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On flea markets, grungy neighborhoods and staying spontaneous

Being able to be spontaneous has always been a big thing for us in our marriage. Tuesday morning? Letís go see a matinee and poke around in some stores we never visit.

My husband has been self-employed for most of our married life, and I loved my role of working from home ó loved it. When the last kid was scooted out of the house, we leapt for joy and did whatever we wanted. Flash forward two years later, and our car points to the same places over and over. Weíve fallen into a rut.

In speaking with several older empty nesters, Iíve taken note of the chuckles and the ďYou guys are too young to run out of places to goĒ looks and knowing nods. Weíve nurtured our relationship over the years, always knowing that the kids would leave and we would continue living and dreaming. We may never know what our next day holds, so time to keep dreaming and doing while we can. But where to do that?

I love working from home. It affords me my solitude as well as the space to be creative in my work. But Iíve let it overwhelm me and take over most of my days. Iíve become a workaholic from home.

My husband can leave his work, well, at work, and when he comes home, heís ready to chill or drink some coffee. When he does arrive, heís stepping into my office, the kitchen table, and my hackles start to rise. Itís a tug-of-war that has made me not a very nice person on some days, and my plan to turn one of the bedrooms upstairs into an office may come sooner rather than later.

This in turn leads to wanting to get out of the house when Iíve been cooped up all week, and usually my mind is mush, so we end up going to the same places.

I love research, so I started digging for places and events we could go to. Not that I didnít ever look before, but we knew it was time to start doing different things, or let boredom slowly seep into our marriage. That is never an option.

Ohio has many places to delve into if you make the effort. We often used to wake up and say letís go north or letís go east, and we were off, finding whatever the day gave us. Now though, I want to be intentional in finding things to do, things that would stimulate our senses and see different places through a local lens.

I came upon a list of ďthings to do every day in Ohio for fallĒ and pored over it with scrutiny. There were many fun festivals and events, and I became excited. This past Saturday we hopped in the car and drove to Cleveland to our destination, The Cleveland Flea. Set in Tyler Village just east of downtown, this little gem was set up in a parking lot between grungy, industrial buildings.

I was in awe because I love the industrial look. There were 140 vendors with wares ranging from industrial punk to modern vintage. It was my vibe, my spirit animal really. They captured the spirit of the moment, and we walked from booth to booth letting ourselves get lost in what it was.

Food trucks lined the edges where we ate tacos and Korean food, and when we had seen it all, we sat in vintage lawn chairs set up on a grassy area and watched the people walk by.

It was still early in the day, so I referred to my list and found a small festival called the Hingetown Hoedown. Set in Ohio City, which is a favorite of mine to visit, itís a local fest with funky bluegrass and lots of Great Lakes goodies. We found it with ease, and as the music played on a blue sky hot Saturday, we sat outside at the Jukebox restaurant/bar and soaked in the atmosphere. We meandered to the big tent where they had what they called the ďbusker stage,Ē and smaller acts were performing there. We sat down, funky tables painted with graffiti and many happy Clevelanders milling around, and listened to some amazing talent.

When the heavens opened and the rain poured down, everyone filed into the tent, which became raucous with laughter and good times. Families with kids, singles, older folks ó everyone was joy-filled and having a good time. And us? We had been refreshed with new vibes and scenery as well as each other. I love to look at my husband in new places, his face happy and relaxed.

Let spontaneity reign.

Published: September 19, 2016
New Article ID: 2016709199979