I’ve been in Ohio for a week visiting my parents on their farm (which they don’t actually farm), going to Arcanum Old Fashion Days where I used to run around every May with my best friend Katie chasing boys and trying to be cool, visiting the young men I mentor and their beautiful families, working at The Kettering Foundation, and thinking about and trying not to stress over my upcoming Regional Subcommittee on Candidacy Interview on June 2.
I loved the the country, the green, how slow life is, how easy it is to drive, how much space there is to prance around in my parents’ yard, how there are barns to explore if I want to, how you can smell the grass, how police and farmers always wave to you when you pass them on the road, how there are no jack hammers outside your window in the morning, and how I know all the streets and back roads and even how I know people at the grocery store even if I don’t really want to talk to them, introvert that I am.
I loved visiting my parents and being and adult and it being okay to extrapolate myself from family dynamics that you can’t extrapolate yourself from when you are 17.
I like how I can have a bon fire in the back yard and make smoores if the mood strikes.
I love how each tree is a tree I climbed, or how the barns are hideouts we made and adventures we had searching for secret passage ways and evidence of a crime we could solve (like Nancy Drew). Each back road all with their names that only seemed strange once college friends visited and told me so (Hogpath or Schnorf-Jones or Otterbein-Ithica or Dull Rd.) is a story, or a memory, or a home I used to visit of a childhood friend, or where so-and-so lived who married so-and-so.
All the memories are not good. But they are mine and taken together they are the first 17 years of my life. Corn stalks, and woods, and barns, and school mates, and religion and all of it. They are rich and dark and funny and sad and happy and complex. Like our lives.
I love the religious signs and radio stations, in a weird sort of way. I forgot how much more religious Ohio is than Massachusetts. I have documented some of them for you (along with other lovely pictures). My dream would be to make a book documenting this sort of thing, except that several of them have already been written/photographed.
This is an awesome looking coffee house in Arcanum (population 2,000). You know coffeehouses are main stream when Arcanum gets one.
This is my parents house from the back yard.
And this is the hole in the wall where the raccoons broke in through the attic, down into the walls and into the extra room upstairs. There are some legendary stories involving raccoons in our attic, a hand gun, my dad, an attacking Mama raccoon, and eight year old Elizabeth, but that, I shall save for another post.
This is Sugar Boy. He graciously allows my parents to live with him and feed him and attend to his every whim.
Their sister Priscilla did not want her picture taken until she looses a few pounds. She currently weighs 18 pounds.
This is Pablo, our foster kitten. Just before we left for Ohio, we lost his brother Logan and sister Maria – the first two kittens we have ever lost. Very hard. Especially for Wolfgang who doesn’t really believe in any sort of kitten afterlife. They were just too young to be away from their Mama (who apparently abandoned them, or was unable to attend to them for some reason) and they just couldn’t pull through. We almost lost Pablo, but he is doing quiet well now.
He is considering taking up blogging about his near-death experience and being abandoned by his mom. Either a blog or a memoir. He isn’t quite sure yet. Since he is only six weeks old, he figures he has a little time to decide.
That’s all from Ohio. And Somerville. For now.