Thursday, February 6, 2014

Who You Callin’ “Prodigal”?

So, I’m back!

Did you miss me, Delaware County? 

(No need to answer. I know I was greatly missed in at least a few bars and all-you-can-eat restaurants, while not so greatly missed in a single church.)

I was away, living in the Washington, D.C. area, for nearly 18 years. I loved living there. 

It’s a vibrant, diverse city where I made many great, life-long friends. (Also, it’s pretty cool living so near the capital of a big country like this one.)

For most of those years I had a job good enough to afford me the $7 pints of Coors Light that the local pubs have the unmitigated gall to charge. (By the way, have you ever met anyone with mitigated gall? I hope to one day.) I suppose the prices are so high there to keep senators and congressmen from accidentally bumping into their lowly constituents. Be that as it may, as I said, I really enjoyed living there.

But without a doubt, no matter how much you like a new place … there is something about coming home.

I came back to live with my parents in a sort of mutually beneficial situation. Mom and dad are elderly (dad resists that term, but come on … he’s 82, it was practically invented for him). They each have some health issues that I hope to be able to make easier. I help out with a few bills, cooking and some of the physical chores and they return the favor by putting me in the exact situation I have always greatly desired to be in …

Rent-free living!

(One day I may be willing to disclose the ridiculous amount of rent I was paying until recently, but for now my therapy team thinks it’s best that I try to push it to the back of my brain … back deep, with the late-night drunken phone calls to old girlfriends and the fuzzy memories of my infancy.)

I’m even sleeping in the same room I slept in when we moved to Delaware County almost 50 years ago. Now, instead of sharing it with my brother Dan, I share it with a desk, computer and printer in what I like to call a “home office.”

It’s all very 21st century in here.

So I’m sort of back to my original premise for this blog after all these years. I’m finding that the home I’m finding is not exactly the home I left. And it just now occurred to me … that’s what Thomas Wolfe was talking about when he said “you can’t go home again.”

Nicely put, Tom.

Just the same I am going home.

I suppose the borders of each town are pretty much as I left them (although I suspect that Prospect Park may have secretly annexed a small portion of Norwood, but that’s just between us, okay?) However the places, themselves, have changed.

And so have I.

So I guess that’s what’s supposed to happen, right?

I hope to be pointing out some of those changes in the coming weeks and months. Or it’s just as likely that my mind will wander to topics like Mars, the state of the Phillies, or why a morbidly obese man will never be elected president again.

I hope we’ll find out where this goes together.


  1. YAY !!! Looking forward to more! Welcome home, Jack.

  2. Welcome back. You and your parents are fortunate to have this time together.

  3. Welcome back!

    Back in the 1960s, my family wore a rut into Chester Pike on the weekly trips from our house to my grandmother's house in Tinicum. I think I memorized every business along the pike from Sharon Hill to 420.

    A few years ago, I was driving along there, and it seemed everything had changed but the 2 funeral homes.

  4. I'm finding that exact same thing all over, Jim ... thanks!!