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How My Life Would Have Been If…

You know how just one thing can change everything about your life?  If you had done just one thing different…  I’ve been thinking about all of the different ways in which my life could have been different if I had made a different choice in one area of my life or another.

I love my life now, and I have no regrets, but isn’t it kinda fun sometimes to think about what might have been different?

Like okay, say I never went to college.  What would I be doing?  Well, I’m tellin’ you right now that I’d have probably stayed at Whirlpool for at least a couple of years straight on till dawn.  I don’t know for how long, though.  Here’s the thing:  if I hadn’t gone to college, I would most certainly have remained in Fremont.  I’d have moved out into my own apartment or rented a house somewhere.  Eventually, I probably would have moved into office work at Whirlpool (I do type on average 116 words a minute) and married someone from there.   We would have gotten married at a Catholic church and had our reception at Ole Zim’s (you know what I’m talkin’ about, Fremont people), and honeymooned in Florida.

By now, I would have probably had our first baby and might be considering the next in about a year and a half.   Every Sunday we’d have dinner with my parents.  I’d probably join a book club and still be writing (about what, I’m not sure).  I’d walk around the Grove.  I’d snuggle up to my husband every night.

But here is the downside–I’d have never met any of my friends from Ashland (all I love dearly) and I would have never met the folks at UNCW (most of whom I love dearly), and I would have never met Mike.  I wouldn’t have my BA or my MFA, and I wouldn’t be working at this incredible job right now.  Both scenarios could have worked.  It’s weird, but they could have.  But this one brings me much more happiness (and often much more strife–long distance relationships suck).

I’m happy to be where I am.

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2011 in Daily Happenings

 

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Why It Is Almost Impossible to Live In One’s Hometown

I don’t know about your family, but mine has been in the same place for a long long time.  Let me explain.

Fremont & Clyde

Fremont and Clyde, where my kin resides.

I grew up in Fremont, Ohio.  Most of my family has been in Fremont and Clyde for at least 70 years.  See that map?  My entire immediate family including grandparents is pretty much in there.  My maternal grandmother grew up in Clyde and searched for Jessie Simmons’ tongue on the very farm I searched for it years later.  She married my grandfather, who was also living in Clyde.  My parents, aunts, and uncles all married people in the same vicinity.  And let’s be honest.  Everything is easier for them in terms of seeing loved ones If my grandparents need something, they have 4 kids and their spouses right there, plus some grandkids and cousins.  It’s easy to pick a place to have a family gathering because everyone is right there.

And up until my generation, everyone was still there.  My grandparents have 10 grandchildren.  Seven of them are still living in either Clyde or Fremont.  I am just south of Cleveland.  My cousin Heidi is right around Ashland.  I know we would love to be able to get back more often and see our family, but sometimes it just isn’t possible.

Getting off of work at 5, driving an hour and a half home puts me at 6:30, long enough to eat dinner, say hi, and head on out before the hour and a half drive back, so that I can go to bed at a decent hour.  I’d love to be able to drive 10 minutes down the road to have a cup of coffee with my mother.

There are advantages to this.  If you marry someone from your hometown, chances are you get to be close to both of your families.  That makes celebrating holidays with both much easier.  It makes planning the actual wedding easier.  It creates built-in babysitters that you don’t have to pay and grandparents get to see their grandkids.  I loved spending every weekend at my grandparents’ house.

But it’s hard to do that as a Gen Y kid.  We move away, go to college, graduate, feel guilty for not using our degrees, and live somewhere we can get a job.  During that process, most of us fall in love, either with someone from our hometown, someone in college, someone in grad school.  And eventually you have to choose.  Do you live closer to your parents?  Or your lovers?  You’re coming from different places, after all.  Will someone be upset?  What if you both can’t get a job in the same place?  What happens then?

It’s just all very weird.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2011 in Domesticity, Fremont

 

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1990’s Throwback – What the Hell Was I Wearing?

We might as well start this off right.  Here’s the photo:

Meghan, Britta, Devon, and ...me.

Oh.  My.  Garsh.  What IS this?  What is it?!  Here is what I know about this photo:

OBVIOUS OBSERVATIONS:

  1. It is Britta’s birthday, which is September 4, so either late August, early September.  Either way, it looks to still be pretty warm out.
  2. Britta was in the cute phase, where she thought crinkling her nose was smiling. 😉
  3. Meghan is chewing gum, which she probably took from her mother’s purse.
  4. Meghan is also coming at the camera, no doubt to say that she wants to take the pictures.
  5. I am wearing a horrendous jumpsuit looking outfit.
  6. Britta and Devon are sitting on the picnic table, which is where we more often sat than on the benches.
  7. Devon – Mickey Mouse in sunglasses.  ‘Nuff said.
  8. Britta and Devon – side ponytails.  Again, ’nuff said.
  9. I have a perm.  I am in the second grade in this photo.
  10. I also have braces.
  11. And I am wearing a horrendous jumpsuit.

OBSCURE OBSERVATIONS (the more profound ones):

  1. The flash on the wrapping paper is unnerving.
  2. As brown as the grass is, it must have been hot, and the earth needed rain.
  3. There is laundry on the line.  That clothesline served a major part of my childhood.  The yard beyond that is where we performed gymnastics floor exercises.  The whitewashed poles of the line were bases in tag, football, and more.  And Grandma always had clothes on the line.  See the clothes basket?  See the jeans?  So often, we stole the clothespins to attach old lottery tickets to our bike spokes so that we’d sound like motors.
  4. Beyond the yard is Gene’s Drive-Thru Carry-Out, where Meghan and I were locked in a freezer with a dead pig.
  5. Look at the hole in the picnic table.  It was always a fight to not sit on that corner when we ate outside.  It was so easy to forget, set your cup down in the hole, and spill it all over yourself.  Not to mention, that picnic table hole tore more pairs of shorts and shirts than I want to think about.
  6. The woman in blue in the background?  My mother.  She says it was purple.  I say it is blue.
  7. And our first Dodge Caravan.  So sexy.

So odd what a photo can remind you of.  Thanks, Britta, for searching through your desk and finding this embarrassing thing.  🙂

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2011 in 1990's Nostalgia, When I Was Young

 

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What I Love About Fremont: Going Home

There’s something lovely about driving home to Fremont.  I used to take the Turnpike, but lately I’ve been taking 303.  The yellow and green fields, the deer on the edge of the woods and the low-lying areas, and the smell of cow manure permeating the air–it’s a place I know.

303 is a smoother transition into Fremont.  The way the land just gets flatter and flatter, until I am flying down Route 20 through Monroeville, Bellevue, and Clyde.  Past the Whirlpool plant where I spent six summers and numerous breaks building the back panels of washing machines.  Where I made friends that I still talk to, that still keep an eye on me.  On Woodland Avenue, I veer off onto country roads, flying at 70 miles an hour, hugging the curves of the roads that I know like the curve of my waist into my hip.

Past the houses, past the people, past the cars I know.  And feeling the key in the lock and the screen pressed against my shoulder as I shift my bag from one arm to another.  My mother pulls me into her arms, my father yells, “Hoot!” from somewhere in the house, and my brother waves lazily from the couch.

—–

I’m going home tomorrow.  I cannot wait to run my 6-mile country block.  I cannot wait to go to the Depot or the Croghan Street Yacht Club and throw back a couple beers.  I cannot wait to lie by the pool.  I cannot wait to do my laundry.  I cannot wait to see my cousins at Heather’s baby shower.  I hope, too, that some of you will want to go to the Sacred Heart Festival, and that we’ll have a good ole time.  Get a hold of me if you’d like to go!  The Menus and the CoCoBeanOs are playing!

The Menus

The CoCoBeanOs

Mike will be in PA this weekend, so I’ll be flying solo.  Give a girl a friend?  Thanks!

Have an awesome day, ya’ll!

 

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2011 in Daily Happenings, Fremont

 

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Memorial Day Weekend – What’s Missing From My Brunswick Life

Memorial Day Weekend makes you remember what you love the most.  Decidedly, it was one of the best Memorial Day Weekends I’ve had in a really darn long time.

From a Friday night date night with Mike to a Saturday at the Depot, and then to a Sunday full of threatening weather, and a pontoon boat ride out to Jimmy Bukkett’s, it was all I could have wanted.

Here’s why:

  1. The Depot – My bar.  MY.  They know me.  I know them.  They know what I drink.  That’s what a hometown bar should be.
  2. Family – My cousins and I lay by the pool all weekend long, and complained about the storms, and how we just weren’t getting the tan we wanted.
  3. Storms – I love the tizzy that my mother (and the rest of my family) goes into when severe weather threatens…
  4. Boat Rides – …and the way I get on a pontoon boat with Mike and some amazing new friends to go out and drink at Jimmy Bukkett’s–a true oasis on the Sandusky River.
  5. New Friends – Like I said.  New friends.  New engagements.  New lives beginning (congrats Mike and Malinda!)
  6. Old Friends – They’re the ones you miss even when you didn’t realize you missed ’em.

Come Monday, I got a pretty wicked burn.  I would post pictures, but in order for you to see the extent of said burn, I’d have to show you tan lines, and as much as I love you bloggities, I don’t want to show you those parts of my body.

CHEERS!

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2011 in Daily Happenings

 

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A Country Run – On Going Home

No matter where I go, or what I do, Fremont is home.  I swore to myself that I’d get out of that town, but it’s obvious to anyone who knows me that Fremont is in my blood.

Because Mike had a golf tournament this weekend, we decided it would probably be a waste for me to go to Pennsylvania, and that he’d probably be too sunburnt/hungover/tired to really hang out much this weekend.  So he golfed, and I took that long drive down route 303 toward my parents’ house.

I knew the moment I pulled off of the highway onto Smith Road that it was going to be one of those weekends that I felt homesick, even in my own home.  I spent Friday night watching the Cleveland Indians in my living room with my family, just like I used to.  And with a little wine in my system, I fell asleep on the couch with the TV glowing, rejoicing in everything that is cable television.

On Saturday morning, I went for a run on my country block–the block that used to put me in my place, and open up my eyes (and this time tore up my feet due to lack of summer feet – see picture to the left).  And I stopped and talked to a little old couple who always wave at me from their porch.  I took time to look out over the Sandusky River at all the people fishing off of the State Street Bridge.  I knew people who were driving past me in cars.  I didn’t realize how much I’d missed that.  I went for the same run on Sunday, stopping to talk to my old softball coach and wandering around the small streets behind the Ballville EZ Shop.

It’s insane how memories can exist in a place.  Remembering a ride down a certain road in a dune buggy, looking at the stars near Tindall Bridge with my first real boyfriend, almost crashing my car into the Sandusky River when my brakes locked up.  Watching my cousin, Clay get ready for prom got me completely lost in memories of my own prom.

I always told myself that I would never live in Fremont again, that there was no opportunity for me there.  But I found myself wishing that someday there would be.  But I guess that’s the bittersweet part about moving away from home.  People laughed at my love for my hometown in college.  So I can’t say that I didn’t appreciate it until I was gone.  I did appreciate it, but I shamed myself out of it.  And I’m lucky that I can still go back and see everything that is familiar to me and comforted me as a child.  Fremont isn’t so bad.  It may not hold any opportunity for me right now, but it’s still where I came from.

What it comes down to is that tearing up your feet on your home turf, and seeing the familiar faces reminds you that you’re stronger than you were, and that where you came from did play a part who you are today.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2011 in Daily Happenings

 

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License plates, collapsing roofs, and gunshots.

AH…  I’m sorry ya’ll.  I know I’ve been gone.

Lots has been going on, and I’ve been having to make some decisions about PA or Ohio.

Which means Mike and I have been talking a lot about a lot of stuff, but I’ll get to that at a later date.

I promised pictures of food.  Ha ha, but I’m in Ohio right now, and my card is in PA.  OHIO!  Which gives me more reasons to love the North.  Lemme explain.

1)  I came to Ohio Tuesday morning last week.  I hunkered down on a lawn chair and got really tan.  YES.  Score one for the housegirlfriend.

2)  Wednesday, motorcycle ride with my friend, Mikey.  Not to be confused w/ my boyfriend Mike.

3)  Thursday, I went to Shelby, Ohio to see my cousin and her family.  Baby Grant is no longer a baby, but a lot of fun.  And then Mom and I went North to Lodi to shop and see my friends from college.  🙂  I loved seeing you guys, Hope, Heidi, and Jess!  After that, I was exhausted, came home, passed out.

4)  Friday, got my hair done.  FINALLY.  I no longer look like a muskrat.  You know that point in your hair growth that it gets a little mousy on the inside, and it gets greasier, and there’s these goofy little dimensions on your skull?  Yeah, I was there two-fold.  I LOVED the time at the salon.  I drank a beer, gossiped, had some fake hair put on my head just to see what it’d look like.  I’m telling you, give me a beer, some fake hair, I’ll come back to your salon, and pay whatever you tell me to.

5)  Saturday, I got freaked out and realized that my car insurance was due July 20.  I was paying $520.00 a half in North Carolina.  I thought, “Yeah, two tickets, that’s about right.”  So I was just gonna pay it because my license and registration doesn’t run out until September.  But here’s the thing.  I called Progressive and said, “Hey, I’m up North in Ohio now, at least that’s my most permanent address.  What would it be a half there?”   Now keep in mind, I had liability only and was still paying $520.00 a half.  In Ohio, for comprehensive insurance, they told me it was $164.00 a half.  FOR COMPREHENSIVE!!!  Needless to say, I said, “Switch it.”  And they told me I ought to, because I was driving semi-illegally b/c I’m not in Carolina anymore.  So I was supposed to drive back to Mike on Monday morning, but it turns out that he is sending me my car title so I can switch everything back to Ohio.  I’m going to have an Ohio plate and license again!

I’m trying to choose between these two:

Which do I get?  AH!  Poll ends TOMORROW MORNING.  I need to get these plates.

You all understand, now, why I want the cardinal.  I could have Uncle Grandma flying down the highway with me at 70mph!  The cardinal is $25.00 though, and Beautiful Ohio is the default, and costs only $11.50.  It’s a difference of about $15.00…  It’ll be a spur of the moment decision I think.  But ain’t that a cute cardi?!

So now I’m stuck in Ohio at least until Tuesday night, when my title comes in the mail from Mike and I can switch everything over.  But my Lord, do I love the North!

FREMONT NEWS!!!

There have been a couple things happening since I got home.  The roof of the Fremont company collapsed and killed one man, injured others.  Check it out and send your prayers.  It was a tragedy.

The second happened last night into this morning.  Now, this is what I remember at this kid:

It was eighth grade.  I rode the bus.  I used to love the way the morning air smelled as I stood outside at the end of the driveway, the wind moving just a little, a whole day of school ahead of me.  But the air smelled funny once, and I got on the bus, talked to some of the popular kids who knew what was going on.  There was pot in the air.  Marijuana.  Reefer.  All those words that made me pray for the people around me when I was young and dumb and unaware.  My friend Scott smiled at me and patted my head.  And the kid in the back, with his greasy, blonde bowl cut looked at me and said, “Are you serious?  Go ahead and act like you’ve never done it.”

“I’ve never even seen it.  I don’t know what pot looks like.”

“I’ll bring some tomorrow.  I’ll show you what it looks like,” he said.  Now let me tell you that beyond the greasy blonde bowl cut, this kid looked sketchy.  Beady eyes, scary.  Had that look to him when he stared you in the eye that he could see right through you, that it was like he wanted to corrupt you.  In fact.  Here he is:

I didn’t want to see pot.  I told him so.

The next day, though, he came with a bag of weed, had me lean over the back of the vinyl seat of the bus.  I looked into a tiny bag of weed.  I shrugged.  I knew I never wanted to see it again.

I had to say this, but he died last night.  It’s a controversial situation.  I don’t want to remember him badly.  I feel bad even posting the story.  Thing is, it’s starting this whole opinion forming thing on what happened.  Like I said, it’s controversial.  Tell me what you think.  I think the deputy was justified.  But you’ll have to read about it here.  I’m sorry he died…but I think I understand the circumstances.  Maybe it was my 8th grade fear resurfacing.

So here I am.  When I get back to Mike, I’ll have an Ohio license.  I’ll have an Ohio title.  I’ll have blonder hair with no roots…  And I’ll be back in his arms, back to being a housewife.

Muffins and casserole next time!  PROMISE!!!!!

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2010 in Daily Happenings, When I Was Young

 

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