I received the call on Monday and by Saturday evening I back in the hometown. I have found that the only time I go back usually is for memorial services. And so this trip was no different. Family of family flew in from Hawaii and Ohio. And although it was for a tragedy, sightseeing was still in order. I mean why fly to London when you can some see the London Bridge in Arizona with its own English Channel.
The town has changed though. I know a lot of friends have moved back to raise their kids there, but its not the same place as when we were growing up. I mean when we were growing up, it was 30,000 when I left at 18. Today, friends tell me its 60k. What I never realized as a child, but absolutely realized it this trip was that town is at the bottom of the slope and all the houses are at the top. So I guess in one sense that is nice that there isn't a starbucks on every corner, but then again I was getting aggravated driving down the hill every morning to find something to take the edge off.
And although the town has changed, there are still things that bring back that home feeling. Like Ed's Deli of course. I've yet to find another place like it and sorry Vegas folks, Cappriotti's doesn't even come close. It could be that they get their bread from someplace special. The other place that is a hometown favorite of mine is Taco Hacienda. Again, I've yet to find a cheese crisp as greasy and delicious as TH's. The place I miss the most is Havasu Frozen Yogurt. There have been some that have come close, but never have the right cookie crumbs. The place on the corner by Smith's was darn good with carob chips though.
Usually when I am in town, I try to get around to see friends, but this time really didn't allow such a thing. I through out an invite to a chosen few to meet at DM and several of them arrived on short notice.
What I've taken away from this last visit is life. And to live that life to the fullest. Don't hesitate to tell people in your life that you love them. And I'm not talking about your family. I'm talking about your friends that you've been around since Bumble Bee, the ones you talk to regularly, see on a weekly basis, talk to monthly, etc. Don't let those moments slip by you because when shit hits the fan you are going to be saying...shoulda, woulda, coulda....and now its too late. And I've taken this lesson as well...if I was to die today, what would happen? Are my affairs in order so that my spouse could handle everything from the funeral (which I'm not having one except you are to party like rockstars) to the finances. If you can answer that question with confidence that everything is in order, you are one step ahead of the game. If you can't...get a will, life insurance, and prepare for the unexpected. Because folks tomorrow may never get here for us.
Love to all who reads this....