Hello, old town.
Your population meant you could go to the grocery store and know everyone there.
You had people that would forever change my life. Do you know how much you impacted my life?
Because of you, I have someone I call my aunt, and who loves me as much as my blood-related aunts do.
I still hold the pictures of the crisp orange leaves delicately descending like a feather down to the lush green grass below. The air is sharp like it is at that time of the year, but at the same time comforting. The apple orchard that seems to go on for miles stays in my brain; both my brother and I went there for school field trips.
It was there where I first found out my passion for swimming, as well as basketball, and dance, and softball.
It is where my father used to coach my brother’s and my Little League teams—he was considered the best coach in the whole town by many.
It was where every September, rides would caravan into a grand field and local vendors came together to serve crunchy fried dough and french fries in what looks like a dog bowl.
It is where my family got our first dog: a peppy little golden fluff, who would soon become my best friend, and who, for years after, would travel with us around the country.
I wish with everything in me that I could go back.
I want to go back to the small elementary school that had kindergarten teachers who would build massive castles out of cereal boxes each year. I want to go back to the small town beach where my family, as well as our friends, would meet up at 10 a.m. and would stay until 8 p.m. I want to go back to the small restaurant who had the best pizza in the whole town, and who always knew my family when they walked through the door.
I want to go back.
Oh, man, do I want to go back.
I want to go back to my home. I want to go back to see my friends. I want to go back to my town fair.
Maybe one day, I will go back. Maybe, I will take my kids to see where I grew up. Where you had to drive a long distance just to get to the mall or go play Monster Minigolf.
Maybe one day.
Thank you, old town.
Thank you for raising me into who I am today. Thank you for teaching me the importance of family and to treasure friends. Thank you for showing me that, no matter how far you are, your genuine friends will always stay with you.
Thank you, old town.