That is a bigger word than the number of letters in it, indicate.
It can be the town you live in now, but more often, it is the town you were born and raised in.
For me, that was Norwood, Ohio.
This morning, I sat in a dentist’s chair for about an hour and a half, getting a wad of silver drilled out of my molar, in order to get a crown put on.
Much of that time was spent with my eyes closed and face contorted, trying to breathe through my nose, hoping I didn’t flip-out.
When the drill wasn’t buzzing and spewing water and silver bits, I had different gels in my mouth to make molds.
It was during those times when I read posts on FB from Norwoodites who were asking for help, giving help, providing information, and being a community.
People were being Norwood Strong.
I was being Norwood Proud.
FB can draw my ire and eyeballs, but in a time like this, it can be a useful tool, and it looks to me as if the fine people from Norwood are using it as a tool to get through this nasty, nasty, flood.
Yesterday, as I learned about the devastation of my hometown, I had a bit of the same feeling I had on 9-11.
Yes, the magnitude and implications of the disasters were different. As far as I am aware, no one lost their life in Norwood Flood. And we won’t go to war because of what Mother Nature wrought.
But I felt pretty helpless as far of feeling like there was anything I could do. When you are 500 miles away, it is hard to bring a mop and Clorox where needed. So I did what I could do, made a donation to Matthew 25, asking that it be used for help with the Norwood Flood.
Norwood has always been like a member of my family. I can pick on them, but you had better not.
I know nothing about Norwood politics these days. The last I knew, Mayor Shea was in office and there was a St. Peter and Paul church and school.
Norwood provided me with a childhood that even my husband, envies. He had no place to go swimming, no place to hang out and play games and listen to the radio, and no opportunity to hang out with neighborhood kids that went to other schools.
I did. If there were such a thing as a “Park Raised Kid,” that would be me. From dawn oil dusk, I was at the park, being looked after by playground leaders, getting my exercise playing softball and swimming, getting whooped in ping pong and getting to know the kids who went to the parochial school.
My first job, after the standard, UDF job, was being a park leader and the arts and crafts lady for the Norwood Parks.
For me, that was as good as being president.
In high school, it got a bit harder to be from Norwood as a couple of disc jockeys made fun of it.
I never figured out why. But it stung. It hurt my feelings.
After we were married, our first house was on Smith Road, in Norwood. It was a strong brick house that shook when the firetrucks screamed by. We had no driveway and it was on a major road, so one day when we we’re out for a ride, we learned what country and open space was.
And we moved to Mason, Ohio, when it was still surrounded by farms.
We have been country people since then, although in both places we lived, the neighboring farms were swallowed whole and spit out in parcels.
We’d go back to Norwood almost every Sunday, to visit with my parents. We would eat dinner with them, but truth be told, there were times we’d end up at Norwood White Castles because the food my parents made didn’t always hit the mark.
And there were many years after my mother died and we moved my dad closer to us, that I couldn’t even go to or through Norwood.
It was too hard.
That drive up Indian Mound made me cry.
It took me many years to get over my myriad of feelings about Norwood. Talking with a lot of Norwood Girls on FB helped tremendously. My angst wasn’t with Norwood. It was with me and that time of my life, and then, the emptiness of losing my parents.
Norwood and I are now are a wonderful place. It makes my heart warm and tender, and brings me lots of friends. Without any question, although a great distance away, Norwood is and always will be my hometown.
Keep up the good work. Angels come in the form of neighbors, strangers, a kind word, smile and offer of a strong back.
I will continue to read about your progress. Stay Norwood Strong … and I will be Norwood Proud.
forever, a Norwood Girl