They majored in basketweaving

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I left my sister, my brother-in-law, and my cute nephew this morning and it was pretty tough. I really miss seeing all of them, and I wish I could see them more often. It bums me out whenever I leave people that I love, as I always feel guilty that I don’t see enough of them.

Oh well, there was Middle Earth to be seen, so I took off. I got over the rough goodbye, and drove towards Newark, Ohio, the home of the Longaberger Basket Company. I just recently learned that these baskets are collectors’ items. Who knew? Apparently, my mom knew as she sent me email saying that my old Easter basket was a Longaberger, which she bought over 30 years ago! Wow. Anyway, the only reason why I went to this place was that they have a quirky building that is shaped exactly like a basket.  I walked into the lobby and looked up. You could see the handles of the basket thru the atrium ceiling window. Inside, I discovered that right down the street is the Longaberger Homestead — a replica of the old Longaberger family farm, now more of a basket lover’s dreamland. The homestead is complete with a farm, golf course, plenty of gift shops, cafes, and, of course, a large apple basket. OK, enough is enough. I had my fill of baskets for the next 20 years or so…time to move on.

The basket overload got to me, as my testosterone was yelling to get the hell out of basketland and do something manly. Alright….you ready for some football? Thank god, the Pro Football Hall of Fame was on my route to Canfield, as I could stop and please my primal instincts. I spent a couple hours walking thru the hall and mainly checking up on all the Steelers’ memorabilia. Every self respecting football fan, especially a Steeler fan, needs to make a trek to the sport’s Mecca — Canton, Ohio. I’ve been there before, and I always enjoy the exhibits. It was totally worth the stop.

Finally, I reached my parent’s house in Canfield, Ohio.  About 30 minutes after I arrived at the house, my parents came home. It was fantastic to talk to them and show all of the cheesy items I’ve bought so far on the trip. We ate dinner outside and then watched a massive electical storm hit the area. The electical storm broke into a full blown summer rain storm and it was truly amazing. I forgot how much I loved mid-western summer rain storms, as the rainfall is hard but lasts only a very short time. Immdiately after the rain, the temperature becomes cool and refreshing…awesome. As the light left the once rainy sky, the lightning bugs (or fire flies) came out. I haven’t seen fire flies in years and it was really reminisant for me. The bugs blinked all over the yards for as far as you could see — it was a beautiful site to behold. I plan on staying here a couple days and will finally have my windshield replaced. The idiotic mechanic shop I went to in Columbus bought the wrong windshield, so I had to call a Porsche dealer in Pittsburgh to see if they could replace it. Thus, I need to drop my car off in Pittsburgh tomorrow morning a couple blocks from my old school, Carnegie Mellon University.

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