Exactly Different

Hey there!   How is everybody?   Hope all y’all are doing great!  I’m doing much better today.  A couple good nights’ sleep, some down time and a motorcycle ride…  yep, things are better! Sadie has a new favorite spot here in the house.  In the bottom of the built-in china cabinet in the dining room (my den).  I finally gave up and put one of her beds in there and she’s snug as a bug in a rug.  Silly dog.  🙂  Anyway, grab a glass of tea or something, and find a comfy spot to relax a few minutes.  I’ve made some amazing discoveries here… Ohio is exactly the same as KC, but completely different.

I think I told y’all that I’m taking a writing class this summer.  My topic has been house vs. home.  It has really amazed me that I feel so at home here in a state I’d never even seen until last fall, until I realized there are so many similarities!

Let’s talk just about the roads and layout of the city here.  First, Steubenville, OH is a sister city, actually considered part of a metro area with Weirton, WV, just across the Ohio River and just a few miles from Pittsburgh, PA.  Like KC, KS and KC, MO across the Missouri River.  Steubenville and Weirton are included in the greater Pittsburgh metro, just like Kansas City, Kansas, and other suburbs all make up the greater Kansas City Metro area.  In Kansas City, I could see Kansas State Highway 7 from my back porch on a clear winter morning.  In Ohio, I could see Ohio State Highway 7 easily from the Microtel where I stayed for several months.  Both cities have a Central street very near a Ridge street; both have a Steele Rd with the exact same spelling.  One has a Johnson Drive, the other has a Johnson Road.  On a motorcycle ride last night, I discovered Ohio state road 152 – very similar to Missouri state 152 I drove back in KC.

The fun thing about Steubenville: It is Dean Martin’s birthplace.  At one time, they were really going to do honors to him and named the streets Sunset Blvd, Hollywood Blvd, Lover’s Lane, Stardust Circle, and Skyline Dr., among others.  There is a mural depicting him on a red carpet at Sunset and Hollywood on the side of the Kroger store.  Each year, there is a Dean Martin festival held, with impersonators, family, friends, etc.

I feel at home here.  Steubenville has all the familiar chain stores and restaurants:  Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Sherwin Williams, CVS, JC Penney, Lowes,  JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts, Office Max, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Dairy Queen, and Applebees.  When I was a little girl, mom always shopped at the Kroger store in Kansas City, Kansas.  Kroger later left KC, and I hadn’t seen a Kroger store again until I moved to Steubenville.  It was like a porch light welcoming me home.  My first social encounter was in the produce section there, meeting a girl from the college.  It was a little ‘home town’ sort of feeling.

There are some fun parallels, too.  Back in KC, I loved eating at Kelley’s in Basehor.  They have good food, a nice atmosphere, and a bar which isn’t the center feature.  In Steubenville, the place is called “The Ville”.  Yep, one can still get a real, honest to goodness hot beef sandwich.  In KC, I had a wonderful veterinarian.  It was hard to leave that practice for Sadie; but just next to Steubenville, I was led to Dr. Sommerville in the town of Wintersville.   When Dr. David Sommerville retires in the future, I will still be in very good hands as his son, Dr. Matthew Sommerville, is his practice partner.

In KC, I was part of the GoldWing motorcycle group.  Here in Steubenville, I’ll be riding with another local bike group.  Most of them ride Harleys, but they’re not holding my rice burner against me, lol.  I’ve met several of the guys, and they are really good folks.

Of course, the best similarity is that Jesus is right here!  I’ve met a husband and wife pastoral team like some friends from back home; I’m in a Catholic church like the one back home; and Jesus is right here with me no matter where I am or what I’m doing.  How about you?  Are you in a ‘new place’ in some area of your life?  It doesn’t have to be geographic to be a change.  If you need someone to talk to, find a pastor or a priest.  They’ll be happy to talk, and they can also point you to whatever or whomever you need to make the transition a blessing.  Change can be good!



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