Why do I keep talking about a need to move on? Ashtabula County is a community that has decided that it will accept decline, decay, and avoiding change. The year is 2024 but people very much want it to be the 1970s.

This creates social impacts as well as quite a bit of depression. After all, how do you best live in a community that doesn’t want to handle the world around it? It has been well over a decade since I’ve held a normal job properly based in Ashtabula County. No, intermittently being a precinct elections officer doesn’t count. I commute to Erie to work at the college now. I spent six years pre-COVID commuting to Cleveland to work for that specific federal agency.

That’s a big part of why I seem upset so often. People here want a static, unchanging world. There is no resilience. A change to the traffic laws that took effect in 2009 is considered by far too many local drivers to be too recent for them to know about and actually obey.

Life doesn’t really happen in graveyards. That’s what this town is turning into. The problem is that there is nowhere practical to run to.