I have been sitting at my desk procrastinating, or maybe I should just say reminiscing. I am a girl from Connecticut who thought she was a New Englander through and through. I can't say I was excited about moving to Ohio. But now, 41 years later, I find that I am a completely converted Buckeye! This is my last column for the Cuyahoga Falls News Press. On July 20 the moving van will be in our driveway and the move to Columbus will be very real. I can't imagine the emotions that will be going through me when we pull out of our driveway for the last time. Silver Lake is a very special place. Over the years I have often marveled at how lucky it was that we "found" the village on a house hunting trip to Ohio. I grew up in Farmington, Conn. My husband, Steve, is from Green Bay, Wis. We met in Hanover, N.H., and after we married, we lived in Corpus Christi, Texas, San Diego, Whidbey Island, Wash., (all courtesy of the U.S. Navy), Denver, Lake Tranquility, N.J., and Lansdale, Pa. When Steve graduated from Wharton, a job offer from Roadway Express brought us to Akron -- and luckily for us, to Silver Lake.
We knew this was a special community when shortly after we moved in, we were asked to be "workers" at the Silver Lake Festival. The community embraced us, and we embraced the community. The Festival Parade, the children's games and swim races, the music, the food -- all by the shores of Silver Lake -- is a little bit of the American dream. Our children were enthralled. We had moved to "the very best place!" Once, in our early years here, we made the mistake of planning a family vacation that included Festival weekend. I think it took the kids months to get over missing the best day of summer in Silver Lake. Where else can children ride their bikes to not one, but two lakes? And the lakes offer swimming, fishing, sailing, tennis, and paddleboats, volleyball, paddle boards -- who needs a resort when you live in the village! Our 7-year-old granddaughter told me she is very excited that we will be living nearby in Columbus, but she added, "What will we do about the Festival? We can't miss it!" This year we arranged for a closing and moving date after the festival. Next year we have already promised a Festival Road Trip.
This move is truly the definition of bittersweet. We raised four children in the village. We have so many dear friends and neighbors. I will miss taking walks around the lake, riding bikes on the bike path, attending Athens Road events, Holy Family Church, and meeting friends every time I go into the grocery store. I will miss serving on Village Council. My fellow Council members are a dedicated, fair-minded group who have nothing but the good of the village as their agenda. It has been an honor to serve with them. Applications are being taken to fill my position in District C until the end of 2017. A new term starts Jan. 1 and candidates for the office will have to run for election in November. Hint: the Festival is a great time to get petitions signed for inclusion on the November ballot.
I want to thank Phil Keren for letting me write this column. I am an RN by training, not a writer, but it was something I had always wanted to try and I've had fun doing it. Thank you for all the positive feedback I have received over the years. Thanks to Phil, my bucket list is a bit shorter!
Years ago I made this motto my own: Bloom Where You Are Planted. I think the Fuller Family bloomed in Silver Lake, and now it's time to Bloom in Columbus and begin a new adventure. I'm leaving with a tear in my eye and a smile on my face.