We spent last week in Cleveland, with a side trip to Canada and Niagara Falls. This was a trysting with our childhood visit, with the addition of decades of memories and changes. My parents honeymooned in Niagara Falls in 1948, and we visited as a family in 1968.
The travel time to the falls, from Ohio, is a little longer now, than the day trip Ed and I took in 1979. We were younger and the speed limits on the roads were higher.
Ed’s parents enjoyed many overnight visits to this natural wonder of the world, until Tony got cancer. But he was certainly with us in spirit, and Tina was able to enjoy the beauty even while missing holding hands with the love of her life.
We spent most of our time on the Canadian side and the requirement of turning our cell phones off, to avoid international charges, was a bonus. I can unplug easily but Ed seldom has days without electronic distractions. We did spend time with ringing machines and flashing lights as his mom shared her pleasure of penny slots, and we had fun with the gambling games especially since we won about forty dollars. This windfall went toward our enjoyment of a great buffet. Our nephew joined us for dinner, as he lives in Rochester, NY.
The weather was wonderful and we enjoyed wandering the streets at night. There’s only a few blocks of tourist amusements and it was clean and tidy while able to handle the thousands who visit weekly. Most of our walking was through gardens, surrounding a variety of viewing platforms. The falls at night are very elegant with the colored lights.
Now Ed and I are back in Oregon, and his mom is in Ohio with some new memories of Niagara Falls. We also have a greater appreciation for this woman we call Mom. She came to the USA in her teens from refugee camps, learned a new language, went to college, and was a travel agent and office manager until she retired 15 years ago. She made her grandchildren beautiful clothes for years, but doesn’t sew much anymore. She was an accomplished soprano but only sings in church now. At 79, she still cooks, gardens, volunteers for a variety of community events and is spry enough to keep us younger grandparents busy.
Age looks good on her, and we appreciate that!