The snowstorm is supposed to begin tonight, and the forecasts predict 12 to 15 inches for the Snowbelt where I reside here in Geauga County. I'm reminded of how quickly the winter landscape changes once the snowfalls. The photograph below I took this time last year with my DJI Mavic Air drone. It's the river valley where I live. I always have been so connected with the land around me where I reside. It's provided for me and always has been somewhere I can find solace from the outside world. I'm thankful for having that in life.
During the Fall of 2013, I remember getting word that the Ohio Division of Natural Resources stocked Punderson Lake with excess brown trout. I had never caught a brown trout before, and it was one of those fish on my bucket list to catch. I went there and didn't bother looking at the weather forecast. It was a cold November day, and I remember dressing plenty warm. I caught a small 6 or 7" brown trout that afternoon, but suddenly the wind picked up, and the snow started lightly falling. It seemed to happen out of nowhere, but the light snow soon turned into substantial wet snowflakes. I began to paddle back and remember hitting record on my action camera to have the memory of the event. I'll never forget that experience of being on the water in a winter storm whiteout. We ended up getting a substantial amount of snow in a short time frame. When I was driving home, I recall seeing a plow truck stuck on the side of the road. That's when you know it was snowing!
I officially finished in 2nd place overall in the 2020 Chagrin Falls Virtual Turkey Trot 5K Run!!!!!!!!! The only catch is there were only 11 people that ran it. I honestly thought more people would run it virtually, but then again, most of the races that went on for years that I love, like the Mantua Potato Stomp, didn't even have a virtual run and altogether canceled the race. I'm happy with my time and know I could have run it faster, but at 41 years old, the last thing I'm going to do is sprint down Washington St. LOL
This morning the winter rain started, and I could hear it gently falling on the roof and against my bedroom window. I knew there was a winter storm warning, but unfortunately, it didn’t get cold enough in the night. When it is winter, I would rather have snow rather than rain any day. In my opinion, winter rain is one of the worst things possible for weather other than a significant ice storm that knocks limbs and trees down. It’s the in-between weather that isn’t quite cold enough for snow but turns the winter lawn and ground to muck. I would much rather be walking upon freshly packed snow than have this rain. I’m hoping that this rain slowly turns to snow today.
This summer, I was saddened by everything that was happening in our country. I always would be on Facebook to share artwork or music. Sometimes read the occasional fishing report group. At some point, a social media company will reach its peak, and people will become unhappy. It happened to Myspace. Myspace was huge at one time, and I remember how much I loved being able to customize the HTML on my page. It allowed us to change my page color or add a photo etc. Myspace allowed people to become interested in computer coding. Facebook brought everyone to their platform, and for a while, it seemed like it was ok, but I still missed being able to have a top friends list and my music playing on the site since I had a musicians page.
It seems like all you see are people searching on social media now for arguments. It no longer has that energy it once had that was something completely new. I recall first joining AOL back in the 90s and going into chat rooms for my age group. Everyone there would enter A/S/L, and then the entire room would start putting your own age/sex and location. Mine would have been 16/M/Ohio back in the 90s. I remember I had met a girl from Pennsylvania on there, and we became pen pals. We met and got coffee at a tea house in Chagrin Falls. It was a cool night because I remember live music by a Cleveland area guitarist. The early days of the internet were just that, something that was new and evolving, and we would have the time of our lives wasting hours upon hours searching for anything that we found interesting on websites across the entire space of the internet.
At one time, I remember a website called "Stumble Upon," and it was sort of like Pinterest in a way. You would choose what you're interested in, and it would find webpages you might be interested in when you clicked the next page. Now it seems like everyone stares at a blue F until their eyes burn out. They join groups on there to give a false sense of feeling like they belong to something. The only thing they belong to is a corporation mining their data and selling in return for a lot of money. I don't miss Facebook at all, and I never plan on joining again.
I've done this and said this before, but I simply can't go back to a platform devoted to spying on its users and trying to access everything regarding that person's life. So yes, we do continue to exist off Facebook. We start slowing down and thinking about what we want to do today. I now don't waste precious minutes scrolling through arguments between people I'll probably never even cross paths with in life again. I won't miss random messages from strangers asking me where I caught a fish. Most of all, I won't miss feeling like I need to post something on Facebook for a false sense of satisfaction because there are little red notifications. If Uncle Larry or Cousin Zoey want to know how I am doing, they can call or email me.
Burton sees some changes as of late. The new high school is under construction behind the Kent State Geauga campus. The old elementary and high school properties have recently sold at auction. It's always a little bittersweet seeing changes that are the progress of man. The field where the new high school is under construction was one of my favorite places to run. Some trails went into the woods, but I'm sure all of that will be gone soon and only a memory for me. I still run Burton, but lately, it has become bizarre indeed.
The last time I ran at the fairgrounds, I was on the outer stretch in the Northeast corner of the field from the horse track. I saw a couple walking in the distance, and I was still a quarter-mile away from them. I saw them begin to take their masks out of their pockets and put them on in the distance. The wind was going at a good cut while running, so I had been anticipating running downwind from them and having some common sense that being 10 or 12 feet away on the path would be sufficient, but they raised their blue masks like two pirate ships at sea raising their battle flag.
I decided I didn't want any part of dealing with this kind of thing, so I cut across the field that was wet with mud, but I didn't even care. They put their masks on for no reason, I thought. I never even came within 100 yards from them, but there they were, walking outside with masks on in fear from someone running a good 150 yards away. I'm not writing this to make any claims regarding science and this covid19 debacle, but I am growing tired of seeing people outdoors wearing masks. I just want to be able to go outside running and not worry about seeing people. I always have tried avoiding people in life, even before this pandemic. I'm hoping all this mask business ends soon.
My original instrumental "Further Downstream" is now released as a single on a various streaming music services!
My latest single, "Born in 1979," is being released right as I type this. Here is a short preview!
This morning I went and picked up the t-shirt for the Chagrin Falls 2020 Turkey Trot Virtual 5k run that I signed up to run. The money goes to the Chagrin Falls Boosters, and I always love getting new running shirts. It ended up being a nice long sleeve shirt that I will enjoy on my runs that I go on when the weather is cooler. I decided to run the 5k Turkey Trot on the actual course rather than run it anywhere I could since it is a virtual run. One of the reasons I have always enjoyed running races is it would get me out of my comfort zone to go someplace new to run. Running the same places over and over, as much as I love running, can sometimes become monotonous. It’s nice to switch things up and run somewhere new, so that’s what I did! The temperature was in the mid-40s, and I certainly didn’t dress for that, just wearing a t-shirt and shorts. I began at the High School and ran the course in a time of 23:27 with a 7:32 /mi pace. I’m not entirely sure if I ran the course the correct way because the route I took going clockwise on the course had a gradual elevation grade uphill, but I’m not worried about where I would place. To me, running races has always been about getting myself out of my comfort zone and running someplace new.
Winter will soon be here! Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and we already have had snow here in Northeast Ohio. Living in Burton, Ohio, the snowbelt that gets hammered with lake effect snow from Lake Erie always motivates me into creative mode! I strive to see the positive things in life when the weather isn’t still sunny and pleasant. Creating art is a passion of mine, and during the winter months, it’s something that can be great to pass the time. I have a lot of ideas that I am thinking about trying this winter. I’m going to be doing more wood burning this winter and plan on giving some of the wood burnings on tree slices as gifts. I want to make some more tree slice magnets as well. They make great gifts, and I enjoy the process of going out in the woods to find the right limbs that have already been dead on a tree for a while. If you don’t choose the correct limbs that are dry, the wood will check and crack after you cut it into a slice. I have a moisture meter that I purchased last year to determine if the moisture is low enough in the wood before putting time and effort into creating a painting or woodburning on a tree slice. Pictured below are some of the tree slice magnets I had for sale at a co-op last fall and winter season. I hope to get more made soon!