Today is a dual birthday: my grandfather turns 93 and Why CLE? turns 7. And one has no idea what the other one is!
So, first and foremost, happy birthday, Gramps! From WWII to the Cleveland Police force to helping raise me, so much of his life has been spent in service. That kind of commitment is inspirational. And I love that he and Jeffrey have a relationship! Jeffrey is lucky to have that!
As for the blog, truly, I can’t believe it’s been seven years. So much has changed since I started writing, for Cleveland, for myself, and for the blogging medium.
When I started this blog, Cleveland wasn’t on the national scene as a must-visit place. As most of you know, the title of the blog came from the idea of having to explain why I moved back to Cleveland to people who lived here.
When Why CLE? began, all the pieces for Cleveland’s amazing renaissance were starting to fall into place, but to see the arc of it over the last seven years has been remarkable and inspiring. I don’t get asked Why CLE? nearly as much anymore, but I keep telling you why because preaching to the choir is how you get them to sing.
As for me, this blog has followed my own arc. Much like Cleveland, the pieces were starting to fall into place for my own personal renaissance when I started the blog. But even I couldn’t imagine all the things life would bring, from marriage to motherhood to an ever-evolving career path.
The blog has adapted to this arc and I am so grateful for being able to grow and change, yet still maintain your readership and interest.
The blogging medium has changed too. Instagram wasn’t on the radar when Why CLE? started and attention spans were a wee bit bigger than they are even now. For me, I’ll always be drawn to the longer-form writing, to content that supports the pithy social media posts (which absolutely have value and are fun in their own right).
I guess all this is to say that, as I look back, there’s been a lot of changes over the last seven years, but I am so grateful to still be here, in my little corner of the Internet, chatting with you. The readers, the friendships, the insanely amazing experiences, and the chance to deepen my love and appreciation for this incredible city are things I don’t ever take for granted.
As a small token of my appreciation, I have a Cleveland mystery box giveaway for you. There are some great things in the mystery box, including restaurant gift cards and fun local products.
All you need to do to enter is leave a comment here introducing yourself. Maybe I know you already, but it’s always nice to know who my readers are and a little bit about why you’re here.
The giveaway will close on Sunday, December 17 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day.
Good luck! And thank you for an awesome lucky seven years!