I can't believe we squeezed so much activity into three days, but when I think back over the last weekend, I see a long string of fun happenings.
It started last Friday morning when we jumped into Lamont's Buick and started off to Lewis Center. Wanting to avoid road construction, Lamont took state Route 22, past Cadiz, Moorefield, Smyrna and Piedmont, and that made for interesting scenery.
It was a given that we would return to I-70 in Cambridge because a trip to Columbus is not a trip unless Lamont stops at the Cracker Barrel. I have a hard time ordering breakfast because all the specials include eggs, and I have an allergy to those shelled food products.
Once, I ordered a special and asked for a container right off the get-go for the scrambled eggs. Ozzie received a nice treat when we got home.
The wooden triangles with the pegs you try to eliminate by hop-scotching over one another have been my addiction for years. I once got down to three pegs and was as proud as a peacock. This time, I reached a new low - I left five pegs. And that wasn't easy to do. There wasn't even a name on the wooden base for leaving that many. I think it was a step lower than imbecile.
The real reason for our trip was for Lamont and Jay to see the Browns-Eagles preview game. The tickets came about due to the graciousness of Patti Sabo, another die-hard Browns fan. The boys thank you, Patti, but they wish the game had turned out differently.
Jay's family was really scattered that Friday evening. Amber was working at Old Navy, Margaret was leaving to work concessions at the Columbus Clippers baseball game, and Jessie had a babysitting job.
That left Matthew stuck with me after Jessie took us to Olive Garden where I was able to visit my two favorite restaurants in one day.
Guess what Matthew and I did after watching the movie "We Bought a Zoo?" We watched the Browns game. Not my idea of a fun time, but since I am the only Steelers fan in the family now, I'm going to have to put up with those circumstances often.
Saturday morning found the McCoy gang at the Der Dutchman in Plain City for breakfast. Our youngest granddaughter, Maggie, took me on a tour of the restaurant, bakery and gift shop, dropping a few hints on what she would like grandma to buy for her.
In the afternoon, we attended the Family Festival at the Worthington Christian School, where Amber and Jessie are students. They had the most magnificent ice cream bars there. They were big, arch-shaped bars of vanilla ice cream on a stick that were then dipped into melted dark chocolate and a decoration of choice - such as sprinkles, chopped nuts, coconut or such. There were four sheriff and police vans on the parking lot premises to fingerprint the youth, showing them the hazards of going with strangers and other difficulties.
Last Sunday, we went to the Great Trail Festival. There were no deer or antelope in the fields, but the bison were camped out along the fence watching with interest as vehicles drove into the grounds. I stopped traffic by getting out of the car to snap a few pictures. There was one bison laying down in a very relaxed pose, and I aimed my camera at it. It started to get up, thereby ruining my shot. I moved to another animal standing in a defensive pose and staring at me with what Summer Wallace-Minger would call fire in its eyes. I'm just copying a line from her story on the market steer at the Washington County Agricultural Fair.
I took that picture and went back to the reclining bison. As soon as I turned my camera to it, it started to get up again.
We stopped at the festival office, where Barbara Garduno keeps things in running order around the festival, and she explained that the bison on the ground probably thought I had something for it to eat. As big as they are I wouldn't even try to feed one on a dare.
After stopping to eat lunch - we always seem to be eating - our next stop is always to the Indian/Pioneer Village. I took pictures of trappers, fur traders and frontier men and women but didn't have anything with an Indian.
We hiked up the hill to find Ron Dailey and his wife, Tracey, in fringed buckskin with beads, seated beside a one-pole tent. I would call it a tee-pee but what do I know? He explained that he and his wife were dressed as Appalachian Mountain Indians.
Ron was holding an old, 32-caliber Lehman squirrel gun that looked like a priceless antique.
Seeing the press pass dangling about my neck with Steubenville Herald-Star as my reference, he mentioned being familiar with the newspaper. He worked on a renovation project at Steubenville High School at one time and had visited our paper.
Lynn Messenger and her son, Sean, of Carrollton baked an apple pie in a Dutch oven over an open pit fire. She had a kitchen set up outside her tent, with all the comforts of a pioneer homemaker.
Two couples in fur trader garb, Glenn and Becky Witsaman and Linda and Max Garrison, came to the festival to mingle with other frontier people. They were from North Canton and Massillon, respectively.
Tim Rahr, with the nickname of Mountain Man, had a working kitchen set up, with a brazier for his cooking. This was used mostly by the military in days past, he explained.
He had a cupboard with utensils fitted inside and a place to wash dishes, after water had been heated on the brazier.
Rich Washak was accommodating in letting me stand at a closer distance to shoot pictures when they had the cannon firing. He has been doing the "fire-in-the-hole" bit since 1989.
Jim Russ had a cannon on wheels that he told me was a Mountain Howitzer. Dan'l Cain had a miniature cannon that made more noise than I would have expected for such a small piece of equipment.
Dan Fladung, who is an authentic Navajo Indian, gave the history of Logan's Lament and told of Indian lore at the Cleve Costley's Grist Mill auditorium. He played a haunting tune on the flute in memory of Iron Eyes Cody and Chief Logan.
The ride home was made complete by stopping at a farmer's stand and getting zucchini, which did not produce in our garden, and a watermelon that was quite heavy and squirmy to carry back to the car. Lamont would have done it I am sure, but all I was supposed to buy was zucchini.
I needed to publish photos of some animal costume winners from the fair. Avery Kepner had a first with his patriotic Chihuahua; Brittany Jenkins had a first in most creative with a prisoner dog; and Olivia Huff had her dog, Bella, dressed as a drowning victim and her as a lifeguard.
That's all for now, folks. I think my next few weeks will be a bit more calm.
(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is a staff columnist and food editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)