What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

17 April 2017

N is for National #AtoZChallenge

Join me on the A to Z Challenge: I'll share a different thing from my new home, Cincinnati, every day for 26 days in April.

So, here's the thing. I'm trying not to spend money to complete the A to Z Challenge. Admittedly, this puts certain limits on sharing the experience of living here and discovering the wonders of Cincinnati, and it turns these posts into "here's what the outside looks like, because I'm cheap." What can I say--I'm a woman on a budget who's pinching pennies for new running shoes, because that's a legit injury prevention issue.

Having said all that, I'm looking forward to a couple months down the road when I have my new shoes securely on my feet and can therefore hand over the cash necessary to see the inside of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, because I have been looking forward to it basically since I lived here. All the locals have fallen over themselves to tell me how wonderful it is, and I've no doubt they do not exaggerate.

Here's what the outside looks like:
Image Source: CincinnatiUSA.
And now for the thing on the outside that I've shed actual tears over. (Yes, this A to Z has devolved into, "These are all the places I've gone to cry in Cincinnati." What? I'm a widow. I don't have to go places to start crying.) Last November, I was wandering around at the end of the local Turkey Trot and I thought, "What's that thing standing there behind the building?" So I went over to look.

It's a piece of the Berlin Wall. This was the East Germany
side. It's unprotected here, so you can touch it. And I do,
every time I go by.

This is the West Germany side. It's covered in
Plexiglas to protect the graffiti, and apparently
for that message to be superimposed over it.
(I didn't write down what it says.)

Wider shot of the Memorial garden.
I was in sixth grade on November 9, 1989, when the wall fell, and I heard of all the Americans who happened to be in Europe at the time who brought pieces home with them, but this is the first time I've seen one with my own eyes. And my reaction to the first time seeing it was kind of predictable. This second time I saw it, with teenage niece in tow, she was a bit weirded out by my need to touch all the things, which kept my emotions in check. Clearly, I need a 16-year-old with me at all times. Even more clearly, I was looking back at a world she never knew. Not that the world she's growing up in doesn't have its own horrors that she will have to confront as an adult. I wonder what fragments of this era will be kicking around in 20 years' time for her to touch and reflect on.

Someday soon, I promise, I'll go inside the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and write a long post telling you about how amazing it is.

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