Of ice and kin

So what, you might wonder, do the intrepid, warm-blooded adventurers do when visiting Ohio in the dead of winter?  Well, the answer is that we mostly freeze our patooties off, and realize that 3 weeks is not enough time to visit everybody!  But hey, when life finds you east of the Rockies for the first time in almost 2 years, you make lemonade, or in our case, hot tea, and you make the best of the frozen tundra with friends and family.

We started off with a week staying with our friends Lou and Mary Jane in Clintonville, our old stomping grounds when we lived in Columbus.  Mostly, we went to bed early and slept in every day, and rested a lot, still getting over that Amazon gig.  In between epic sleeping sessions, we walked in the stately neighborhood, and checked out some of our old haunts, like the library, and our favorite cafe.

This reminds me to give a big shout out to my self-professed number one reader, a former co-worker at the Grandview Library: Hi Klova!



Most importantly, brave Lou worked with us everyday, and single-handedly learned us how to drive a stick shift.  As a former teacher, she was infinitely patient, even when our first sessions consisted primarily of just stalling over and over.  In a week’s time, she brought us up to a proficient level, more or less ready to assume ownership of my Dad’s Subaru. (More on that in just a bit!)

In no particular order, things we’ve been up to:


Highbanks Metro Park hike with Tom and Phil


Taco trucking with Heidi


Enjoying 11 degrees.


A house divided; Jeni’s vs. Graeters


Hanging out with JJ’s niece and nephew. (No cats were harmed in the making of this photo!)


Driving practice day to Granville, OH, with Lou and Mary Jane



For our second week, we moved out to my parent’s house in the country east of Columbus.  It’s been almost a year since we’ve seen them, so we had lots of catching up to do.  In between that, the main event was introducing ourselves to our new car: my Dad’s Subaru. He recently decided to sell his stick shift, and buy a small sedan instead.  So, we’re swapping!  We’re happy to say that we can at least drive the new car well enough to get it back to Texas, although we are far from technically proficient.  I figure that we have plenty of time to learn to be road ninjas!

Besides driving, our primary activity was eating.  My sister, Joan, ensured that I had a cornucopia of birthday treats upon my arrival, and then she took us out to eat at a few of her favorite places.  (Note to Texas: I just had better BBQ in Ohio than several of the places I tried down south.  You really need to step up your game against the Yankees!)

Bird watching at my folk’s house.


For our final week in Ohio, we are heading back to Columbus to take care of appointments.  Hair appointments, dentist appointments, new car tire appointments, and on and on.  We know we will be here at least through Tuesday the 19th, and after that, we will be carefully watching the weather.  We have an RV service appointment in Texas on 1/25, and we have to be back for that, so we will monitor the snow situation for the optimal day of departure.

Our friends in Texas have bemoaned the woeful state of climate waiting for us–frigid overnight temps all the way down in the 30s!  Frankly, we’ll be thrilled to get back to such balmy weather! 🙂



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