Ten days of note writing on Naked Thanks left! Hard to believe we’re almost done and our goal of 365 thank you notes a piece is a mere week and a half from fruition. While today, on our tenth to last entry, Karin is thanking the City of Lights, I figured I’d thank the City of Erie — not so fancy or mysterious, but a town that’s been just as important in my own life. It’s funny, I think for both Karin and me, travel has been something for which we are both so grateful. But for as much as we love to get away and experience a new city, we also love going back to the place we’ll forever think of as home. In her case: DC. In mine: Erie.
If you’ve been reading this blog, you can’t possibly have escaped my constant chatter of this little city by the lake. It’s cold in the winters, yes. It certainly has its fair share of junky dollar stores and crappy Aldi food markets. But if you look past all the city’s quirks and issues, you’ll see a diamond in the rough.
Maybe it’s some sort of chemical runoff from the lake, but I swear that city breeds good people. Loyal friends that you’ve known since birth and also acquaintances that will surprise you by popping up all over the globe. When I was in Fiji, driving through the jungle on the most ghetto looking tour “bus” imaginable, all of a sudden I looked up and realized a girl I worked with in high school was sitting in the row across from me. Another time, while browsing the produce selection at a grocery store in Santa Barbara, I realized a boy from home was picking out grapefruits next to me. Whether it’s in Times Square or Disneyland, I encounter Erie people when I’m least expecting it — like a nice little surprise gift wrapped and shipped to me from my home town.
Plus, up until now, in every city I’ve ever lived, I’ve had my Erie friends right there. Of course at Penn State the Erieites were too numerous to count. And then Philadephia had its fair share as well. But those cities are both in Pennsylvania. You’d expect that. It was when I studied abroad in Sydney and bumped into Erie folks that I started wondering if there was something more to this phenomenon. When I moved to Coronado, I still had girls with whom I played Barbies as a kid living a block away. Then when I went to Arlington, it was the same thing. Friends that I’ve know since I wasn’t even wearing bra were a stone’s throw away from me. Now in Lewes, I don’t have any Erie friends close by, but I’m sure at some point — and soon — that will change. It’s like the Law of Erie Magnetism; it’s only a matter of time before we connect!
So here’s to you, Gem City: My sincere thanks.