp for the first time. Does every parent get that feeling? I was so excited for him and so worried about him being gone for an entire week.
Off to church camp with his best friend. I couldn’t really tell whether he was excited or not. I pretty much understood how he felt. He was heading into the unknown. I remember that feeling when I went to camp for the first time. Excited but totally nervous. Oh, he acted like it didn’t bother him. Said that he was looking forward to it. But I could tell by the look on his face that he was apprehensive.
The good news….they will be sleeping in cabins this year. In previous years they have slept in tents. That made me a little nervous. But when I heard that brand new cabins had been built, well, I was pretty happy about that. A full week away from home, enjoying the great outdoors, taking a bath in the creek (yes, we had to send float-able soap), zip lining, repelling and Bible studies in the wilderness that God created. I fully expect him to come home dirty and exhausted. I can’t wait to hear his stories. But for now, I pray for him, his camping buddies and the counselors every chance I get. Only 4 days to go till I pick him up. I sure hope he is having fun.
Is there a place that when you think about it or see it instantly takes you back to childhood? The Doughty, also known as Troyer’s Hollow, is that place for me.
As you travel along Twp. Rd. 154 just outside of Charm, OH, you would never notice the entrance to the Doughty. It looks like every other pasture gate that you pass. You have to know just where to look for it. There is no sign and no indication that the small gravel road will lead you down into a serene park-like natural wonder. As you turn onto the dirt road you will feel like you have made a wrong turn. Soon you will start to descend down down down and around the hillside. Don’t look out the right side of your vehicle, it’s a steep drop! At the bottom the trees will break away and the Doughty will be before you. I never get tired of that view. The gorge is deep and the hills and trees rise straight up on either side allowing the sun to shine for only a few hours every day in the hollow.
A little history on the area. The Doughty is part of a 2-mile long gorge that was formed by the glaciers that came through Holmes County. The Doughty Creek runs through this gorge. There is a very interesting and lengthy history to the area in which you can read part of here and here. But I’m going to share with you from my memories and from what I’ve been told by my family.
I know that there was a grist mill in the Doughty at one time. It was a thriving area with houses and businesses. From what I’ve been told by my family, my grandma was born in the hollow but only lived there a short time before her family moved.
Fast forward to when I was a child of about 5 or 6. At this time my great-uncle Orie Oswald, my grandma’s brother, owned the Doughty. I remember having family reunions and church picnics there. I remember playing in the creek and catching crawdads. When my cousin Leah would babysit me, she would take me down into The Doughty on horseback. I remember one specific time where she had the horse jump over a log that was in the horses path. I’ve never been much of a horse person so that was a little scary for me. There was also a swinging bridge that hung over the creek. I loved that bridge. Sadly, it was washed out by one of the floods that gushed through the area. The poles and cement that held the bridge still stand. Another memory is of family hiking trips up through the woods on the trails to the caves and, if we were lucky, the waterfalls that flowed after a good rain. Years ago we had a really bad ice storm hit Ohio. It destroyed the trails and the road down into The Doughty. Though the road has been repaired the trails have not. I’ve been told by the caretaker that the trails are passable by adults but a little treacherous for kids. Makes me sad, because I know Cade would love an adventure on those trails.
When my great-uncle Orie sold the land, the Guggisburg family bought it. Yes, the same Guggisburg family that is famous for their baby swiss cheese. They have hired someone to take care of the property and be the go-to person when wanting to rent the facilities. From spring thru fall the pavilions are rented almost every weekend. Many groups like to camp there and Amish have church services there on Sundays. There are 2 pavilions. One on the west side of the creek which is to the left as soon as you enter The Doughty. And the other facility is on the east side of the creek which means you have to go through the creek to get there. That is always a fun thing for the kids. There is a very nice bathroom shower facility for the back (east) pavilion. However the front (west) pavilion has port-a -pots. Both pavilions have kitchen facilities with a water pump outside.
In the above picture you can see the back pavilion and the bathroom facilities are up on the left. In the foreground is the place where cars pass through to get to the other side. This is a popular spot for the kids to play and adults to sit close by and put their feet in the water. Also in this picture you can see part of the structure that held the swinging bridge.
We still have our church picnics here. I’ve had 2 of Cade’s birthday parties here. During the summer when it’s hot and we don’t want to go to the pool, sometimes we will head to The Doughty to play in the water. Much less crowded and it’s free.
It is so peaceful and beautiful. While I’m down there I like to sit and imagine what it was like when there were houses and businesses there. Where did the houses sit? What did the people do who lived there? Was it a bustling hub of activity? The days gone by fascinate me especially when they mingle with my families history.
Do you know what isn’t fair? The extremely short season of certain fruits. Namely strawberries. And I’m not talking about the strawberries that travel hundreds of miles on a truck to make it to a local grocery store near me. I’m talking about local grown berries that are picked and in the store or roadside market within 24 hours. And the best is when you can get out to a local farm and pick your own but I haven’t done that for years. For any of you who love fresh strawberries you know what I’m talking about. Every year I am determined that I want to make strawberry preserves for the freezer. And every year the season comes and goes before I know it. If it could be just a few weeks longer, I would be very appreciative. But I guess it’s one of those things where if I would have access to fresh strawberries for a longer period of time they wouldn’t be as special and I wouldn’t be as eager to partake in such scrumptiousness. I will usually get a quart or two and we will have strawberries in our cereal and also strawberry shortcake for a few days. I cheat and do not make my own shortcake. We buy the little cakes you find in the store. I top it all with a little sugar and add some Almond Milk. Delicious! I also like to add blueberries since they are in season around here right now also. I have been known to fix strawberry shortcake for supper. Not as a dessert but for the main meal. Hey, it’s summer and those berries won’t be here forever so why not!!!
Do you wish strawberry season was longer? Do you have a favorite fruit with a short season that you wish you could eat all year?
So I’ve been slackin on my postings lately. Summer has been so busy I just haven’t had time. School will be starting in about 2 1/2 weeks. Where did this summer go? Our county fair is next week. School supplies need to be bought. Oh my! Still busy. Will be posting more soon.