Before there was Her, there was You….my home

Florida didn’t work out.  All the lavish plans about living on South Beach in a condo and drinking margaritas every day with my feet in the sand watching the ocean view turned into something else.  It turned into living in a small one bedroom apartment in a city outside of Miami, 9 months pregnant and having contractions while multiple  hurricanes blew through the town.   My boyfriend and I moved down there to live the life but instead we found out how the employment scene and cost of living was not what we expected. 

 I worked weekdays at a retail bank and on every other weekend.  He worked nights and applied for every possible job during the day. We never saw each other.  So, the one rare weekend we had together was during a hurricane.  Both of our jobs were closed because of the storm and they let us know that time was not paid.  As we laid in the bed watching the news and talking to concerned family members who became hurricane trackers and made sure they called with each storm update, we both had a strange aura.  Around noon, I said “I wouldn’t mind if we went home for a minute,” and that was it. Our cars were packed up, a letter left to the landlord that we were transferring our lease to a new location, and a call was made to the goodwill to pick up all of our furniture.   We were on our way back home.   Back to Cleveland, Ohio. 

I had my daughter the following weekend after we got back to town.  She was so perfect.  I was so relieved that instead of a shelter in the middle of a hurricane, my baby girl was born in a hospital in my hometown.  We had the same one bedroom apartment that we had in Florida but this one felt better.  This place was warm and cozy.  Family came to visit us and we could just drive to see our relatives and friends whenever we felt like it. Every weekend was a different place to hang out while the grandparents spent time with their new granddaughter. My boyfriend went back to his old job and I stayed home with our daughter. After she turned 6 months, I decided to jump back into the workforce and send her to daycare.  I landed a job making a higher salary than the branch manager position I got turned down for in Florida.  Things were really good for a while. Cleveland has a way of making you feel comfortable, not so poor that you can’t get things but not prosperous enough to get more than minimum expectations.  

After 3 years of living in the middle, we were ready to move on.  Move to somewhere not so segregated where you have to make the conscious choice of if your child’s school will  have majority white or black students and teachers. Somewhere that jobs were not so rare that you held on for dear life when you had one and put up with anything to keep it.  We loved Cleveland for the family and friends that are there but the opportunities were just not there anymore.  Back when all the factories were open, this was the place to be…a place to relocate to that offered stability and wealth.  Now, most of the factories are closed, homes vacant, and beautiful Lake Erie area neglected , abandoned and not used to create revenue for its city. 


  We researched, traveled, and then we found Her….Charlotte.


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