We departed Ohio again on December 28, hoping for warmer temperatures further south. We left Ohio three days earlier than planned because of the polar deep freeze. I don’t mind leaving the place, but saying goodbye to the people I love hurts my heart.
Living in an RV full-time is a really fun way to live. We love it, for the most part. The hardest thing for me is leaving behind the people. I miss my family and friends and hate saying goodbye. Talking on the phone isn’t as much fun as playing games, trying new restaurants, and doing things together.
But I have some wonderful times to add to the treasure-trove of memories I carry with me. We saw my mom and dad and John and Jackie an average of three times a week during our seven weeks in Ohio. We had some adventure days. I got to spend time with my brother and his family and my sister and her family. My family is great. We love to laugh and tease each other. We always know that we have each other’s back. If I needed anything from any of them, they would do it or give it in a heartbeat.
And we got to see most of the people on our best friends list. We had dinner with Sandy and Eric and Susan, long-time friends from Akron. It was the Monday before Thanksgiving, so we were especially thankful they took time to see us. Our friend Wendy drove down from Strongsville to have lunch with us in Ashland. We especially appreciate the people who are willing to meet us halfway. I had so much fun talking and laughing with these friends that I forgot to get any pictures!
The entire Varga family drove to Mansfield from Akron to have dinner with us. People have to work harder to keep in touch with us while we are traveling and they really make the effort. A trio of wonderful women from Wedgewood drove down to Mansfield to have lunch with me. Two of them even took the day off work! It was so great to see them that we all started crying as soon as we saw each other. I actually remembered to have the waitress take a picture (after the crying was over).
My clergy friends Marta and Karen met me in Smithville for lunch on the snowiest day of the year. They weren’t going to let a little snow keep them from our appointed time together. Fortunately we all returned home safely. Steve (our “second son”) and his new wife Amy came over to John and Jackie’s house for an afternoon of games and food. They live in Dayton. We loved seeing them and teasing them about being newlyweds.
We met our friends Pete and Cathy at the Rusty Bucket restaurant in Dublin. Not a restaurant I recommend, but their company far outweighed the atmosphere. Two restaurant names I don’t understand: Rusty Bucket and Old Bag of Nails. Neither name sounds appetizing or makes me want to go there. Of course, I forgot to get a picture.
On our last day in Ohio we met Pam and Steve Varga for a second time to visit a dear, older friend in Hilliard. Anita was a member at Wedgewood and moved to an independent living facility near her daughter in Columbus. Pam tries to visit three or four times a year and this time Tom and I tagged along. We didn’t get to visit as long as we would have liked but we will certainly visit again soon.
There are, of course, other people we would have loved to see. But the days dwindle down and the restaurants pile up. Before we know it, we must hit the road again.
Saying goodbye is hard and hurts my heart. You might wonder why we do it. Why not just stay in Ohio and enjoy being with the people we love? We do it because we also love to say hello and you can’t have hello without a preceding goodbye. The love we receive from our friends and family in Ohio convinces us that we will find new people to love wherever we go.
“Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.” All my friends and family are precious to me.