Wandering Thoughts and Beach Walks

September can be one of the fairest months of the year. This afternoon, the weather on Ohio’s North Coast was nothing short of delightful. (This post was composed on Sept, 13, 2021 but may not appear until a later date.)

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There comes a time when taking a break is not an option . . .

It’s been quite a summer – I’ve worked harder than ever – written every spare minute when not serving in may alternate profession – and still, I haven’t been able to keep up with my blogs.

I do love creating website and blog content for businesses and organizations, working on essays and fiction on the side. But any type of activity which occupies our focus without ceasing, isn’t healthy.

Not all who wander are lost . . . JRR Tolkien

Our minds and bodies need to wander and I haven’t been giving mine that chance. I’ve only been to the beach twice this year. On those occasions I was only there for an hour.

Today I couldn’t resist hitting the road and heading for an enchanting afternoon watching waves, boats, and seagulls sail across the landscape and through the air. Being at the beach is better than an elixir, a tonic to soothe frayed nerves, boost our energy and immune system.

Other beach lovers shared the serene experience. We smiled and acknowledged each other, but kept a respectful distance.

Several Boxer (dogs) enjoyed the beach day with their owners . . .

A great day at the beach for dogs

A woman introduced a young girl to the waves . . .

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A few middle aged and older beach lovers observed the waterscape or beachcombed.

Sinking my bare feet into the sand with each step, I walked the tide line, searching for unique stones and beach glass.

The tide brings tiny treasures ashore, for those of us with the eyes to appreciate them. . .

Staring at the shifting debris of sand, shells, wood and brick particles, and who knows what – is a magical activity that frees the imagination. I try not to pursue conscious thought, but find myself imagining the buildings the wood and bricks may have once been a part of.

A drive home entertained by the likes of Tom Petty, Blue Oyster Cult, Donnie Iris, and other classic rockers shook loose the rest of the clutter that’s accumulated from too many responsibilities, too little time.

Flowers and Fountains Abound at Kingwood Center – Photo Tour Image(s) #7

There is so much to love about Kingwood Center but the flowers and fountains are the estate’s most prominent features. Here are a few more images.

The star of the sibling fountains at Kingwood Center, the droplets shimmer in the sunlight as they splash over the edge into the pool below. There’s something about moving water, whether ocean waves, stream currents, or cascading fountains, that helps to renew our spirits during stressful days.
Gladiolas were quite popular in earlier days. I guess no one want to dig them up and store them for winter anymore. I must admit I’ve never grown them, but this one makes me think they’d be worth the effort. My mom would have loved this one, in her favorite shade of scarlet red. She used to go with me on trips to Kingwood.
I think this pink and white striped daylily was my favorite flower of the many on display at Kingwood that day.
Isn’t this cute, shell shaped mini-fountain incredibly enchanting?

I alas, my time is limited, as it was that day at Kingwood. . . but I will post a few more photos later. Hope you enjoyed the mini-tour.

Stairway to . . . ??? Kingwood Center Tour – Photo #6

This staircase amid Kingwood Center’s splendor can transport you to wherever you desire, via your imagination on a sweet, sundrenched, summer afternoon.

The Duck Pond – Kingwood Center Tour – Photo # 5

Virtually every visitor to Kingwood Center visits the duck pond. You can purchase food to toss to the attractive fowl, or just relax on a bench and enjoy the view.

It’s nice to know some things haven’t changed much over the years, but I do wish there were a few more ducks. I miss the peacock that used to live on the estate also. Oh, well.

My Favorite Spot – The Lily Pond – Kingwood Center Tour – Photo #4

I’ve always felt a kinship with dragonflies and frogs. Dragonflies are supposed to symbolize ease of transition to change. That’s something I need a lot these days.

Maybe that’s why I even ordered dragonfly checks when they eliminated the style I used for many years. But I digress.

I should look up the details of lily ponds, how to construct one, what the best plants are called, winter maintenance. I don’t know those facts. But this one sparks memories of a lily pond maintained behind the home of my parents’ friends.

I was fascinated by the goldfish that lived there, when I was probably three or four. I always considered it magical, and obviously I haven’t outgrown my belief in the magic of nature. Dragonflies, I’m sure, know many things of which we are not aware.

Wouldn’t This Make a Lovely Wedding Setting? Kingwood Center Tour – Photo #3

Descending the staircase might be a challenge in heels and an elaborate wedding dress with a train.

But wouldn’t the staircase, elaborate landscaping, and the beautiful green lined with colorful flowers and stately trees combine to create the perfect fairytale wedding setting?

Weekly Wisdom – The Penny Mason Post

The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking. – Albert Einstein

The Perfect Parking Lot Plants – Kingwood Center Tour – Photo #2

Not sure what these neat striped plants are – Yucca? Ornamental Grass? Whatever they are, I think they’re way cool.

If anyone recognizes the species, let me know. There are scads of these snazzy, maintenance free plants beside the parking spaces at Mansfield, Ohio’s Kingwood Center.

A Weeklong Tour of Kingwood Center

I hadn’t visited Kingwood Center for who knows how many years. But the Mansfield, Ohio mansion and gardens are just as lovely as ever.

A few summer days spent exploring corners of the estate I never discovered when I visited frequently in earlier years, yielded some inspirational photos. I’ll share one a day for the next seven.

What is Kingwood Center?

I can’t share a link to Kingwood’s site, since for some puzzling reason, its’ marked “not secure”. But here is an official explanation:

Kingwood Center Gardens develops and displays exemplary gardens on the former estate of Charles Kelley King for the pleasure and education of its constituents. Auxiliary activities and programs are offered to support and to accentuate the enjoyment and understanding of the gardens and horticulture.

Kingwood Center would be a lovely setting for a wedding. Behind the house, and down a long staircase, lies a lovely long green, lined with impatiens and backed by mature trees.

Mansfield is a bit of a gritty small to medium sized city, but the estate is securely fenced off from the surrounding area. There is now a nominal fee to enter (it used to be free) but the privilege of relaxing amid the acres of grass, interspersed with lovely, expansive flowerbeds, fountains, and graceful mature trees, both native and exotic, is well worth the modest price.

The gift shop and cafe have been added since I last visited. I enjoyed a cup of Whit’s Frozen Custard, a locally based treat, and was tempted by some of the artistic merchandise, but managed to resist.