Ohio: The Sunshine State?!?

Whenever I have a chance to talk to our fellow MLHR students from abroad, I like to ask them about their impressions of America, if they have had any culture shocks, etc. Maybe it’s the old reporter in me coming out–I just can’t stop asking other people questions! I know whenever I travel outside the Midwest, there are always little subtleties that surprise me about people in other regions. So, I would certainly expect that someone from China would find the same surprises about life in Ohio.

So after talking to a few students from China I’ve found that the thing that surprises them the most about life in the Buckeye state isn’t the portion sizes, music, automobile culture or slang, it’s … Ohio’s sunshine! Anyone who has lived here for a while knows Ohio isn’t known for its sunny skies. Weather that can change in an hour, yes. Tornadoes in spring, yes. News stations that turn flurries into snowmaggedon, yes. But, sunshine? Well, we do have those few weeks in May and September that are calm and clear. And if you can see through the humidity in July while running back into the A/C, there is sunshine out there just lurking.

During a nice talk with a fellow student Friday night at the Fisher Women in Business meet and greet, we talked about the sunshine. She lamented that suntan lotions don’t seem to protect her skin and asked whether any of us carry sunbrellas. We agreed that most Ohioans don’t use sunbrellas (and we chuckled at the thought). We assured her that soon enough our unusually dry and sunny weather would soon turn damp, rainy, gray and eventually down right cold.

While we enjoyed record breaking temperatures this weekend, I thought about this glorious dose of sunshine. I tried to ignore it on Saturday when I needed to read. And when I was watching my son’s flag football game on Sunday, it was actually hot. That’s when the sunbrella didn’t seem like such a bad idea. And, frankly, my mom always brings one to these games. So when my daughter brought along her Hello, Kitty umbrella to shade us from the elements, I quickly cozied in. After awhile I was the holder of a kitty cat sunbrella basking in its shade. Who says we don’t have sunshine in Ohio?