Ay, Oh, Way to Go

It was 70º yesterday. Sure felt a lot like spring, but I’d be a fool to believe we’ve turned the corner on a new season. One glance at the forecast reveals the truth.

That’s how we transition to spring around here. In fits and starts. You get a little taste of it and then the rug is pulled out from under you. One day you’re wearing shorts, the next, you’re hauling out the snowblower. March and April are actually our snowiest months, which seems hard to fathom when you look at other parts of the country.

Nevertheless, this false spring has Tara giddy with excitement. She ordered a bunch of grow lights and will be setting those up and planting seeds next week. My wife is the first to admit she doesn’t have a lot of hobbies, so to see her embrace gardening so fully makes me happy. I may tease her about her color-coded graphs and charts, but really, they’re endearing.

In addition to an even bigger garden, complete with raised beds and roughly a mile of tomato plants, we’re planning some other additions to the house and backyard this year. New patio furniture and a shed, for sure. We’d also like to add a kitchen island. Now that we’re entering our second full year living here and our finances are looking good, we’re ready to start making some improvements. We had our neighbors over for dinner Friday night, and Kelly remarked how cute our house is. I would have preferred a more masculine adjective, like bitchin’ or rockin’, but I have to admit, with the abundant lava lamps and Scentsy candles and bamboo flooring, it’s definitely a cozy space.

Speaking of Kelly, and I can’t believe I haven’t shared this yet, but look what she got me:

I love how everybody is enabling my flamingo obsession.

We’ve also begun planning a trip. Hopefully most things will be open come May, because we’re headed for…drumroll, please…OHIO.

Ooh. Ahh.

A few months ago, I began reminiscing over childhood vacations to a cute (bitchin’, rockin’) little historic town in Indiana called Metamora. We lived in Dayton at the time and made several trips out there. The town has a canal and gristmill and quaint shops and it all piqued Tara’s interest.

Metamora, IN

This year happens to mark the 10th anniversary of my solo road trip to Ohio. I can’t believe an entire decade has passed! That trip turned out to be life-affirming and helped plant the seed to move to Rapid City, but at the time, my main destination was my childhood home in Dayton. I got all the way out there, knocked on the door, and the lady inside ignored me. Talk about your ultimate traveled-all-this-way-and-America’s-favorite-family-fun-park-is-closed moment. Anyway, ever since moving to South Dakota, I’ve entertained notions about heading back to Ohio, since it’s a hell of a lot closer now. And instead of traveling alone, I’ll have Tara. In addition to exploring Metamora, we’ll stay in Dayton, visit Cincinnati, and do the one thing I’d planned 10 years ago but had to scrap because I ran out of time: check out the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.


On the journey home, we even plan to hit up the SPAM Museum in Austin, Minnesota. Corny? Perhaps, but hey, it was one of the highlights of my trip!

We’d planned on visiting the PNW in May and doing the Ohio trip in September, but switching them around made more sense weather-wise and will give us an extra day in Washington if we make the trip during Labor Day week. The more time we can spend with family and friends out there, the better.

It’s shaping up to be a busy year!

18 thoughts on “Ay, Oh, Way to Go

  1. Such warm welcoming colors in your (cute, but totally bitchin’) home. As for the Spam museum, hell yeah! This from the woman who visited the baked bean museum in Tennessee.) I’m envious of your planned trip. It’s been so long since we’ve traveled I think I’ve forgotten how.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a baked bean museum in Tennessee?! Tara was hoping we could tack Memphis onto our road trip, but it’s too far south for us to be able to do everything we want in the time we have. Maybe next year.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah to Ohio! I can’t remember if you’ve been to the Air Force Museum in Dayton, but it’s worth the time. Also, please get Graeter’s ice cream in Cincy! You will thank me. While in CLE, popular suggestions are the West Side Market, Great Lakes Brewery, the Christmas Story House (photo op outside is fun enough) and East Fourth Street for dining downtown.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I’ve been to the Air Force Museum many a time…but it’s been a LONG time and might be worth another visit! Don’t forget Skyline Chili. That and Graeter’s for sure (never been there but I’ve heard good things).

      Thanks for the Cleveland suggestions. I was actually going to reach out to you for help with that portion of our visit!


  3. That birdhouse is so much better than the plastic ones in the yard.

    Our little house gets called cute all the time, too. But it didn’t bother Andy nearly as much as when folks kept calling his son “pretty.” (He got over it because I insisted.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love how you love your wife’s gardening.
    Kelly of the Christmas lights, Kelly? The flamingo is dope!
    I’ve been to the Rock Hall, as I’m from near Cleveland. It is pretty cool. When my ‘rents went a couple years ago (because family was visiting), my mom saw a little brochure type thing (It’s late. I don’t know what to call it.) featuring Ed Ved on the front, so she grabbed one and mailed it to be. Is my mom cool or what? She was also the one to inform me when Chris Cornell died.
    Also, had to crack up about Metamora. I had a friend in college from there. Guess what the nickname I gave him was. Yes, it was Metamora. I wasn’t very creative then. 🙂
    You’ve mentioned the kitchen island a few times now. Get to buying that sucker!
    I also read your other post. Glad your life (and Tara’s) is so much better now. Good for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, small world. I have never come across anybody else who has even heard of Metamora befora.

      And yes, that is Christmas lights Kelly, as a matter of fact. You’re really paying attention to my blog…I’m impressed! And you’ll see a Sydney pic here. You know what that means…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey! People in Indy (like me) also go to Metamora! We love to walk by the mill and eat pulled pork sammiches and drink root beer and buy fudge 🙂

    It is a cozy and cute abode. Love the kitschy flamingo birdhouse!


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