Over the weekend I visited my hometown of Arcanum. I don’t go there often…because, honestly, I don’t connect with it or the people in it. My K-12 school buildings were both torn down, most of my friends throughout high school were from different towns, and I am definitely not a country girl.
Arcanum is a different world. It is a world I spent so many years wanting to escape. Why? It’s not diverse and a lot of people there are very closed-minded. It is one of those towns where your last name means everything. Many people that were born and raised there never leave, and if they do – they come back to settle down. Many people that were born and raised there have no desire to see more – to do more. I never quite fit in, and maybe that’s why. I always longed for more. I knew there was more, and I wanted to see and experience it. Arcanum may not have everything I look for when I travel and explore, but what it does have is a whole lot of history.
On the rare occasion that I do travel back to Arcanum – I always stop in to The Old Arcana. This restaurant is amazing for the town. It's a gem. It is located in the historic building that was once The John Smith Co. General Store from 1851-1985 – the longest family held business in Ohio. Click here to check out photos of the building then and now.
Arcanum is a village filled with fields and farms. The cool thing about The Old Arcana is that you can see that mirrored in the décor. It is so charming with the lighting – natural and filament – and all the woodwork. A lot of the wood throughout the building is original.
The menu changes regularly as a result of the use of fresh, local, seasonal ingredients. My favorite meal that I have had there is the potato and bacon hash with an egg over-medium on top. The first time I had it my mouth was half numb because I had just gotten a filling put in! This time I had to get it again to be able to enjoy it fully, and I definitely did. It was fantastic.
The service there is incredible. They are really sweethearts. I chose to go alone when I went there this time. I braved the icy roads Saturday morning to travel to the neighboring town of Greenville, Ohio to get my hair done. Yes, I drive two hours from Columbus to get my hair done. Diane at Studio 1 Hair Design has been doing it for around 8 years. I love her to death.
Anyways, I was alone so I went by myself. This is something that I want to get better at doing. I always feel awkward going to places alone. I feel like people are always staring and wondering what the hell I am doing taking photos of my food (amongst other things)! It can be uncomfortable to go, sit down and eat alone at a restaurant, but when we do uncomfortable things – when we step outside our comfort zone – that is when we experience the most self-growth. It is good for the soul. It is nice to travel and go out to eat with friends, but when you are alone no one else gets an opinion – only you. You are able to listen to how you feel and what you want easier. So, I am going to try to start going to more places alone. You should too!
Another thing that I love about eating at The Old Arcana is that afterwards you can browse Smith Merchants and Quilterie. This is a really cool store. You can find an array of apparel and quilting fabric in the store along with books, buttons, antiques and gifts. Again – the history in this place is magnificent. It is amazing to see this building still standing and to have such great people working there and taking pride in its history.
I doubt many of you will ever just stop through Arcanum. After all, it is in the middle of nowhere. However, if you do find yourself over that way, I recommend that you stop in and experience the charm and history of The Old Arcana and Smith Merchants and Quilterie.
No matter where you go in your life, never forget where you came from. Even if you don't connect with where you came from, even if you don't have the best memories there - you are you because that place was a part of your story.