Mental Health, Personal

Fortress of Solitude: Ohio Part 1: Cleveland

I am pretty sure that Superman had a branch office in Ohio somewhere. It’s quiet, quaint, and peaceful. As I am typing this (and as you’re reading this), I am at my family home in Ohio. Mark is napping next to me as I am sitting on what used to be my Grandma and Grandpa’s bed. The windows are open and all I hear are bird chirps echoing across the lake and rolling hills and the occasional tractor that sputters its way down the road.

It is my fortress of solitude, a place I run to, a safe haven. I feel extremely at home here. Not because of the politics. Not because of the nearby family. I feel most myself here because this place holds such a deep meaning to me.

Growing up, my dad would take us to Grandma and Grandpa’s home in Ohio. My brother and I would fish in the lake, swim in the pool, drive the tractor around, and make friends with the neighbor’s kids. We would also ride his (my dad) motorcycle from 198-something or other. The point is, it was old. The memories we made as children are ones I will cherish forever. When I think of Ohio, I think of those memories. Just the same, memories of catching lightning bugs and the smell of summertime in the Ohio air.

The journey to Ohio was not an easy one. It was my first time flying on my own, as in without another adult or an adultier adult. So add in the fact I was flying with Mark, that was the icing on the cake. It doesn’t help we traveled through the world’s busiest airport, during bedtime when the car seat carrier decided to break on us. If the woman who helped me out going through security ever reads this, I hope you got a ton of free drinks in Vegas. You earned them. It was fun though. Mark loved every moment of the flights.

We landed in Cleveland the airport shuttle took us back to the hotel. Mark and I practically collapsed in the bed, as soon as we arrived and we slept soundly until morning arrived. The next day in Cleveland brought on many sights to see. With so little time, my cousin and I decided to limit those sights to places for the kids. One of our plans, the children’s museum, was canceled due to the need for a reservation and mandatory mask mandate inside. For the record, I am not opposed to others wearing masks. I just understand how difficult it is to tell 2 three-year-olds to wear masks at a place that encourages play and physical activity. So we decided to enjoy the Greater Cleveland Area Aquarium. Mark was in love and completely unphased by the giant tunnel of sharks. We looked at the “washing machine” of jellyfish, Mark got to touch a stingray and somehow managed to complete the aquarium from beginning to end, twice- in less than 20 minutes.

We were in the area and as a Floridian and Pennsylvanian (if that is not what they are called, it is now), we decided to explore the downtown area. We stumbled across this cute little restruaunt which had some of the best food and atmosphere in the area, plus they had cheeseburgers and all of the kids ate cheeseburgers while us moms caught up and enjoyed a beer (which tasted like a grapfruit mimosa… it was AMAZING).

We settled down by spending time in the hotel just catching up. I taught Mark a thing or two about a thing or two about pillow fights. He won and it wasn’t on purpose. The next day brought on a quaint journey to our home in Ohio which will be shared…next week mainly because I am still here.

I am looking out the window with a gentle breeze dancing its way through the room. Mark is asleep and tomorrow we begin our trek home. So I would like to enjoy the moments while I am here… lightning bugs and all.