When I was divorced and single living in Orange County, all I wanted was to be married and start a family. It felt like my life was dragging by and with each baby shower I attended I felt more and more defeated, depressed and desperate.
I had reached the ripe age of 35, which in dating circles of Orange County is like saying you’re 50! Men in that age bracket ONLY wanted to date girls in their 20’s.
I guess the ticking of my biological clock had gotten pretty LOUD! I was even toying with the idea of checking Ebay for a baby (just kidding) . It seemed, at the time my most likely way to get my hands on a wee human of my own and besides Ebay has everything under the SUN!
I had been ready give up hope. Meanwhile God had a way better and crazier plan for my life. You see just when I had become hopeless, I met my husband over the phone, at work. (Long story short I relocated and started a new life).
I moved to Ohio in December of 2004, during the almost blizzard (we didn’t have the winds) but people had to be rescued by snowmobile off I75 and I70. According to Wikipedia it was considered a category 4 “crippling” snow storm that left Dayton with a record 16 inches of snow in 30 hours.
In my family we have a running joke that when a Cason moves, it disrupts normal weather patterns. For example when 2 or more of us gather earth quakes sometimes follow in places where earthquakes are NOT the norm.
For me this “Blizzard” was like a “We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto” wake up call. I had been here in Dayton just over 24 hours and a blizzard SHUT Down the MidWest and parts of Canada.
Then the first spring came and the yards were full of daffodils, tulips and crocus flowers. I asked Chris “Are those fake?Because in California people put out fake flowers and just hose the dust off them?” He looked so disgusted, he said “NO those are real, who ever heard of planting fake flowers?” Dude it’s a thing I promise!
Cut to me a few years later and 2 toddlers, my life literally went into a kind of hyper speed that I’m still catching up from.
Because our kids are so close together (19 months), much of their first years are a complete blur of diapers, bottles, lack of sleep and CONSTANT plotting to out smart the two of them.
So when I finally came out of the house long enough to send Isabella to preschool (her choice not mine) I started to get used to the 4 different seasons that we see here in the MidWest.
You see in California I say we have 5 seasons, they consist of Fire/Draught, Rain/Flooding, Mud Slides (because the tree roots burned away) and Earth Quakes Season (usually when it’s very HOT and Dry).
Oh and my favorite The Santa Ana Winds, that whip through the valley and blow down fences but also clears away the perpetual SMOG. Not to be confused with FOG (as in the June gloom that hangs over the beach communities until about lunch time). See the water is cold (60’s) and the air is warm, hence this fog that befuddles people on vacation, who came for the sunny California beaches.
So for this California transplant, the 4 different seasons of Ohio were so amazing!
I still maintain that Spring and Fall are my favorites by far. All the beautiful color that appears each spring with the lovely Redbud, Flowering Dogwood and Cherry Blossom trees. Then every where are bright flowering bulbs.
These seem to last for less than a month, the pink flowers drop off almost over night and the leaves fill up all the naked trees.
The Canada geese come back, they are paired up and making nests around every pond. Soon the eggs hatch and clusters of baby geese are waddling behind geese parents every where.
Then the steamy summer rolls in and I try to avoid the sun and humidity at any cost. Meanwhile the kids want to be at the pool 12 hours a day. My mind is constantly thinking “Which one of us is getting voted off this island?” (#IsleofBickeringKids) and thinking of what to make for dinner that won’t involve heating the house up with the oven. #CrockPotTime
Then just when you think you CAN’T bare the heat one more day, the leaves on the trees start turning colors and fall is here! I love fall!
A neighbor has a tree that every year I know how the season is progressing because of their HUGE Maple. The leaves start off green, then start changing to a rich red, then a harvest orange with a few yellow leaves. Then they drop off and I know winter isn’t far behind this tree’s change. It’s almost like that one tree sets the schedule for all the other trees in our neighborhood.
Winter in Ohio is a funky thing, like the weather in Hawaii, it can’t make up its mind. Some winters since I’ve been here we’ve had so much snow that schools are closed and my girls have built an igloo at the end of our driveway. Other winters I have seen people out playing tennis in January.
When my girls were very little I remember bundling them up from head to toe in little snow suits, snow boots, mittens, hats, the WORKS! Just to spend 15-20 minutes outside. Now that they are older I let them dress themselves to the level that they think will keep them warm and yell at them to “GO OUT and PLAY”!
We get a little stir crazy here in the winter, with the lack of sun or too much snow.
In the MidWest its normal to be out running errands in negative 10 windchill. It’s about the only time I truly bundle up (hat, gloves, Lands End parka), to pump my own gas. But when it’s 40 and the sun is out? I call that shorts weather with a sweatshirt.
Living in Ohio has taught me an entire new level of weather appreciation. That and I like say “I’m teaching the weather a lesson!” as I wear flip-flops and a dress to pick up my kids and it’s 50 and sunny.
All this weather talk is leading me to this point, with ALL these seasons.I see very clearly each passing year of my life.
I see my children growing and changing too quickly. I see myself aging and my husband retiring. We are in that stage of life were our children are still in elementary school but the next season is high school, then college.
When I first had my children, my best girlfriend Shelby told me “Your life will now be one birthday party, to one sporting event, to the next holiday”. She was so right, the way I marked time as a single woman is so radically different then the way I mark time now as a mom and wife.
It’s literally carpools, volunteering, drinks with girlfriends, what to make for dinner, etc. Some might think that is mind numbingly dull, but to me, I get tremendous pleasure in these little things that seem so mundane. Because the older I get (I’m 50 now) the faster this time goes.
I catch myself looking for homes all on one level so that my husband and I can age in place when the kids go off to college. I look forward to traveling, holding grand babies one day, God willing and going to mass daily.
Maybe a move to a warmer climate is in our future, but I would truly miss these distinct seasons Ohio has shown me.
Pilar The Papist Squirrel