I'm not in Kansas anymore; nor am I in an area that doesn't seem familiar to me. I truly enjoyed the unexpected delights I witnessed as I drove across the country up to this point. I am home now; though home is still a few weeks away in St. Pete Beach, FL. They say home is where the heart is; so no matter what part of this beautiful country I traveled upon, I was home. Presently I am in Albany,NY at Jillian's and the bartender Trevor is making me feel right at home as I catch up on the day in sports and update wheresjohnny.us. Speaking of home; West Virginia lost to Syracuse at home 19-14 and it was the Mountaineers Homecoming Game. Go Figure! The Tampa Bay Rays lost all three playoff games at home and are eliminated from their World Series hopes. Home field advantage never felt so bad. It's not where you live; but how you live. It's not where you play; but how you play.
Growing up in Fairmont, WV was like riding a roller coaster. The seasons constantly changed as did the addresses. We moved around a good bit allowing me to make new friends in different neighborhoods; so when I come home I have some visiting to do. I seem to do the same things every time I come home; as well as eat at the same places (Yann's) with this visit being no different. There was something new to my arrival this time, something within myself that had me more relaxed, more eager to get as much done as possible. I wanted this trip down memory lane to be my most memorable; and it was. I wanted to change it up a bit; and I did.
My first day home I spent kayaking on Rock Lake with Autumn in full bloom as I prepared myself for a book signing that took place at the Marion County Library on Oct. 16th in front of family and friends that were unable to be a part of the one held back home in Florida. An overwhelming joy to present my alma mater Fairmont Senior High with a copy of Days In Collision. The only sadness was knowing that loved ones who have gone home to the heavens above were there in spirit, their presence and love felt. Past trips left me feeling empty when I would return; but not this time. I was able to reflect upon my life the way a tree sees itself through a still body of water; slightly distorted yet full of beauty. Memories of their smiles and sounds of my laughter reminds me that home is where the heart is. Speaking of laughter; my nieces Ashley,Keelie, and Zuriah brought me back to my childhood days of playing outside, getting dirty with no regard coming inside just in time to get ready for bed. I truly enjoyed every second. You girls be safe and clean your rooms. I stayed at Sis and Billy Reid's place the rest of the time making their home my home while in town. My sister Elsie's ashes are spread on top of the hill there where the deer and wild turkeys roam freely like the wind year round. I never felt closer to her than I do now as if we were little kids again. My inner child really stood out every morning when Lucky Dog would wake me up for a game of fetch with a frisbee that has seen better days. So; no matter your age we all must DREAM-CREATE-EXPLORE in order to feel like we once did when we too were younger, healthier, and innocent. Whether it be a yellow brick road, a plush sandy beach, or even a pothole invested street; remember, there is no place like home, there is no place like home, there is no place like home.