There are many things I do not necessarily love about my little town.
For starters: the Sandusky “Mall,” home to what is likely the world’s first and last Elder Beerman store. (It’s practically a historical landmark.) My town is the host of Ohio Bike Week, which, sadly, has nothing to do with bicycles. (When I say “bike week,” I really mean “motorcycle mania” – a.k.a. one cesspool of ill-fitting Harley Davidson t-shirts and pleather). When going for a run at the nearby park, I pass a sign that advertises “Free manure.” Awesome.
Let’s not forget about the reality that I can’t seem to go anywhere without running into substitute teachers from second grade and every past/present/future swim parent I’ve ever met. (I do love saying ‘hi’ and catching up, just preferably not when I’m sporting a sweat mustache on the stair climbing machine at Planet Fitness.)
“The best thing about living in Sandusky is that when I don’t know what I’m doing, someone else does.” – Words of wisdom from a dish towel in my kitchen (this is not a joke)
On another note, there are many parts about my little town that I will probably miss someday. I can’t imagine growing up in a place where I didn’t run into people I knew all the time. Someday, I’ll probably miss the fact that a “schlep” in this town is really a 10 minute drive (or less). I’ll miss my fellow neighborhood dogs, Toft’s ice cream (even though they discontinued my favorite flavor, Philadelphia Freedom Mint), Dockside Cafe (one of the more ambient and delicious restaurants in the area) and the other sometimes-annoying but characteristic quirks of my little town.
Plus, I grew up just a few minutes from Cedar Point, which is consistently ranked the #1 amusement park in the world. I spent countless summer days at “America’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Coast” (bonus points if you read that in the voice of a ride operator) with family and friends. I even had my first summer job here – it was at a frozen yogurt shop, which, as you can probably imagine, came with a lot of interesting stories (i.e. bra money, oh-so-lovely amusement park clientele, sketchy employee parking buses, trying to calm down an angry customer who threw his fro-yo at the wall…the list goes on).
Going to college in Florida, I have met my fair share of people who turn their nose at anyone who isn’t from SoFlo or the East Coast. Sure, I may not be from the ritziest suburb or the most glamorous city in the country, but I have my entire life to live somewhere pulsing and exciting and brimming with action.
After all, if it wasn’t for my little town, I may not have met some of my closest friends, gone to summer camp for eight years, learned from some of the greatest teachers I could ever imagine, or even decided to go to the University of Florida. Though I won’t stay here forever, I am lucky to live somewhere where so many people care about and are supportive of my endeavors. Growing up in my little town has pushed me to dream big, and it has encouraged me to think not so much of where I am, but where I am going.
Although this little town does not define every single aspect of my life, my dreams, or my future, my hometown will always be a part of my memories and the stories I tell.
What kinds of memories and quirks come to mind when thinking about your hometown/current place of residence? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,