Saturday, July 12, 2014

LeBron's Decision Part II

For the past week, it seemed like we had been held hostage by LeBron James as we waited for him to decide where he would take his talents. We have been down this road before when four years ago, he crushed Northeastern Ohio's collective hearts when he took them to South Beach.   I believed that our hometown boy was going to do right by us and stay to bring us the championship that he had promised.  He was hailed as the best basketball player that had ever lived and I bought into the hype.  This time I refused to open myself up again for the rejection.

Cleveland has suffered rejection before.  Let us not forget Carlos Boozer convincing Gordon Gund, the former owner of the Cavs, a blind man no less, to let him out of his contract with only his word that he would sign a new long term contract.  He then went and signed a multi-year contract with Utah. Most people don't even remember that.  It was not that James left, it was the way he did it.   We don't begrudge people the opportunity to take the best path in life.  To see what life is like somewhere else.  Heck, who hasn't wanted to go away for college or live on the beach?  The difference here is that most people don't hold an hour long press conference on prime time television to stick it to the place that has shown so much passion and respect.

I am happy that the decisions that I made when I was 25 didn't effect the economy of an entire region.  When I was 25 I made the biggest decision of my life when I married Dave. Aside from the 198 people that attended the wedding, nobody even cared.  (I assure you that those 198 people enjoyed a spectacular evening.)  LeBron was 25 when he made his decision to go to Miami.  For the previous five years, he and his family had every whim and wish catered to.  In short, he was a spoiled brat.  I am glad that people can't remember what a brat I was when I was at that age.

LeBron has grown up.  He is a father of two with one on the way.  He has had four years (the equivalent of a standard college education) to experience life away from home.  He has had four years to recover from the backlash of the Decision part I.  I am not sure that he was expecting us to react so strongly since he had never been shown anything but love.  Cleveland was justifiably upset by the betrayal and I think it took all of us time to recover.  That time is now.

I don't think people outside of this area fully understand what LeBron brings to us.  Cav's season tickets sold out in eight hours.  That means that all of the home games will be sold out bringing people downtown to eat and shop.  The city of Cleveland is electric.  There is true joy in the air.  In the past week, Cleveland has landed the Republican National Convention and the prodigal son is coming home.  Perhaps this will show people that Cleveland has come a long way from being the "Mistake on the Lake." Just like LeBron should not be judged for his youthful mistakes, Cleveland should be judged on what it is now not 40 years ago.

LeBron is coming home.  He finally understands what this area has to offer, not only for himself,  but for his family as well. I think he finally understands that nobody will love him like we do.  He understands that when he is here, we are all better.  I think he understands that he can make a big difference in the lives of the people that live here.   He understands that this is a great place to raise a family and most importantly, he understands that there really is no place like home.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Fourth of July Round-up

The Fourth of July is always a busy time for my family.  Dave and I got married 18 years ago on Sunday.  It is still the happiest day of my life, and the best decision I ever made.  The weekend included a surprise (at least to me) visit from Laura, the neighborhood breakfast, a trip to Medina for the parade, an Artfest followed by dinner with Dave, and ended with fireworks.

I am focusing on the fireworks for several reasons.
1.  Dave loves fireworks.  I am indifferent.  He will seek them out, and I am content to go along for the ride.
2.  There is generally great people watching at fireworks.  I LOVE to people watch.  It is a true study in human behavior, and this year did not disappoint.

We intentionally arrived way early to the festivities so we could get a good seat.  We had a spot scoped out from last year, so we wanted to make sure we could sit there again.  We were some of the first people to arrive, so any spot on the lawn was ours for the taking.  We very carefully selected our spot on top of the hill so we would not have any trees in our way.  We laid out our blankets and set up our chairs and the boys started to play catch and play with sparklers.  We had two hours worth of snacks and entertainment spread out before us and were having a great time.  It was small time Americana at it's best.

About 40 minutes into our experience, a man came and sat upwind from us and lit a stogie.  Who does that? I realize we were at an outdoor event, but COME ON, did he really not think that the 50 or so people around him wouldn't notice!  Colin is very sensitive to this kind of thing and my options were to call this guy out, or to move.  The guy was kind of scary looking, and we all know that I avoid confrontation with strangers like the plague, so we moved our two blankets, seven chairs, 1 cooler and 4 bags of stuff.  We were no longer sitting on top of the hill with no trees in our way.Putting that behind us, the fireworks were really good and the kids had a good time.  We were all in a really good mood, and I, in particular, was feeling quite patriotic as we started the long trek back to our car.

Did I mention that we arrived two hours early?  When we got there the parking lot was empty.  We carefully chose our parking place so we were facing the exit and were at the end of the row so we could just pull forward.  We were following  traffic jam etiquette by letting one person in front of us per row.  Apparently the lady in the Ford Expedition did not understand or follow the common traffic jam etiquette, and when we got to her row and let the person in front of us out, she expected the same for her.  Dave proceeded to move forward and the lady drove as close to us as possible without t-boning me and then turned her bright lights on right next to my face.

I could understand her desire to get out of the parking lot as she had two spawns of Satan kids in her back seat. Perhaps she had to go to the bathroom, and I would never fault someone for not wanting to use a port a potty.  Perhaps she was sharing her car with Smelly Stogie Man, but for crying out loud, WHO DOES THIS?   I can't say as I have ever had such a thing happen before.

The bottom line is that we had a lovely evening with family and one of Will's friends.  They were so sweet to Ryan playing catch with him, helping him with the sparklers, and he even sat between them for the show.  He will carry this memory forever.  These are the kind of days that recharge my soul and keep me going.  These people are the reason that I stay in Ohio even though we had one of the worst winters on record.   Days like this are the reason that this will always be my home.