I Heart Cleveland

Oh my stars. It’s been exciting few weeks round these parts. The computer is back, so that means I can get back to blogging. I have a lot to tell you, but I can’t cover a month in one post, so you’ll have to be patient. For now, resist the urge to react with shock and horror at the title of this post. I’m about to shoot your preconceived notions right out of the flammable water.

Before all the computer drama, I went home for a long overdue summer visit. Typically, my visits to Cleveland are limited to once a year during the Christmas season. Snow, ice, seasonal affective disorder, the kind of cold that penetrates your bones… Enticing, isn’t it?

But Cleveland in the summer is a whole different city. First, it’s a respite from Texas in the summer. Texas sucks all the joy from my favorite season with one hot breath. Second, my amazing family lives in C-town, and my parents’ backyard is like the forest in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – animals flock here from far and wide.

I won’t be able to successfully document my trip in one post, so I’m going to do multiple posts (at least two) with photos documenting the reasons Cleveland is actually a really cool place, full of art and culture and nature. The weather may not be ideal all year round, but it’s good to know a part of my heart is still here, rediscovered on a run along my favorite jogging trail. Mistake on the lake? Maybe in some ways. But no city is perfect. And nobody is gonna talk trash ‘bout my city.

Parade the Circle

Growing up, my mom and I had an annual tradition of attending a festival called Parade the Circle. Various schools, organizations and camps around the city spend weeks putting together elaborate costumes, making papier mache vehicles and learning how to walk on stilts to create a spectacle for the senses. Everyone gathers near the Cleveland Museum of Art to sing, cheer, dance and even cartwheel down the road. Each year it gets better, and the older I get, the more impressed I am with the level of ingenuity and creativity. See for yourself, and I’ll see you back here later this week with more about my trip as well as some exciting news.

Missing the Midwest

Today I find myself strangely homesick for the Midwest. Summertime was always my favorite time in Cleveland. I miss catching fireflies and taking walks through our tree-lined neighborhood streets. “Home” has become a very difficult concept for me lately. Sometimes I kind of feel like I’m playing a game of Twister when it comes to my definition of home. Right foot Nashville. Left hand Cleveland. Left foot College Station. I am a tangled mess of emotions and attachments, trying to balance over circles on a mat. I guess maybe that’s what most people feel like in their twenties. After a while you begin to forget where the people in your life all came from. One place blends into another, and memories fuse together so we become no longer aware of where the past ends and the present begins.