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  • Writer's pictureTerri Tomoff

Day 31 - Cleveland, Ohio - Visits

Another rainy morning did not stop me from visiting with the Kocans (my sister Kimberly and her family), my friend Mary Pav and her mom (lunch/garden), and my younger sister, Annette (thrift shopping/dinner).

The visits were delightful and kept me busy all day.

Benji Gardens:

We all had school gardens at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Cleveland, Ohio, when we were kids. Mary and I had gardens from the 2nd grade until we graduated high school. My sisters did too, but not for that long (10 years). It was an excellent summer program run by the horticulturists within the Cleveland Public Schools System, one of a few in the entire state.

Today those gardens are community gardens, and anyone can get a plot to tend to for the summer. A 20’x25’ plot runs about $45 a season. Mary also showed me that she has a raised bed in a different area than the (2) plots she manages. Talk about memories! I had so many flashbacks of those summers from long ago and tickled pink that we went to check it all out. Benji, as what we affectionately call the elementary school, was about a 1/2 mile away from where I grew up, and Mary was about the same in a different direction.

We rode our bikes to the gardens and had to have substitutes if our family was out of town and we could not meet the twice-weekly sessions. It was run as a tight ship back then with the few professional horticulturists strict with all the kids. No monkeying around between the tomatoes or carrots!

The end game was an abundance of fresh vegetables, and we had the goods. So much so at times that my baskets were overflowing and my bicycle wobbling to carry it back home.

Thrift Shopping:

By mid-afternoon, I was heading toward my sister Annette’s, with Kimberly joining us later. We all love the hunt to find “treasures” in various thrift stores in the area, and all three of us did just that! All the thrifting led to hunger, leading to dinner at the Rocky River Brewing Company. A good time was had by all!

A good deal can give me an adrenaline rush time and time again. So I ask myself, “Why pay retail?”




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