We say our goodbyes to Ohio as we leave Cincinnati in our rearview mirror on the morning of June 8 and head south to Franklin, North Carolina. I75 takes us through picturesque horse country in Kentucky and then climbs into the mountains of Tennessee. We make a stop at the Cracker Barrel, which is surprisingly…. not bad. We all take a break from the road for a while and relax on the lawn outside the restaurant.
No trip would be complete if not for traffic delays and we are lucky to encounter one soon after leaving the Cracker Barrel. We’re stopped in traffic for nearly an hour as construction shuts down one of the lanes. Alyssa and I have zoned out as we listen to Radio Lab – great stories of escape, despair, of how to freak the phones, I enjoy our time together and the interests of my oldest daughter. The way is slow and we listen to many of these, Nash, on the other hand is not so interested in the dialogue and is clearly ready to be done with the drive. Her panting is incessant and as I look to the back seat of the truck, I see that she has fogged the rear window quite completely. Opening the window seems to do wonders for her attitude and she is content to stick her nose out the window and experience all the smells that pass us by.
We finally reach the end of the construction and the road opens up to North Carolina. We are soon off the freeway and onto the state highways and winding roads that lead us to Franklin and family. We finally arrive at a wonderful cabin in the woods where we will spend the next two nights as we say hello to family as we say our goodbyes to Grand-mommy Young.
June 7, 2012
It begins. Yesterday we left our home in Cleveland Heights and took to the road and the promise of a new life in California. The golden promise of the golden state has also been in the shadows of my mind for forty years, and except for one brief period in 1998, it has always been a shadow and never real.
Surprisingly, I have mixed feelings about the move. We have made such a good life in Cleveland Heights, great friends, a strong family, a fine home… so unlike in 1998 when I was running away from Cleveland, this time, I’m not so much running from it as turning a page. It was hard to say goodbye to friends and family, and I will admit that I lingered a bit here and there to view some of those familiar sites one last time – to imprint them into my memory and reflect on their importance as they have shaped the man that I have become.
As we left, and as two of my daughters remained behind to join us later, reality became the metaphor. A part of our lives remained in Cleveland, as a part of our lives always will. So, we look back with love, with kind memories, and with a wistful smile on this place and turn our gaze to the setting sun and the new life that awaits us in San Francisco.