Frozen Falls

This week we were blessed with some of the most beautiful winter mornings I have ever seen. The frigid temperatures brought clear blue skies and unforgettable sunrises. The sun’s light sparkled on the fresh fallen snow like glitter. The trees were frosted with snow.

One morning after I dropped the kids off at school, I was called to one of my favorite places. It’s just down our street, but it’s peace and tranquility feel worlds away from the chaos of my house. Back at home the aftermath of the morning’s events awaited me; breakfast dishes still on the kitchen counter, the kids clothes and toys strewn about the living room, hats and gloves dumped in the back hall from the children looking for matching mittens. I set aside my to-do list and followed the inner voice telling me to go there. I trudged through the trail, down the snowy steps, gazing back up at the rocky cliffs above me. I reached the falls, mostly frozen (me and the water), yet the river still managed to persevere. In awe of God’s creations I stood and watched, stationary for longer than I had been in days.

I invite you, on occasion, in the chaos of life to follow the voice inside. Pause. Look. Listen. Take in the beauty that surrounds you. Soak it all in. Let everything else go. Then, like the river persists through the ice, as the water navigates around boulders, return to your life, refreshed, renewed and ready to persevere through IT’S challenges and maneuver the obstacles.

Snowy Steps

 

Snowy Sunrise

Snowflake

Frozen Falls

Winter Water

Sparkle

Winter Wonder

 

 

 


Fall by the Falls

I’m lucky enough to live in a picturesque little village outside of Cleveland, Ohio called Chagrin Falls. I remember visiting here back in college to see Andy over holiday breaks and was astounded by it’s beauty. It’s like walking into a painting. Growing up in Pittsburgh as a Steelers fan, I was led to believe that everything about Cleveland was a “mistake by the lake.” I recall feeling a little confused and guilty that I found this city and it’s surroundings to be really wonderful. I loved it so much that I even left my pretty awesome advertising job in Chicago to move here in 2002 to be with my boyfriend, now my husband. A lot of people raised some eyebrows about that. We’ve built a life together here and now I’m thrilled to have the privilege of raising my own family here.

I am currently rereading the Chagrin Falls Historical Society’s book. Don’t worry, I won’t try to cram the contents of a 289 page book into this blog post, but Chagrin Falls has a very interesting past. The organized settlement of Chagrin Falls began in 1833 when the topography of the area and the powerful Chagrin River dictated the development of Chagrin Falls as an industrial and commercial center. The first families came from Massachusetts and included craftsmen, mechanics and carpenters whose skills would build a new village. By 1842, Chagrin River power supported nine mills including saw mills, flouring mills, foundries, an axe factory, a paper mill, woolen mills, a woodenware factory and a shoe peg factory.  In 1844, Chagrin Falls was incorporated as a village. Today it is a community bustling (in a suburban kind of way) with families, empty-nesters and young adults who have returned to set down their own roots. The village also draws “tourists” from around the region who come to visit the unique collection of gift shops and boutiques as well as popular independently owned cafes and restaurants while taking in the natural beauty of the falls and the acres of forests and streams surrounding it. Here are some of the photos I’ve captured over the last few weeks that depict a glimpse of fall by the falls.

 

All photographs are property of Ashley Weingart.