2009 11/08

Going Home Again

Today feels like a Monday to me, for so many reasons. It could be that my head is foggy from being stuffed up. Or it could be from the very long weekend we just took. Friday afternoon we packed up the kids, the dog, and the camper and made our 5.5 hour trek up north to the Hometown. We usually do this once a year, at the beginning of August, for the Hometown’s festival. We actually don’t go because of the festival but because it is one of two times during the year that my extended family gathers together. So, we all pull our campers and park them in my Grandma’s backyard to enjoy the festival and each other’s company.

Now, mind you, the Hometown is a small town in Northern Michigan. And, as many of you may know, small towns can be quite….unique. Before I go any further, I must say that I really do love small towns. I wouldn’t change growing up there for anything. But, leaving for a few years and only returning once a year for a long weekend, you begin to truly see how different things are back there.

First, no one believes in accepting Debit or Credit Cards. The two times that we actually went out to eat (at two different restaurants) we were faced with signs on the doors saying “We Do Not Accept Credit/Debit Cards”. WHAT? How do people even function? You mean {gasp!} you actually carry cash around with you? All the time? Apparently the only places that accept credit/debit cards are the pizza places, McDonalds, and Subway. The funny thing is that we really don’t use credit cards but we rely heavily on our debit card. I honestly never carry cash or at least no more than a few dollars. Thankfully, when we were at those two restaurants, my parents treated once and I was able to write a check at the other. Geesh!

Ok, so speaking of the restaurants….this next one has always been characteristic of my Hometown. When I asked my gram which pizza place we should order from one night (they are all small town, personally owned pizza places….No PapaJohns!) she said that the video store had good pizza. Excuse me? Did you just say that I should order my pizza from the video store? Yes? Super. So I did and it was actually pretty decent. The best part though was when I went to pick the pizza up. I could have gotten it through the drive-thru (apparently the pizza/video store has drive-thru) but instead I went inside. As I waited for my pizza (which was crazy expensive by the way) I glanced around at the video & candy section and then, there it was…the tanning section. Yes! This video/pizza/candy store also offers tanning! Why not? I mean, who wouldn’t want to get some quick tanning in while they waited for their pizza, before they grabbed their video and candy?

I must say, despite the crazy small-town antics, we did have a good time. Abbi loved the carnival and both girls enjoyed the parade, where they did make out like bandits on candy. Abbi kept battling a fever and sore ear all weekend but was a trooper nonetheless. The best part? How relaxing it was. Even though we had a big thunder storm one night and found ourselves wearing jeans and sweatshirts one day and shorts and tanks the next, it was just so laid back. That’s my family though. If you’re around and want to grab dinner together, great. If not, no big deal. There are no scheduled meal times and no scheduled events. You just come and go as you please and enjoy the paths of those you cross when you cross them.

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