The Wine: “About Last Night” Sauvignon Blanc (Storyteller, Sonoma, California)
The Winery: My Son’s Living Room (Columbus, Ohio)
The W(H)ine: “Find It Here,” Whatever “It” Is (O-H-I-O’s Motto)
Bad things happened to me in Ohio.
Good things, too.
But, five years ago, I left because of the bad things. (Link here to read about Gypsy Girl.)
Feeling especially empowered as I wandered westward way back then – pre-pandemic, pre-war, pre-uprisings (you know, in the good-ole-days) – channeling the perceived pioneering spirit of many a childhood girl crushes: Amelia Earhart, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Louisa May Alcott.
The Great Unknown beckoned beguilingly, all sexy, shimmering, and silver lining-ish.
All I could see in the rearview mirror (because I was still looking) in those seemingly monumental moments was pain, trauma, and the host of seemingly small-minded folk who meant well, but whose buckeye-shaped-one-size-fits-most glasses made this fish outta water want to swim elsewhere.
So, I found the Pacific.
And, as referenced in the article link above, by no intentional effort, I ended up finding myself stuck in the same patterns from whence I came, with similar people (only the names changed), reenacting a stifling life nearly as toxic as the one I drove away from.
So, Sunday night, after thirteen exhausting hours covering 822 miles from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Columbus, Ohio including an hour’s delay on the lovely Interstate 70 west of Indianapolis (read: in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothing but green grass, humidity, and very sketchy-looking tractor-trailer rigs angling for my lane despite the obvious size-and-power differential. Just merge already, buddy. No honk or lights needed.)
You. Are. Welcome. (Dammit)
Gratefully, and gracefully, my Ohio posse tracked the trip via group text, sending periodic comments fueled with empathic encouragement (“You got this, Lisa & Pearl…Only 700 miles to go!” with cross-eyed emoji), loving advice (“Maybe don’t drive into the Missouri thunderstorm-turning-tornado!” followed by appropriate questioning emoji), and hearty congratulations (Thumbs up and Happy Face emojis, upon my eventual nighttime arrival at my son’s home a few miles from THE Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. BTW - fun O-H-I-O fact: “THE” is trademarked now – put that in your proverbial pipe and smoke it).
Most hilarious (and perhaps prophetic), however, was my nearest (in age) sister’s text upon seeing the picture I posted of Ohio’s point-of-entry welcome sign, highlighting the state motto: “Find It Here.” (See pic above.)
-Welcome back to the place where, apparently you can “find it here.” Wonder what “it” is, but I’m excited for you to find it!!!!! -
Me, too, sis. Me, too.
Besides the obvious Ohio finds - humidity (already mentioned) and potholes (despite perpetual construction, which is a synonym for summer here) – evidence of other possible “its” appear daily…and from the least-expected sources.
Off to all the Cool Cities that start with C…Canton, Chardon, Chagrin Falls and Cleveland as the Reclamation RoadTrip unveiling Continues. O-H-
Here’s to Whatever IT Is…May we open our hearts, our minds, our souls, and our stories to one another as we wander the open road before us…