Well, to be more specific, the small seaside town of Chatham, Massachusetts, on the southeastern coast of Cape Cod. April 20, 1999. My family and I emerged from our old Nissan Quest minivan to check into our bed and breakfast for spring break.
My life is starting to even out. And while I’m happy about this, a peaceful, comfortable life doesn’t offer as much column fodder as a melancholy, tragic one.
Five years ago, my mom found out she had breast cancer. Then a year after that, when she was in remission, she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer. It was complications from multiple myeloma that ultimately took her life.
I’ve been saying that an awful lot while currently down here in Cancun, Mexico. Ten days of feet-in-the-sand with a cold-drink-in-my-hand. Isn’t that the words to a county song or something? If not, should be, eh?
So, what do you make of it all?
Ten years ago this week I left my native Upstate New York for my first journalism gig out of college in the tiny mountain town of Driggs, Idaho.
The crunching kept catching my attention.
After finding a scarce parking space, it was a short, careful stroll from the Montford neighborhood of downtown Asheville to the U.S. Cellular Center for the 29th annual Christmas Jam last Saturday evening.
That slow walk from the car.
When I was 16 years old, I entered the American workforce. I was the breakfast and lunch cook for McDonald’s in Champlain, New York. And it was that slow walk from my rusted out 1989 Toyota Camry to the side entrance under the bright yellow arches, into another morning and early afternoon amid the chaos of the fast food world.
It’s the carrot.
For the better part of the last 12 years, Rolling Stone magazine has been a carrot dangling in front of my eager, overzealous — and often restless — journalistic spirit.
Taken too soon.
It’s the three words one person — let alone one family or one community — never wants to here when it comes to a young person passing away before they could blossom and take over the world, usually with a signature smile or laugh (or both).
My first love. Baseball.
The quintessential American pastime. The thing of which childhood dreams are made. The playing grounds of heroes, either ready to be made or already part of the centuries-old lore surrounding a game that knows no bounds in its depths of imagination and sheer ability to capture yours.