Ode to Ohio

18 Apr

When I moved to North Carolina, I moved to the very southeast corner.  I had the ocean at my fingertips, miles and miles of beaches, warm weather, magnolias, wisteria, southern drawls, surfers…  I had a downtown to rival many downtowns, a riverfront, a gorgeous view of everything.

And in Pennsylvania, I lived in a valley among some of the most beautiful rivers I’ve ever seen.  I have to admit that the flora and fauna of PA fit me better than North Carolina, but it still wasn’t the same.

It wasn’t Ohio.  And no one understood it–even the folks who were from Ohio.

But there are beautiful places in Ohio.  And beautiful things.  And beautiful reasons.  And it’s not just beautiful–Ohio is like an old friend that knows all my secrets and that continually opens its arms to me.

Here are the reasons I love Ohio:

–  My part of Ohio is flat.  I can see for miles and miles, and in all directions.  If I run a country block, I can see my entire path from where I am beginning.
–  Not all of Ohio is flat.  There are foothills of the Appalachians in the Southeast corner.
–  We do have a beach–on Lake Erie (don’t swallow the water).
–  Cedar Point, America’s Rockin’ Roller Coast.
–  The Lake Erie Islands.  Put-In-Bay is basically an island full of bars.  How freaking cool is that?  Plus it is home to the Longest Bar in the World – The Beer Barrel.
–  Ohio State football.  You can say what you will about Buckeyes, but at almost every single Ohio wedding I’ve been to, they play “Hang On Sloopy,” and we all sing along.
–  Cornfields…
–  The people here are the kindest I’ve ever met.  Sorry, South.
–  My family is here (this is fairly obvious).
–  Cleveland.  I know it’s “dirty” and there are some bad parts of town, and the sports teams leave a lot to be desired, but you’d be hard pressed to find a city with such devoted people.
–  The skies are wide open, just like you’re in the west without the dust storms.
–  The weather forces you to deal with extremes.
–  It also never lets you know what to expect.
–  We have tornadoes and droughts, awesome storms and quiet showers…I really like the weather.
–  I love the tractors on the roads, the friendly farmers, the waving hands.
–  The general blue-collarness of it all.
–  Ohioans aren’t above showing awe.
–  The bonfires.
–  Maple trees.
–  When the cottonwood fuzz starts flying, you know the fish are biting.
–  You can find rivers and streams everywhere.
–  Most of the men here are manly men.  Northern, manly, Ohioan men.
–  Pick-up trucks.
–  Country music.
–  Men working in their garages.
–  Willow trees.
–  Gas stations/Drive-Thrus
–  The fact that fairs and festivals are events that draw in an entire town.
–  How just about everyone I know has a pair of cowboy boots.
–  Ohioans aren’t afraid of hard work.
–  Cardinals everywhere.
–  Mourning doves.
–  Bike trails.
–  Fields of wheat.
–  The Amish country.
–  …I’ll be updating as I think of more.

There’s so much.  Maybe I’ll start an “Ohio” series delving into the things I love the most.  🙂

My heart is in Ohio.  Where’s yours?


Posted by on April 18, 2011 in Daily Happenings


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12 responses to “Ode to Ohio

  1. Becca Obergefell

    April 18, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    You’re making me homesick! I love North Carolina too, but there’s just something (or so many things!) about Ohio.

    • erica42285

      April 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm

      I was homesick the entire time I was in North Carolina! 🙂 I hope you get to come back and visit as much as I did.

      I am truly happy to be back here. It’s a place and a people I understand and know.

  2. Kristen

    April 18, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Love love love. Great post Erica.

  3. Tiffany Greer

    April 18, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Born and raised in Ohio. We actually experience all 4 seasons. What’s better than snow for Christmas, many colors in the fall, flower buds in the spring, and glistening lake in the summer? It’s home.

    • erica42285

      April 18, 2011 at 5:02 pm

      You know, I love the seasons, too! I absolutely love that things change here. Gives you something to complain about and look forward to all at the same time.

  4. shelley

    April 18, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    I am in OHIO!!! thats a big reason u should love the state hehehe 🙂

    • erica42285

      April 18, 2011 at 6:24 pm

      That’s one of my major reasons! 🙂 Love you ShellBell!

  5. Erin Seabolt Bond

    April 19, 2011 at 8:06 am

    When I left Florida, I was itching to leave, to be anywhere else, and I swore–SWORE–I would never be back.

    Ha. The more I’m away, the more homesick I become. The NC coast is quite like Florida in many ways, except it’s not home. It never will be. When you grow up someplace, nowhere else is home. I suppose you can grow to love a place you’ve chosen, you can make a new home–I suppose it’s possible. I just haven’t figured out how to do that yet. (And I’m not sure I want to.)

    Also, since I am writing a small book in this response, I know what you mean about nice people. The South has a great reputation for kindness, but I think it’s more politeness than actual kindness. Florida is definitely not a place known for sweet, good people, but West Virginia (second home) is, and I imagine WV and Ohio are quite alike in that way. There’s a homey feel to the niceness of people there–an acceptance, a welcoming, and that I’ve never felt in the actual South. (But don’t tell anyone I said that.)

    • erica42285

      April 19, 2011 at 8:36 am

      Hi Erin! I think saying that the South is polite rather than kind is the perfect way to put it. Manners are like second nature down there, but I was never sure if they were genuine.

      And homey is a good way to describe Ohio. I won’t reveal your South-bashing to anyone. 🙂

      I’ve only been to Florida once, to Daytona Beach. In that kind of party environment, I didn’t expect to find kindness, but I did have a great time. What part of Florida did you grow up in?

      • Erin Seabolt Bond

        April 21, 2011 at 4:35 pm

        I grew up in a tiny town called Titusville, on the east coast, near the Space Center. But the place in Florida that feels most like “home” is Orlando. More Mickey Mouse, less Spring Break than Daytona–but there are days when it feels the whole city is devoted to making life happier and more entertaining. (And there’s great Cuban food.) I, however, managed to find ways to be bored there, and often. I have no idea how I did that.


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