There is this small town I grew up in, in New York that I always imagined one day I would leave. I left that small town probably when I was 19 years old in pursuit of a different life thus I ended up in Ohio. Living in Ohio, I have experienced a new world. It’s nothing compared to the quietness of a small town that I grew up in. Where I am in Ohio is very city like and always full of people and things to do. I am near the center of it where countless people from countless cities around frequent. There are a wide range of limitless options whether it’s food, bars, relationships, schools, etc. I have yet to even get through all the new restaurants and shops that exist around here. Even though it’s busy all the time and it feels like my head spins when I drive up and down the different cities around here, I found a place I can call home, even if it’s completely different in comparison to what I used to call home.
Then my actual home calls to me and I answer the call to visit. When I go back, each and every time I visit some place I used to visit, I create a new memory. Like this time around, I went to my hometown in NY recently and made a point to relax and enjoy the local businesses near my hometown. Unlike what my younger self would have done, my 28 year old self experienced an appreciation for a small business called DeFelippis café. I just itched for a local coffee that wasn’t Dunkin’ Donuts or McDonalds (something that I could’ve gotten anywhere) and wished I had brought a book on my trip, so I could have a few minutes of silence. It was late in the morning when I was eating a few biscotti’s while having simple conversation with my fiancé while people watching at DeFilippis café. The richness of great customer service at a local café as well as the quality of their coffees and pastries reminded me that I could never find that in a franchise.
Two of the four mornings were spent like this except for the mornings I went to eat breakfast at Tilly’s. I would always see that really nice red head lady with glasses. I’m sure she’s been working there longer than I can remember and it just gave me the feeling that I never left. I spent one of those Tilly mornings eating breakfast with one of the friends I have known since I was little. She is someone who is always friendly and warm and managed to understand my fiancé’s humor. We spoke endlessly about her plans and her dreams avoiding any negative talk like the plague. She introduced me to a Greek omelet which was something I have never tried before, thinking how I have looked over the menu tons of times and always overlooked the experience of something new. I made sure to order something different the next time I went.
While I was NY, I also experienced a whole different appreciation for the small towns near my hometown. We spent a lot of time at this bar where I danced literally like no one was watching to some 2000’s hip hop music around I used to listen to. I visited that same bar later when it wasn’t as busy and I think that was the best visit there because only a few people were there and we got to enjoy a drink. I just wondered how I missed out on being an adult in the towns I used to live in. Being back had brought me strong feelings of nostalgia.
I spent most of my time with my sister and brother in law and nephew. I got to walk up from their spot to this huge open field for a small workout, you know, to make sure I “stay on track” (didn’t last very long). It reminded me how nice it was to be able to walk to a location without the struggle of needing to cross busy streets to get there. Every time we would drive by Morningside, I just thought about the times I used to play there when I was a kid, swim in their pool, and boat in their lake. Being outside around this time let me inhale the most cleanest air that nature could offer.
Then when I come back to Ohio I’m reminded that I enjoy stopping by but I probably won’t go back to live there again. I will keep the times I enjoyed there as what they are- as memories to hold onto and do my best to not take for granted the cities nearby now that my daughter will end up calling her home.