Friday, August 16, 2013

The Cleveland Chapter

Dear Cleveland,
Can you believe it? We have lived in you for a year now.

One year ago, shortly after midnight, we were pulling into a city near you, getting some shut-eye after the longest road trip of our lives. After a too-short sleep, we'd pull ourselves out of bed and see you, the real you, for the first time. We'd drive down the street where we now live, past our house, because we didn't recognize it (oops), and unlock the door to our new home and new life. 

At first, we weren't sure what we thought of you. Our first impression was admittedly rather bad. We chose the wrong street to go down as we progressed toward that first view of our new home... a road that was more pot-holey than the rest, and that's saying a lot. We endured a short bout of warm weather, the tail-end of summertime, without any friends and without a real sense of what the city had to offer. You seemed interesting, but we weren't sure how to enjoy you. 

And then winter began and... well, I hated you. Carson loves cold weather, so he was fine, but I detested the chill brought on by the humidity from your stupid lake, the unplowed streets, the dark early mornings and dark early evenings. Every mean thing I've heard about Cleveland (and there are a lot) rang true in my heart, just because it was cold and gray and ugly outside. I hated the promise of warmth in March and the dashing of my dreams over and over again as snow continued to fall well into April. I started to like you... and then it hovered around 40 degrees and 40 degrees might as well be -40, because it's still too cold to do anything. 

But then... May. May had a few days of chill, but many more of sunshine and warmth. The coldness of my heart toward you, Cleveland, thawed out, bit by bit. I began to think that maybe there was a little charm in your pothole-studded streets. Trees began to bloom, flowers finally appeared and I saw what other people saw. I heard about concerts and days with food trucks and arts festivals. I visited the Metroparks, the zoo, a Tribe game and heard about all sorts of wonderful things that happen in you when it's warm. I explored a little more. 

And then, Cleveland, then what did I say? 
I said that I liked living here. That's right, you won me over. Oh, it's no Spokane (sorry!) and it's not the South (sorry again), but something about this place is certainly rather captivating. The lake, while not my saltwater ocean, certainly looks rather like one, since you can't see to the other side. And the zoo, well, we didn't have one in Spokane and that's kind of neat. And you're a city with a lot of parks, which Spokane has too, and I love that. There are thunderstorms, which Carson can't get enough of, warm summer nights, which I like, community events, which feel sort of homey and now we know people. And Cleveland, that's really what makes you so special. Because we moved here a year ago, we met so many people that we love. We've made good friends, gone on fun outings, hosted community group, and planned trips with people we didn't know a year ago. 

There are parts of you that I will not miss, when the time comes: mostly winter, but that's the way it's going to be. But there are parts about you, people who live here, things to see and do, that I will most certainly look back on, fondly, at whatever time the Cleveland Chapter closes. 

Looking forward to at least another, but please be easy on me with the soon-impending winter! 

Our street, day one.

1 comment:

  1. And now you have a cat to keep you warm this winter!


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