I drove out to my Dad's today. Wait, first of all, I got behind the wheel of my mother's old car (it's an '89 Honda) and promptly panicked about my ability to drive a stick. Never mind that I drove stick exclusively until I got Sandy a year ago. I just suddenly couldn't remember what to do. I got used to it again pretty quickly, but my starts are still a little choppy. I drove up the street, got onto Interstate 80 and then said, "Now what?" I had a brain lapse and couldn't remember how to get to my Dad's place. Never mind that I lived down the way from him on Princess Valley Road, or that I actually lived with him for the last few months before moving to LA. I just couldn't remember which exit to take and whether it was a straight shot or if there was a turn first. What's wrong with me?
In the end, I remembered. I got off I-80 and took old 209 all the way out to Kunkletown, along the same route I took when I outran the state trooper that one time in my Mercury station wagon. Then I took Kunkletown Road to the old covered bridge, turned up Trachsville Road, then Spruce Lane and onto Lonesome Lane, where my Daddy lives. (I include street names not for the locals, but for Denise, who loves to hear the names of these country roads). It was touch and go for a minute on Kunkletown Road because things have changed a bit and I didn't recognize where I was. Then I saw the old barn and the country store and knew I was going in the right direction.
Dad and I took a drive into town to pick up lunch from the nicest Subway sandwich shop ladies ever. I mean, super nice. That's Palmerton. In the window of the store was a crocheted American flag. I asked about it thinking one of the co-workers there made it. Nope, one of the local women crocheted a whole bunch of them for the shops along downtown Palmerton. As we were leaving I noticed one in every shop window. It touched my in that soft spot that I thought didn't exist anymore.
Then John Mellencamp songs started playing in my head. As we drove along, I remarked for the second time in as many days, "I forgot how pretty it all is." I apologize, Pennsylvania, for not recognizing how beautiful you are while I was living here. I'm sure by Saturday I'll be dying of LA, but for now, I am filled with nostalgia and warm fuzzies.