Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Power of Huntington

Over the years I have become quite fond of electricity.  I’ve always had it. I guess I’m really a city girl at heart.  I don’t like camping, the outdoors, heat, or being uncomfortable.  Some may call this high-maintenance.  I call it the way my Mama raised me.  Either way, when I was recently without power at my Southside home for 5 days, this caused a problem.  A big, sweaty, grouchy problem.

After “roughing it” for almost three days, this girl was done. Staying with friends was not an option because most of my friends were either also without power, or were harboring their own temporary shelters for other friends and family.  I made a few calls and was able to find one of the last remaining hotel rooms downtown. During check-in, I made friends with a lot of other local residents who were doing the same thing I was. The kids, who had already spent time in the hotel pool, didn’t seem to mind at all.  The lobby of 40+ people were mostly kind and gracious.  We were all in the same boat and just wanted some relief.

Making the best out of this situation seemed to be the only option here, but I never thought I would enjoy it as much as I did! “Living” downtown allowed me to walk to places like Uno’s and Rooster’s for dinner, stroll through Empire Books and pick up some new reading material, and browse some amazing shoes at Heels. I could walk to my favorite watering hole, Hank’s Fourth Avenue, and spend time with friends, many of whom were also without power. I realized that while most people were not enjoying this change in lifestyle -  I was not at all unhappy about my living situation! Having never lived downtown, I was experiencing all she had to offer in a different way than ever before. Shopping and dining experiences aside, my morning view over the Ohio River was an inspiring way to wake up. A view that screamed “There are people who have situations much worse than you.  Not just today, but every day. You just woke up to this.”

Every day I would go home and check to see if there were any signs of light.  Nope.  I think I secretly wanted the power out for another few days so I could continue my downtown vacation. It allowed me to have a freshly made bed every day, which usually doesn’t happen at home.  It allowed me a fresh breakfast every day, which never happens at home.  It allowed me newly laundered towels daily, which is usually a toss-up at home.

Ah, home.  Maybe I am starting to miss her.  The beautiful, tree-lined brick streets of the Southside.  Where I can walk to Ritter Park for an evening stroll (weather permitting, of course); I can walk to Speedway for my favorite breakfast: a fountain Coke (see earlier comment about fresh breakfast); I used to be able to walk to get yogurt, but now I can walk to get a pedicure.  Personally, I preferred the yogurt. I can talk to my neighbors, who have lived in the same house for 40 years, and where I have watched their grandchildren grow up in the backyard.

I guess the bottom line is, no matter what part of Huntington I live in, I love every inch of her! So different, yet lovingly familiar.
As for me… I am back home now to my un-made bed, empty refrigerator, and a bag of laundry.  And I couldn’t be happier.  I may just walk down the street and get a pedicure.

Stay cool, Huntington!