Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O is for Ohio

by Kim Van Sickler

Ohio is the state where I spent most of my time growing up and couldn't wait to get away from. And I did... for awhile. But I found myself back here, only a few miles away from where I dreamed of escape years ago.

Only this time, I like it. The Cleveland area really does have a ton of amenities, like an incredible Metroparks system and the Ohio and Erie Canal towpath trail that I've built my latest novel around. I live on an acre and a half of land and build fires in my backyard and grow a lot of my summer vegetables. The neighboring community of Willoughby is an historical area complete with its own ghost tour. Traveling a little further from home, I can easily visit Amish country (Holmes County), Ohio State University and the state capitol (Columbus), incredible ziplining (Hocking Hills and The Wilds in Muskingum County), great wineries (Geneva), Cedar Point (Sandusky) and good skiing (Peek 'n Peak and Holiday Valley: western NY--less than two hours away).

Biking in Amish country.

Overnight with friends at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

A pig race at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus.

Ziplining at The Wilds, a roaming zoo in Cumberland, Ohio
Lock 4 on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail in the Cuyahoga National Park.
Feeling no pain at the Harpersfield Winery in Geneva.
Cedar Point in Sandusky.
Annual Christmas family ski trip in western NY.

Turns out, when I thought I hated Cleveland as a kid, I really hated the lack of freedom and overabundance of parental rules placed on me. I wanted and needed to be on my own.

Today, Ohio stands for the life I've built in a state that has been good to me. And for the family I've created here. Wherever you end up--home really is a state of mind. Anyplace will work once you start making memories and laying down roots.

Do you live in your dream location? Have you made it your home yet?


  1. We often associate where we come from with parental restrictions which is why we want to get away. It's different when you're an adult. I'm from the south of England but happy where I'm living in Scotland - the people are friendlier and I've created my own life (and family) here!

  2. I grew up in a small patch of paradise surrounded by places where it is difficult to live. I needed to move away for educational and wing-spreading reasons. Now it is impossible to move back, and I live far enough away that it's even difficult to visit.

  3. Funny how we want to escape. I would never live in the small town I grew up in--Benton Harbor--because of the discrimination by the town across the river, St. Joseph, and the poverty it's caused in Benton Harbor. But I love living in Ann Arbor. I never envisioned staying in Michigan, but it's a great town.

  4. I think it's the people around you that can make wherever you are the place you want to be.

    Moody Writing

  5. I do live in my dream location--St. George, Utah--the southwestern canyon lands. But people from Ohio are good folk, sincere. Not a bad place to live if you can get through January and Feb. The pig races look like a ton of fun!

  6. You'll find me in the opposite corner of Ohio, a few hours down I-71. I, too, left for a while, but came back to be near family & friends. My corner boasts the Reds & Bengals, Shakespeare Co, Broadway plays at the Aranoff, Ohio River events, & lots of writers & illustrators. Just up the road in Dayton is Wright Bros history & Wright-Patterson Air Base & museum. Just across the river in Kentucky you can find lots of Lincoln historical sites. It's a great place to call home.

    1. Between the two of us, we really do cover the State, don't we?

  7. Agree home really is a state of mind rather than a place.
    We live in a beautiful place

    never been to Ohio it borders on many places and seems like lots to do

    Happy A to Z


  8. My CP is from Ohio, so I think it's a great place.

    I've lived in Calgary for almost all my life. It's been home for a long time.