Monday, July 15, 2013

You Can't Go Home Again?

Most of you know that my home town is Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  I always, always feel like I've come home when I drive into Johnstown.  The grit, the 1940s and 50s era housing.  Giant Eagle.  Coal.  Hard work.  Blue collar.  Serious fun.  Johnstown.  It's a place where excellence is valued.  A place where hard work truly pays off, earns respect, and has meaning.  Idyllic?  Or just another plane of existence?  Regardless, I have always found Johnstown a place where people understand that everyone is fighting a hard battle, and you can't fully know the circumstances of another, so it's best not to judge.

It was nice to drive through town and not gather harsh stares.  If people had questions, they asked them.  If they didn't have the opportunity to ask, they glanced, computed, and went about their business without gawking or driving by slowly looking into the windows. 

While in the Johnstown area we stayed with our friends Adam, Mandy, and their kids in Windber, PA - a coal mining town with all of the affective charm of the city proper. 

Michael and Adam on the court.  They always have mischievous, competitive fun.

We had a great time as always when we visit there. 

Our entire family played basketball with their entire family for a few hours.  I scraped my knee riding a bike for the first time in over a decade.  We laughed around the dining room table at Apples to Apples and the girls gave each other make-overs.  The boys stayed up to all hours playing Magic: The Gathering, shooting hoops, making grilled sandwiches, and video gaming.  We caught Hotel: Transylvania on DVD and caught up on all the news about old high school friends. 

Their house is one of those houses where we have "fridge privileges".  Where nothing is a big deal.  PJs are acceptable attire.  Mountain Dew is free flowing and you don't really think twice about whether or not it's healthy for you.

There are very few people in my life I would consider friends I will have forever, no matter what, no matter where...  Adam and Mandy and their kids are very high on our forever friends list. 

Jonah was extremely emotional about leaving.  I can't say my eyes were completely dry as we drove away.  We're all in a weird state of recovery from our sort of mountaintop experience there.  Everyone is a little extra tired.  A little extra grouchy.  It's not every day you find people who know you so well you don't really have to complete your sentences.  So the truth is, I expect you really can go home again - because it's about the people, and not so much the physical place.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

We love you guys!!!

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