This is the quintessential view of my childhood. The roller coaster coming into my home town. I remember it especially at night, I’d be asleep in the back seat coming home from somewhere and then wake just in time to see it all lit up, it was then I knew we were almost home…
Just beyond the roller coaster lays the Atlantic Ocean and about seven miles of gorgeous sandy beach and then at the tip of the peninsula, where we lived, rocky beach.
I only rode the roller coaster twice. Both times on the same day in 8th grade. My friend who was way more adventurous than myself “encouraged” me by offering to let me sit next to her cousin (who I had a crush on). I remember wrapping my arms like a Twizzler candy around the lap bar that was meant to hold me in. There was a big gap between my thighs and that bar and as we went down the biggest hill my behind flew a foot or two in the air as my stomach dropped. I thought “What are these people crazy? If I wasn’t holding on for my life I’d fly right out of here!!!!” I got a fat lip that day from hitting my mouth on that ill fitting bar as I held it tight.
The park closed not long afterward and everything but the old fashioned merry go round left our little spit of heaven.
Yesterday the boys, Kevin, and I attended a “raking party” at the local retirement community. My oldest 3 are in Scouts and every fall the Cub Scouts rake the tons of leaves that fall on the property for the residents there. The boys had a great time. With ~O in the stroller I walked around and chatted with other parents and snapped a few photos.
On the way home the view was beautiful. Because I’m usually driving and/or do not have my camera with me, I can never capture it. This time it was a crisp clear day, the mountains were capped in snow, and Kevin was at the wheel so I decided to try.
This is the view when we are about 5 miles from our house. This spot is at a higher elevation and as we get closer home and go down into the valley the mountain disappears.
It wasn’t till I uploaded these photos that I made the roller coaster connection: This mountain is my kids roller coaster, their sign that we are almost home.
We all have those bits of life, be they landmarks, people, seasons, that says something so integral and deep in us that all we can do is exhale and know home is not far off, even if just in memory.