Ok, truth be told, I know this title is a bit cheesy. How did I end up thinking that I am lucky to be here? Most of us have a choice to decide where we choose to live, it’s not so much about luck. When I was 12, I had some unsavory experiences in life and I started counting down till I could move out of Northwest Ohio and make a new life for myself.
After a wonderful family trip to several major cities in Tennessee, my mind was made up that I was going to move to Knoxville, Tennessee, attend the University of Tennessee and become a Volunteer. Several years down the road, I learned about out-of-state fees, started to develop and appreciation for Ohio, and decided that I would stay in Ohio for school. This worked out well for me because I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Bowling Green State University.
I was born and raised in Northwest Ohio. My freshman year of college at Bowling Green State University (Go Falcons!), I was charmed by handsome born and raised Cincinnati westsider, who I now am lucky enough to call my husband. He had chosen to attend BGSU, but always knew that he would return home after he was done with school. After our first semester he brought me home to meet his family and to spend some time in Cincinnati. The first time that I visited Cincinnati, I fell in love with this beautiful Queen City. Once we got more serious and starting talking about our future beyond college, we decided that we would live in Cincinnati. This was one of the easiest big decisions that my husband and I had to make as a couple.
From the moment that I started visiting Cincinnati, I admired people’s pride for their city. I feel that it will be easier for my kids to appreciate where they live when they are surrounded by people that love their city. When people feel good about the city that they live in, good things happen: young adults return to the city after they have been educated, more jobs are available and created, more businesses are brought to the city, and people support their local professional sports teams. You can pick up on the Cincinnati pride in any given day, ranging from the people yelling “Who Dey” to random strangers wearing Bengals apparel, to people taking their kids out of school for the Opening Day Parade and game. One of the coolest examples that I have seen of Cincinnati pride was last year at my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s wedding. They had the bearcat as an honored guest at their wedding reception and easily got all of the reception guests to chant “UC…UC…UC”, including my then 3 year old son.
Sporting events are not the only source of pride in this city. We also are lucky to so many wonderful communities; in particular I am most familiar with the west side. When I am on the west side and mention my husband or my in-laws, it seems that even those that are not familiar with me know my husband or my in-laws because: soccer, baseball, school our church, or they are friends with someone in my family. My community is like Cheers, where “Everybody knows your name”. I feel that everyone is very welcoming here and I look forward to continuing to raise my children here.
I also have a pretty awesome network of friends. Some of these friends live on the West Side, some in Harrison, some as far away as West Chester. None of us seem to mind the drive to see each other, because driving 15-30 minutes to do many things seems to be the way of life in Cincinnati. Many of my friends have children that are similar ages to my boys. Many of my friends and I take a village approach when we are spending time together with all of our young kids. They do not mind lending a hand if I need help wiping snot off of my one year old’s noise while I am helping my four year old in the bathroom. They are the type of people that would open their home up to anyone, invite them over for a meal, and enjoy nothing more than sitting around a bonfire. These are the kind of people that I want to surround my children with.
Speaking of surroundings, Cincinnati is beautiful. You can see it from the beautiful architecture of historic buildings like Union Terminal to the natural beauty of the Hamilton county park system. When my husband is driving our family, I love to point out the houses perched at the top of hills, different layers of rock that were painstakingly dug through, and the lush green forested areas. One of my favorite views of the city is when we are driving back from Kentucky, towards downtown Cincinnati and the sun in setting over the buildings downtown, the lights are starting to come on in the surrounding buildings. It takes my breath away every time I see it. I tell my kids, “Isn’t Cincinnati beautiful? We are lucky to live here.”
There are so many wonderful amenities that our city has to offer that are beneficial to children as well as adults. We have a great library system. We have a great variety of top notch schools to select from for our children: public, charter, private, and Montessori, just to name a few. We also have a great zoo, which is conveniently located near the highway. The staff is extremely friendly and takes great interest in not only helping families to interact with the animals, but to also learn about them as well. We are blessed to have many wonderful parks in the city that offer things from trails, to splash parks, playground equipment, tennis and basketball courts, the option to canoe ride, fish, or enjoy a picnic lunch with your family while you enjoy the wonderful view. I feel that my family and I are lucky to be Cincinnatians, because Cincinnati holds all the attributes that I was looking for to raise a family, and then some.
Some people may take for granted what Cincinnati has to offer, because they are used to it and have always lived in this city. I’m not sure if I will ever lose my appreciation for the wonders of the city that my husband, children, and I call home. My family and I are very lucky to live in Cincinnati and there is no place that I would rather be. As best put by the artist Connie Smith “Heaven waits for me I know, in Cincinnati Ohio.”
**Please note, this post is only a brief sample of all the wonderful attributes that our city has to offer.**