Miss Ohio

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"Miss Ohio" was how the man behind the skycap counter referred to me as he handed over our boarding passes before we flew to Columbus. Actually we were flying from Phoenix to Las Vegas then Columbus. It was 6am on a Saturday morning and I was taking the kids to see the new house for the first time. Jared left Phoenix the day before with our truck and a small U-haul trailer. He swears the 30 hour drive was the short stick, but as the kids fought about something trivial while we made our way to security and I pondered why I hadn't booked us a direct flight, I was pretty sure I had drawn the short stick. We have traveled to Ohio often so our available options are relatively familiar to me. There must have been a large price difference or we most definitely would have flown direct.

The front porch of the original roost, the house Jared grew up in.

The front porch of the original roost, the house Jared grew up in.

Why Ohio? Is a question I've fielded often lately. I suppose if you aren't well acquainted with us you wouldn't know Jared grew up there. Even if you had that information the question could still slip because there seems to be some sort of stigma attached to returning to where you grew up. I've never been one to put a lot of stock in what others think about my choices though. There are many people that don't exactly have fond memories of where or how they grew up so the thought of returning to the town or even state of their youth is horrid to them. Recent trips to Joshua Tree have re-kindled my love for the iconic trees and I did briefly research land/home prices in the area. I abandoned that quickly though, as my heart was really set on somewhere new and green. There are homesteaders in Arizona, but again, desert. Our search officially began in Jared's old neighborhood. We settled on relocating about three hours South of there so we could stay close enough to family but have rolling hills. We both developed a love for mountains while in Phoenix, and while not as tall at South Mountain, the foothills of the Appalachians appealed to us. 

I will never forget my first trip to Ohio and Jared's hometown. I hadn't been East of the Mississippi, since I was four years old. Wait, we crossed it barely during a genealogy trip we had taken in January that year to Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois. I didn't get out of the Southwest much. That January trip was when I realized how much I loved town squares, old courthouses, and below freezing wind chills while walking through cemeteries. All things I had never experienced. Seeing Ohio for the first time in May of 2009 was like something else though. As we drove Northwest out of Columbus and the farmland began expanding and the neighborhoods shrank I was enthralled. The area I grew up in wasn't a big city by any means, it is quite a large town now by most standards as it's easily tripled in size from when I lived there, but I had never been able to see so far to the horizon. I can feel my excitement as I'm describing it now. I'm almost positive Jared and his parents thought I might have been the strangest person ever. The cornfields, the sky, the clouds, the reservoir, main street, the grass, the weather, it was all new and I audibly gushed about it. We were only there a week, but it was a full dose of Ohio. We let off large fireworks, shot the potato gun, discovered the creamery, drove over crybaby bridge (there's one in every town), went to Cedar Point, and just sat outside with the breeze blowing and grass under our toes.

We had only been dating like 8 months? I was totally sold on Ohio and no one was trying to sell it to me. The idea of returning to the Buckeye state full time had not crossed Jared's mind yet. Lest you begin to think our whole relationship is based on the majestic state of Ohio, he and his parents are pretty great too. We've been married for almost 6 years now, and ever since that trip we've gone to Ohio every time we could manage and the excitement around anticipating those trips was real in our house. Some people dread going to their significant other's childhood home, but I have loved it every year for both the people we would see there and the surroundings. I've seen it at its greenest in the summer, and when it is dark, grey, and chilly and loved them both. Our new home I've only seen during the winter and it's stunning even when I'm enjoying it through the windows. I may cry when I see the trees in bloom and can spend more than 10 minutes on the porch for the first time. The ever changing landscape with the seasons makes the views all the more beautiful. You can't get bored of it!

Our early trips were only a week or two, and they were never long enough. When you live across the country from family you really savor that time with them. Our latest trip this last summer was about 6 weeks and it still felt too short. Seeing the kids play with cousins, sharing meals, and celebrating birthdays together were all moments that just made my heart want to burst. I'm looking forward to enjoying much more of that.

I'm sure this all sounds daft if you are accustomed to all I've described. Maybe next time you step outside and see that grass filled yard, cornfield, town square, or run into family by surprise at the store you can appreciate it through fresh eyes?  

Only 46 more days people! I'd better get back to packing.

 

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This post contains ads & affiliate links (this links to our full disclosure about browser cookies, and way more than you probably wanted to know about ads and affiliate marketing). We make a small commission when you purchase from some of the links shared in this post. Making a purchase from a link will not cause you to pay more or affect your purchase in any way. It will however, support our wildest farmin' dreams, which is mighty awesome of you.