Toledo. It’s a simple, blue collar city nestled deep in Northern Ohio, a short 45 minutes south of Detroit, Michigan. The city’s flat, straight streets are lined with rows and rows of tiny bungalows, ranches and craftsmans, each unique in its own way. Front yards are small, sitting close to the sidewalks where children scoot and ride along. Backyards aren’t much bigger, but they are cozy and mostly well maintained.
The people there are an honest and hardworking bunch and they have the hands to prove it. They build cars, fix people and teach the young. Other than careers in the medical profession, education or working on the line there isn’t much opportunity for success there. My family has their hands in all three, but none of those professions were ever for me.
Although I don’t particularly feel like there is anything special or extremely unique about the Glass City (named this in part because of the glass production at Libbey Glass) there is a comforting familiarity about my home town. While I’m away, I miss nothing but the people whom I cherish as my family and close friends despite the many miles that separate us, but while I’m there I feel as if I never left. It’s as though time stands still while I’m away.
One of the things I hate most about Toledo is the weather. It leaves much to be desired with long, harsh winters and summers that are just too short, but people there make the best of it. They take advantage of the few warm days that they do have with poolside bbqs and enjoy what they can during the colder months.
Although there are lots of things about Toledo that I’m not particularly fond of, there are some things that I really miss, too. First, of course, is my family and then my friends are a close second. After that would be the Toledo Zoo. It’s one of the best the country has and I’m proud to say that I’ve been there tons of times. Then there are the docks where Justin and I had our awesome wedding reception. It’s the most beautiful location Toledo has to offer. I also love the Mudhens stadium and the memories I have there watching Curtis Granderson before he was anyone special. Lastly I really love the Old West End and all the history there. I remember driving past all those beautiful, historical homes as a teenager dreaming of the day I’d live in one.
Toledo isn’t my home any more, nor do I think it ever will be again, but just like New York, Detroit and now Fredericksburg, there are pieces of me that wouldn’t be the same, but for being brought up right there in Ohio, the heart of it all.