In 2006, our family moved to Mayfield Heights. It was a tough time. I was a newly syndicated newspaper cartoonist, I had no clue what I was doing, we had two tiny daughters, and we were trying to sell our old house just as the recession hit. Stress! I had buyer’s remorse before we even got here. Luckily, my fears proved unfounded. Our neighbors were salt-of-the-earth and many became close friends. I could count on them for anything, from “borrowing” eggs and milk, to moving furniture (apologies!), to just being there for an end-of-the-week drink.
My husband’s workplace was conveniently close, and I was able to peacefully work from home while my kids thrived in a great school system where they enjoyed updated facilities, a multitude of sports and exemplary arts programs, which are right up their alley (also a shout-out to Mayfield High School’s principal, who my kids love). Being so close to the highway, a gazillion retailers and a babysitting mother-in-law also became a godsend for this busy working mom. But most importantly, Mayfield became a home.
It’s where our kids grew up playing with others on the block. It’s where I wrote almost 14 years of comic strips — many on my front porch while watching said kids — and where I began writing my collection of middle-grade books. We are happy here in Mayfield — without an ounce of buyer’s remorse.
Terri Libenson is the cartoonist behind the recently retired comic strip The Pajama Diaries and the author of the bestselling middle-grade book series, Emmie & Friends.