20 Things I Like About Living Where I Do (Pt. 2)

(continued from yesterday) I started yesterday to list twenty things I like about living where I do, here in Hanover Township, between Hamilton and Oxford, Ohio, north of Cincinnati. As I said yesterday, the list is in no particular order, so here are reasons #11-20:

11. Westover Retirement Community. On December 22, after a whirlwind car trip to and from Wichita, Kansas, I moved my dad back to Ohio (for the last seven years or so, he has lived in California, with or near one of my brothers). His new home at Westover Retirement Community is a mere three miles from our door. I'm so happy for the quality and proximity of this fine new home for my father.

12. Cobblestone Community Church. Just twelve minutes away is The Loft, the ministry facility of my church family. I love these people, and I can't even begin to describe what this spiritual community has taught me and done for me over the years.

13. Vacations. Living in the area we do, we have some great places to vacation within driving distance. For the last couple years, we have owned a week at the luxurious Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. And that's just the beginning. There's Story, Indiana. Mackinac Island, Michigan. Amish country in Holmes County, Ohio. Ravenwood Castle, in Vinton County, Ohio. Red River Gorge, in Kentucky. Cincinnati, Columbus, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Louisville--all within a half-day's drive.

14. Lane Library. I posted about this wonderful library a few days ago. I use the heck out of the Hamilton and Oxford branches of this library.

15. Great American Ballpark. There was a time, in the mid-eighties (when Marge Schott was the owner), when in spite of a very busy schedule, I attended 15-20 Reds' home games a year. These days, I neither follow professional sports nor attend them like I once did. But I do nonetheless enjoy an occasional Reds' game. And their Great American Ballpark is a fine place to cheer them on.

16. Fine Dining. In close proximity to our home are some of the best dining experiences a person could ever hope to have. Paesano's (Oxford). The Golden Lamb (Lebanon). The Grand Finale (Woodlawn). The Precinct (Cincinnati). Rileybrook Inn (Brookville, IN).

17. Memory Lane. I love being in the Cincinnati area, which holds so many fond memories for me and my family, from the Silverton home I grew up in (right) to many places Robin and I enjoyed when we were dating, and beyond: downtown Cincinnati, Mt. Adams, Finneytown, Reading, Kenwood, Eden Park, Fountain Square, Hyde Park, Mariemont, West Chester, Lebanon, and more.

18. Museums. Some of the finest museums in the world are a short drive from our home. There's the awesome Museum Center in Cincinnati, in the former Union Terminal building. The Cincinnati Art Museum in Eden Park. The Underground Railroad National Freedom Center downtown. And the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. Great stuff.

19. Ohio Bookstore. At 726 Main Street in downtown Cincinnati is one of my favorite spots. Five floors of books. Quaint, old-fashioned, chock-full of books. May it live forever. I also enjoy the Lane Library book sale every May (at the Butler County Fairgrounds in Hamilton) and the Cincinnati Public Library sale in June, I think. And another bookstore, in nearby Shandon, is also a treasured place.

20. Family. Who knows how long this will last, but the BIGGEST reason I like where I live is the proximity to my family. My son and daughter-in-law and their two children live just ten miles away, in Oxford. My daughter and son-in-law and their daughter own a home in Monroe, just twenty minutes away (and they currently live with us while renting their home and paying off medical bills, school loans, etc.). This heaven-on-earth could change anytime, I know, but there are no words to express how blessed I feel to have my children and grandchildren so close, and to see them so often, and to worship and minister with them every week.

There are more reasons I like living where I do. I like the change of seasons. I like the friendliness of the people in the area. I like the German heritage and architecture of Cincinnati. The many statues in Hamilton. The generally reasonable prices. And much more.

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