Goodbye, OhioMEMORIES, STAFF, USA MAINLAND — By Milli Thornton on February 20, 2013 at 01:08
Story by Milli Thornton. Photos Copyright © Milli Thornton & Brian Williams.
Feature photo: Sunset, Berlin Lake, Ohio
This time tomorrow the Penske truck will be sitting in our driveway while the movers load our goods and chattel. By afternoon we’ll be heading off for New Mexico by road, driving the van ourselves. This post is a round-up in photos of my four years and five months living in Youngstown, Ohio.
For starters, I wanted to bring you a typical Ohio country image. The scene I most coveted was a handsome old red barn about 20 minutes out of town with a vintage ad for Mail Pouch Tobacco on the side and surrounded by cornfields. Alas, the road was too narrow and there was nowhere to pull off to get a photo. Instead we have this still-typical but slightly less colorful barn and field of corn somewhere east of Cleveland.
Ohio is not all cornfields, of course. Here’s one of the many beautiful state parks that grace this state.
Here’s another typical sight: the intense green of the suburbs. Since we’re headed for a mountain desert region in Northern New Mexico, it’s a good thing I drank my fill of this through my office window the past four years.
“SEASONS OF OHIO” TYPE STUFF
Fall harvest is a a great time to live in a farming state. Just down the road in Canfield, Ohio, Youngstown locals can take advantage of the bounty for sale at White House Fruit Farm. They have way more than just fruit and the produce colors are vibrant.
Youngstown has an average of 63 sunny days and 97 partly-sunny days per annum. The gloomy skies here are not something I’ll miss. I used to find the sunshine in New Mexico almost excessive—on average, there are 283 sunny days per year in Taos—but you can bet I’ll appreciate it more now.
Temps in the winter will be a lot colder in Costilla County (up to 20 below) than they are here in Mahoning County. Generally, we’ve been lucky with snowfall here, avoiding most of the “Lake Effect” snow that dumps further north. Here’s one time we got it (22 inches!).
The Village Pantry in nearby Poland, Ohio is a great place to watch the seasons unfold. Store owner Joanne has a gift for seasonal decor and it’s cozy and inviting both inside and out all year round. Here are a couple of charming examples.
MILL CREEK PARK
No resident of Youngstown could do a goodbye story without featuring Mill Creek Park, second largest metro park in the United States (4,400 acres of diverse lands). This walking path was only a block from our house.
Recent favorites: The Upstairs Restaurant here in Youngstown where I enjoyed a stunning rack of New Zealand lamb over creamy risotto for my birthday last month.
And for a farewell dinner with friends last weekend, the old bank vault at Selah restaurant in nearby Struthers. (For more photos of the bank vault where we ate, see Related Topics at the end of this post.)
ENTERTAINMENT & CULTURE
It wasn’t easy getting the right camera angle on Poland Library to do justice to this glorious building. This photo is dedicated to my friend Julia Munroe Martin (aka blogger wordsxo) of Maine. Julia fondly remembers spending her childhood summers at her grandmother’s house just across Yellow Creek from the the current library. She remembers visiting the original (much smaller!) library and she even had her own library card. (See link to full story in Related Topics below.)
A unique event in Poland (one suburb over from our house) is Yellow Creek Theatre aka Movies Under the Bridge. The setting is so natural you can even watch the creek running between the projectionist’s stand and the classic movie being beamed onto the wall of the bridge on Rte 224. (See link to full story in Related Topics below.)
I’m not a rib person myself, but in 2011 the Cleveland Rib Fest magnetized me there by featuring Collective Soul in concert on the river. If you’re a Collective Soul fan be sure to check out my story, which includes cool night-time scenes of the Cleveland skyline, boats passing on the river behind the back-up band, Collective Soul’s light show, and a very good video by Brian of the band performing their classic, “December.” (See Related Topics below for link.)
Several charity poker events are also held in Ohio. Brian attended one a few months ago organized by a friend and I was glad to hear that the money raised all went to help kids with disabilities. He said his friend (who has a big heart) enjoyed organizing the event.
SUNDAYS IN OHIO . . . WHAT’S THERE TO DO?
A couple summers ago we took off for Mansfield, Ohio, which is pretty much in the center of the state. We needed a central meeting place to visit with my brother Ed, who was visiting cousins on the far side of Ohio from his home in Moline, IL. We landed in Mansfield on a Sunday and found Sleepytown, USA with nearly everything but the chains closed for business. But not the Mansfield Memorial Museum. This place was so stuffed to the gills with fascinating memorabilia, when I went to find these photos I realized I need to someday do a separate post about this place.
With a lush backyard and being so close to the park, we had no shortage of local critters to entertain us. Here’s a small selection.
Here’s an osprey nest on a power pole in Berlin Lake. After doing some research, we guessed that the local ranger probably put this up. Power poles with platforms for nests are a common way to encourage osprey to breed. As the sun went down, we watched as the osprey popped its head out of the nest occasionally.
What more can be said that the pictures didn’t convey? Goodbye, Ohio. . . .
MORE OHIO PHOTOS
Milli Thornton (aka Milliver) is the author of Fear of Writing: for writers & closet writers. She is owner of the Fear of Writing Online Course and Unleash Your Writing!, where her mission is to put the fun back into writing. Milli blogs at Screenwriting in the Boonies and the Fear of Writing Blog and coaches writers individually at Writer’s Muse.