I love living in Toledo. I love city life. Sure, it’s not New York or LA, but it’s urban enough that my daughter gets to grow up in a community way more liberal and diverse than where I’m from. That’s really important to me.
However, my rural childhood home is still very near. Toledo feels like a whole different world, but since they put in a new highway several years back, my hometown is a mere 40 minutes away.
I used to come to Toledo as a child to go shopping or see a movie. People back home saw Toledo as a very dangerous place. Now that I call Toledo home, I see it very differently.
Toledo is a struggling Rust Belt city with high poverty and crime. I’m not going to sugar coat that. But Toledo is the only place I’ve lived where I know my neighbors’ names. My daughter plays with the girl next door. We talk. We look out for each other. Pride and sense of community are very strong here. I love that.
During the week, I work for a local nonprofit that helps the homeless, and I’m very proud to be a part of that mission. Toledo is my home, and I want to make it a better place for all of us.
True, it is very difficult to be an atheist here, but I don’t want to leave. This is my city, too, and I hope somehow I will find a way to create understanding.
I felt compelled to write this post because Toledo is a lovely place to live and people just don’t give it the credit it deserves. Yes, the weather is a little rough and we probably do eat to stay warm, but I love Toledo. If people saw the city the way I do, they would love it, too.