Today is perfect. After two days’ steady rain the sky is blue, the dust is off the leaves and the world is back right side up.
My friend Kathleen has re-opened her store after a three year hiatus that included too much trouble and sorrow. Her new shop has been open four weeks, so it was past time to visit. She farmed and had sheep, goats and alpaca when she was in the Cuyahoga Valley. Oh, and a guard llama, and George Bailey, her standard poodle. Now she is in a very rural area of Wadsworth, with her basil gardens, her husband John and George Bailey.
Kathleen’s specialties are jams, jellies and herb infused vinegars. And, in season, basil pesto. Her shop is the Crooked RiverHerb Farm Shop. The translation of Cuyahoga is Crooked River, and I believe most of northern Ohio knows the Crooked River is the Cuyahoga River. We loaded up on jelly and basil vinegar.
Mike Cohill, Kathleen’s brother, is almost as famous as Kathleen. He is the founder of the American Toy Marble Museum in Akron, Ohio. Marbles were the first mass produced toys in America, and made at the American Toy Marble Company, in Akron. Mike holds regular classes to teach kids how to shoot marbles. Kathleen says someone has to teach them. There are always marbles on her counter.
We caught Kathleen just as the shop opened; a perfect time. We caught up, had a tour, leaned on the counter and talked some more. Then customers began to stream in, and we went out Kathleen’s back door, past a wonderful door stop and nasturtiums growing in the cracks between the rocks.
Kathleen told us about her friend Laurie at a shop in Medina, The Olive Tap, where we could find balsamic vinegars and infused olive oil. We left there with sour cherry and red raspberry balsamic vinegars.
A perfect day for a Sunday afternoon drive.