First I must say that I am ashamed that I have not written anything in more than 3 months. That’s just terrible. Tonight is one of those rare evenings where I managed to get chores done AND the kids in bed on time, while my hubby is at work, so I get to write. And apparently, based on an email I had sent myself on February 20th, I’ve been wanting to write about living in Cleveland, or at least, living in Ohio.
I need to begin with an explanation. Thanks to the hubby’s work, we have been blessed to travel to Hawaii for two weeks each year for the past four years. While we are there he works in the evenings but we get to enjoy family time together when he isn’t working. Three years ago I had posted about returning from Hawaii and being grateful to be back in Cleveland and see the big fluffy white snowflakes and just to be home in general. The PD linked to it and someone made a snarky comment and have since basically felt as though I committed blog suicide here: https://clevelandmom.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/home-is-where-your-friends-are/.
Well, in February we were back to Hawaii for the hubby’s work. This time, while we were there, I was fortunate to meet a lovely family who was renting a condo in the same building where we stayed. She (Indonesian) and her husband (Canadian) had lived in Japan for the past nine years and had just relocated due to work to Honolulu. They have two awesome little boys who my sons loved to hang out with, and while they all played I had so many wonderful conversations with their mom. I loved to hear about their search for a home in Hawaii, and their lives back in Japan and everywhere else. But what got me thinking about writing this, was our discussions regarding the cost of living.
I grew up just on the border of Cleveland, and I feel I should add I apparently grew up “below the poverty line”, though it wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that this was made apparent to me when someone pointed this out. My mom was a housekeeper in an apartment building and my dad was retired from working for the City of Cleveland. I grew up in a two-bedroom apartment but we were comfortable.
In Honolulu, the two-bedroom condo where we stayed would cost twice as much as my current house. It got me thinking, you can’t really afford to be poor and live in Hawaii. There are a lot of places where you can’t afford to be poor in the US. In Cleveland, there are so many services, so many opportunities, and the cost of living remains relatively low. I had no clue I was poor. So out of curiosity I looked up some cost of living statistics on Hawaii vs. Ohio. I am sure there is some equation for doing a comparison, but just looking at the numbers to me was interesting:
Homeownership rate, 2006-2010: 59.3%
Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2006-2010: $537,400
Per capita money income in past 12 months (2010 dollars) 2006-2010: $28,882
Median household income 2006-2010: $66,420
Homeownership rate, 2006-2010: 69.2%
Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2006-2010: $136,400
Per capita money income in past 12 months (2010 dollars) 2006-2010: $25,113
Median household income 2006-2010: $47,358
The difference in Median household income is small, particularly when compared to the significant difference in the Median value of owner-occupied housing units. Money simply buys so much more here, compared not just to Honolulu or Hawaii in general, but to many other metropolitan areas.
Beyond the cost of living, I do love to hear my five year-old tell me all of the things he loves about each season. And I love all of the things that, when I have the time, I write about that my family and I enjoy doing all around the Cleveland area.
Do you love living in Cleveland? What do you love about living here?
Until next time,
PS. I should add that, periodically, I love having a St. Patricks’s Day that allows me to break out the slip-n-slide! Did you hear there were 500,000 people in Downtown Cleveland on Saturday???
Filed under: reflections | Tagged: cleveland, reflections | 2 Comments »