In considering my rapidly approaching move, I have been thinking and regretting all the things that I am going to miss about Toledo. (Now, this is not to say that I am unhappy about South Bend. I am delighted about South Bend. This is also not to say that Toledo could be defined as "Heaven on Earth"--certainly not.) I would like to chronicle at least some of the wonderful things that we have enjoyed here in our almost-four years.
Favorite thing (place?) #1: UT HSC/MUO/MCO campus
Despite the many and frequent name changes of the school John attends, having it practically as my front yard has had so many advantages. The first and foremost is that John has been able to have lunch and dinner with us much more often than if we had lived farther away. During his first year, he could run home after morning lectures and grab Olivia so she could go with him to a noon conference, complete with pizza and soda. She thought those little daddy-daughter dates were heaven. (What more could a toddler ask?) Also, it was easy to complete the first two years with only one vehicle in the Wells family fleet.
The third, and most fun, advantage has been that the campus is practically our front yard. We have used it as a yard, finding all the fun spots to play hide-and-seek, pushing the handicapped door buttons, and riding tricycles and bicycles along the miles of sidewalk. Sure, we've been a spectacle. There are not very many other small girls on campus (especially when bedecked with tutus and fairy wands), but it has been lovely. If I couldn't actually have a yard, I've had the next best thing.
We've made runs to "The Big Hill" (the hill around the campus Hilton hotel) in our pajamas (this picture is from October) to roll down the grass and put handfuls of gravel into the drain at the bottom of the hill. If it's warm enough, every child I have babysat makes an expedition with us over to campus. Zachary Marks and Jack Slater have been particularly engrossed with putting whatever fits down those drains. (If there is a flood on campus sometime after I leave, I will swear that everything we sent down the drain was biodegradable and it couldn't possibly have been our fault.)
And yesterday, we did one of our regular family expeditions as a Sunday walk. The small amphitheater between the Health Education Building and the hospital is the perfect place for a dance concert, and the girls will never pass up the chance to put on a show.
As excited as I am about my own yard, I'm going to be sad to give this up.