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I’d Rather Be In Ohio…

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Damn Chris and Becky for being creative and making me want to get back into blogging.  DAMN YOU.

So for my birthday, my wonderful Mike bought me foundation and a pore refiner that I asked for, and this:

Courtesy of Alison Rose on Etsy.com

I am excited.  I think I’m so excited because this shirt says how I’ve always felt.  I’ve never really wanted to be anywhere but Ohio.  As I told Chris this morning, even the word Ohio looks like a comfy couch – all wonderful and overstuffed and with a dotted ‘i” pillow.

But Ohio is more than just a word.  If you’ll remember back to this post, you’ll see why I didn’t fit in North Carolina.  And as much as I loved the beauty of Pennsylvania, all those hills make me incredibly carsick.

No matter where I’ve been, or where I’ll go,
I’d rather be in Ohio.

Why?  Why why why?  

  • Because the people here are normal, level-headed people (for the most part).
  • Because in Ohio, there are no hurricanes, we’re only on the edge of Tornado Alley, I’ll never have to worry about a monsoon or a tidal wave, and snow, I can deal with.
  • Because flatland is beautiful.
  • Because of Cedar Point.
  • Because of the Big C’s (Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati), all of which are fantastic cities.
  • Because of Rock and Roll.
  • Because of the love of football.
  • Because of Amish Country.
  • Because of Lake Erie.
  • Because of the Lake Erie Islands:  Put-In-Bay and Kelleys in particular.  
  • Because of the sprint car races.
  • Because of the cornfields.

There’s so much more.  So much.

 

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Posted by on May 2, 2013 in Daily Happenings

 

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The Streets

When I was growing my, my parents lived (and still live) on a busy country road.  I was never allowed to play in the streets.  But my cousins lived in cul-de-sac neighborhoods where they could ride their bikes freely and set off fireworks and play tag…in the street.  I loved going over there and feeling the summer asphalt through the back of my shirt as we stared up into the sky, deciphering clouds.

I came back to that on Friday night.  Mike and I went out to Panini’s in Strongsville for dinner and drinks with some friends.  After rainbow shots and a grad party, we walked back through our friend Matt’s neighborhood, full of cul-de-sacs and slow drivers and soft green lawns.

We got back to his house, but opted to stay in the street–mostly because Stef decided to pull a Notebook moment and lie down there.  Warm asphalt, laughing, throwing flip-flops, acting like kids in junior high–only drinking beers and smoking cigars. 🙂  It made me feel young.  We sat there until 2am talking about God knows what.  It was great.

It made me think of all the great times that I did have in the streets.  Lying in the middle of Claremont with my friend Bob Bob after walking back from Buffalo Wild Wings while I was in Ashland.  Walking with Mike through the neighborhood we shared in North Carolina, dancing in the pine needles.

It’s the simple things.  We all need to get back to that every once in awhile.

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2012 in Daily Happenings

 

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My Revival as a Housegirlfriend! aka MIKE GOT A JOB!

It’s true!  It’s finally true!  In the midst of all the terrible things that happened last week, there was a glimmer of light.  My boyfriend got a job in OHIO, where we can finally be together.

For those of you not keeping track, THIS IS HUGE.  We spent a year and a half apart while I was in North Carolina and he was in Pennsylvania.  I lived with him for five months after grad school, then got my job in Ohio.  I’ve been here for over a year and eight months.

WE ARE GOING TO BE TOGETHER.

This can actually happen!

I need to learn to cook!  I’ll have to make room!  And we’ll get to kiss when we want to kiss!

This is by far one of the best things that could have happened.  I cried when I found out and I couldn’t take my eyes off of him.  He’s going to be with me, and that’s all I’ve wanted over these past three years minus those five glorious months that we were together.

I don’t know what else I could write in this post to convey my happiness…  So there it is!

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2012 in Daily Happenings, Domesticity

 

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Gene’s Drive-Thru Carry-Out

Growing up we spent every weekend and many weekdays at my grandparents’ house in Clyde.  The big white farmhouse stood with a sort of authority, the same authority that rang through the air when Grandma called us for dinner.  And across the drive from the farmhouse stood Gene’s Drive-Thru Carry-Out.

In between Clyde and Green Creek Township, people drove out of their way to go to Gene’s.  Some say he had the coldest beer around, others came to sit at the counter on tattered stools and scratch lottery tickets and talk about the Cleveland Indians.  Some came because Gene and his kids remembered their orders and had them waiting as soon as they pulled in.

After hours of playing in the yard and being turned away from the cookie jar at Grandma’s house, us kids would run barefoot across the scorching asphalt and open the metal door to the back of “the store.”  Stepping in and cooling our feet on the smooth concrete floor, we sneaked through cardboard boxes and overstock Pepsi and Miller Lite cartons to the doorway that led to Grandpa.  He always stood behind the counter with either my mother, my Aunt Karen or Aunt MaryLynn or Uncle Mike.

As soon as we appeared, all of the customers would ask which of Gene’s kids we belonged to, and what we were up to.  We answered them, reaching into the cooler for a cold pop and then walking out from behind the counter to the wall of candy on the side wall.  We took what we wanted, sometimes daring to go to the freezer for a frozen Snickers bar, and we left.

It’s a wonder we aren’t all kleptomaniacs.  It is NOT a wonder that I was pretty chunky throughout my childhood.

I did a lot of growing up in that store.  I learned to play the clarinet with my cousin Heather.  I got locked in the cooler with a dead pig and my cousin Meghan.  “Momma Cat” had a batch of kittens in a garbage bag back by the bathroom and then left them for dead.  I scanned lottery tickets to my heart’s content.

I was heartbroken when Grandpa sold the store.  He retired and began working at Wilson’s Clothing part time instead.  They sold the store to a local couple, and during a chain of drive-thru robberies, Denise was shot:

“Less than 30 minutes after Hovis reported The Gables robbery to police, the body of 42-year-old Denise Clink was found at Gene’s Drive-Thru, just outside the city limits of Clyde, a small town in Sandusky County best known as the home of a Whirlpool factory. Robinson, police concluded, had shot Clink during a robbery of the drive-through that she and her husband owned.”  -Brad Dicken, The Chronicle-Telegram

It was terrifying.  Grandpa’s store became a place where a murder happened.  It was a friend who was killed…and worse, it could have been our grandpa.

Gene’s Drive-Thru is still standing, although vacant.  It’s mostly just memories now, memories that I hope someday we can revive.  I don’t know how to run a business, but it’s always an option.  It took Grandpa a lot of years to build up that clientele, and he was as loyal to them as they were to him.

I do miss that carry-out though.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2011 in When I Was Young

 

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They Call Me “Country”

My CEO has nicknamed me “Country”.  It could have been the big belt buckle I wore one time (thanks, Jenny), or my not-so-quiet love of big trucks and men who do manly things.  It could have been my request to wear overalls on Fridays, too…

And I kept thinking, “What does it really mean to be country?”

I grew up in Fremont–not quite on a farm, not quite in the city.  I ate mud as a kid, had pet toads, played with bugs, shot guns, tried beer for the first time at a relatively young age, and have an odd love for 4-wheelers.  But is that what makes you country?  Maybe it’s because I climb a lot of trees.  If you ask me (which you all inadvertently did when you started reading my blog), being country means a few things.  Let’s just skip right past the deer-shootin’, beer-drinkin’ stereotypes and get into what it really means to be country.

It means being capable.  The real country is a rough place, and if you don’t know what to do to survive, if you’re incapable of thinking on your feet and doing whatever it takes to make it to the next day, you’re going to die.

It means developing compassion, but not to a fault.  Decisions must be made in the country.  Think of it this way–do you swerve to avoid a squirrel but end up putting your truck in a ditch and causing damage?  Or do you hit the squirrel and get on with your life (and maybe scoop it up for some squirrel stew)?

It means making decisions and not lingering on things that you cannot change.  “Woops, hit a squirrel, now where’s my chainsaw?  Granny’s waitin’ for me to cut down her tree.”

It means not being too sensitive.  It was just a squirrel–geez.

It means appreciating the simple things in life, like having enough food to keep the family fed or a beautiful sunset.

It means knowing that you are but a small spec in the scheme of things.

It’s independence and knowing you can rely on your family and your neighbors.

It means trying it by yourself, and being able to ask for help if you need it.

And it means knowing how to sit back and watch the world go by for a bit.

If that’s what my CEO meant, I’ll take it.  But I have a feeling he thinks I chew tobacco and shoot guns on the weekends.  I’ll shoot guns, but I’ll take my tobacco in the form of a cigarette.  🙂

Love,
“Country”

 

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2011 in Daily Happenings

 

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The Mud Puddle

At the request of my dear friend and former student, Jerry, I am writing again about my childhood.

My cousins and I spent every weekend on my grandparents’ farm, where we searched for Jessie Simmons’ tongue, and our sweet Grandma Cleobelle rarely let us in the house if it was nice out.  So we spent a lot of time inventing games, climbing trees, and getting into trouble.

This is my grandparents' barn. In front of this was the mud puddle.

In front of the barn, there was a perpetual mud puddle.  After it rained, it could be as deep as halfway up to our shins.  During the drought of 1988, it turned into flake clay mud that blew away in the dry wind.  But for the majority of my childhood, it was a mud puddle.

We rejoiced in riding our bikes through it, spraying water up on our backs and the cousins who were unlucky enough to ride behind us.  We filled water guns and Solo cups for water fights, and built mud pies out of the thick mud below the rocks.  And if we were lucky enough to find something that floated, we had make-believe sea adventures.  Even though Grandma wouldn’t let us into the house after such antics, we still played in the mud puddle, ate dinner with our muddy hands, and smear mud on our arms and faces like war paint.

What is it about a puddle, or mud, or dirt that draws children in?  Perhaps it’s an innate instinct to locate water and exist near it.  Perhaps it is just because we can.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2011 in When I Was Young

 

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Babies, Civil Wars, and Red Rainbows

On Friday, I got to go home.  Going home feels like a privilege anymore.  I like that…and I wish it could happen more often.  In going home, I got to play with baby Jax and see my cousin Heather.  There is nothing like having a baby fall asleep in your arms.  Nothing.  Then my mom took Mike and I to Applebee’s and then came home in time for Dad to get off work and celebrate his birthday.

On Saturday, it was dreary, so I lifted in the basement with Mike instead of going for a run.  I’m feeling it today.  I can hardly walk.  I also found a list of old potential baby names from 2004 in an old journal.  I take comfort in knowing that I tried to incorporate my then-current boyfriend’s name into the names of my boys.  Yeah, that was nice of me.  Ha ha!

Rutherford B. Hayes House

Then I went old school.  My cousin Meghan, Mike, and I went to Spiegel Grove to tour Rutherford B. Hayes’ home and to watch a Civl War reenactment.  I hadn’t been in the Hayes house since an elementary school field trip, and it was crazy to look at the place he lived again.  I remembered certain things, and others were really great surprises.  No photography allowed…so I can’t show you any of it.  But it is GLORIOUS.  I found a picture of the outside of the house from the south side.  The front porch is to the right, the second chimney from the left is Hayes’ bedroom.  It really is a beautiful home.

You really don’t take advantage of some of the things in your very own hometown.  I think I might have to take that tour again.  We didn’t go to the museum, but that just gives us something to do another time.

Then we watched the Civil War reenactment put on twice a year at Spiegel Grove.  This one was commemorating Hayes’ birthday (October 4th, 1822).  I don’t really understand war reenactments.  So I’m interested to see if any of you have anything to say about it other than the cannons are cool.

Saturday night, I drank a bottle of wine and rented two chick flicks with Mike.  I then proceeded to wrestle him.  I won.  It’s my story.

Sunday, we helped Mom and Dad close the pool, watched football, and fell asleep a lot.  We drove home the back way and in the midst of the dreary skies, God gave us a beautiful sunset that hit every direction of the sky, shooting a red rainbow up into the heavens.

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2011 in Daily Happenings

 

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