A few weeks ago I went to Pennsylvania for a couple days.
It had been my plan to visit my hometown this fall, but Ivan’s schedule is unpredictable, to put it mildly. His call shifts end up being 14+ hours overnight at the hospital and that’s outside of his usual weekday hours.
I couldn’t leave the dogs at home while Ivan was away at work, so I took advantage of his week of vacation by spending a few days visiting in PA.
The trip isn’t a short one. It’s roughly a 9-hour drive and since I got the short straw when we were buying cars, my gas-friendly Yaris is without a single bell or whistle. That means no power windows; no power locks; no bluetooth; and no cruise control. And, to top it off, it’s an automatic. That amounts to a pretty boring drive.
Still, I arrived and spent 2 full days in Pennsylvania before making the dull trip back home.
I stayed at my parents house — the home I grew up in — and, as with every time I visit, I was astonished at how much the trees had grown.
My parents bought the land (a 10-acre plot) in the mid ’80s and built the house so that we could move in when I was 5 years old (around 1988-1989). The plot had been farmland, I believe, and was still butted up against cornfields. So the plot was flat and unremarkable.
Dad planted trees. And, as trees tend to do, they grew. Almost 30 years later, their yard is a lush stretch of greenery.
I kind of miss it. I mean, I don’t want to move back to Erie. For all the sentiment I may carry, the city is economically crippled and has zero appeal for us except for its familiarity. But, oh, how I miss the unparalleled freedom and joy living in a truly rural area. The beauty and unpolluted clarity of that life is something I will always long for.
And I think that’s one of the reasons why I don’t ever want to leave New England. If I want that type of life, surely I can find it here!
Whoops! I think I slipped into some nostalgic digressions there.
So, I got to visit with some family that I haven’t seen in years and even some I’ve never seen. My brother’s partner, Ashley, made the trip to visit and I got to meet her for the first time! And, yes, she is expecting. On my birthday, no less! Hopefully, by September 18th I’ll be an aunt again to baby Violet.
I got to see a few friends and enjoy a campfire — something I haven’t done in… Oh my gosh. I can’t even remember!
And, driven by some strange masochism, I decided to go for a 13.1-mile run the morning after driving 9 hours. It was the full loop of the peninsula that juts out into Lake Erie and the first half marathon Ivan and I ever ran together.
While I was out running, I passed 5 turkey and a gorgeous coyote. They were both extremely close, also. Close enough that I pulled out my pepper spray, just in case. And those awesome close encounters made up for the ferocious black flies that were biting me as I ran.
So… that’s the story of my visit to my hometown.