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.
– 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?