A Slice of Home

In Family, Pursuit of Happiness on January 10, 2010 at 8:41 am

When my wife and I decided to relocate to Texas, we knew that there would be things that we would miss.  Prior to our relocation, we had spent our entire lives living in New York.  Even though we’ve been here since the summer, we still refer to New York as “home,” and anything having to do with Texas as “theirs” not “ours.” This feeling is best described as being on permanent vacation.  Like any other vacation, no matter how much fun you’re having, at some point you start to miss the comforts of home.

Traveling with a family of four from Texas to New York is not easy, and the cost can add up quickly.  It makes the most sense to drive back to visit, but it’s hard to justify a 28-hour drive unless it is possible to spend at least a few weeks there.  Thankfully, this week has brought us a “slice of home” from New York.

On New Year’s Day, my niece arrived for a visit to spend a week with the family that she misses (even though she is away at school, and wouldn’t have seen us very much since the move anyway).  Needless to say, we were all glad to see her.  Although it would have been nice if she could have brought us an actual slice of home (NY pizza), something better arrived with her – a cold front that hasn’t been felt in this part of Texas in over a decade.  While others are complaining, I’m embracing the cold like an old friend that I haven’t seen in a long time.

A few days ago, my wife’s parents arrived for an extended visit.  I actually videotaped the moment of the kids running into their arms to hug them.  Even though they lived a few hours away from us when we were in New York, and we didn’t see them all of the time, just knowing that we could if we wanted to somehow made them feel close-by.  My son has been longing to see Grandma and Grandpa, but he understood why we couldn’t.  My daughter, however, is too young to grasp the fact that we’re too far away to just go visit for a day.  Thankfully, they’ll get to see them every day for the next few weeks.

On the same day that my in-laws arrived, so did the New York Islanders to play against the Dallas Stars.  My son and I have been going to Islanders games ever since he was three.  I feared that this tradition was going to be lost this year since we weren’t planning on visiting New York until after hockey season ended.  I was thrilled to see that they were coming to Dallas, and bought tickets as soon as they were available.

My son and I put on our Islanders gear, bundled up, and ventured out to the game.  The fact that we had record-breaking low temperatures that day (12 degrees), made it feel like home for me, even though we were going to see the Islanders as visitors for the first time.  We arrived very early to the game.  I had no idea how to time our trip with traffic, so I erred on the side of caution, and left 2 hours before game time.

Upon our arrival at the American Airlines Center, we instantly saw the difference between new and old, as the Nassau Coliseum is the oldest arena in the NHL, and this one was built recently.  It was similar to the feeling that we had when we went to Citi Field for the first time after years of going to Shea Stadium together.

We decided to take a quick look inside before going to our seats.  Luckily for us, it was so early that no one was checking tickets.  The first people that we saw looking out onto the ice were Islanders fans.  We spoke to them, and found out that they were from Long Island too.  It wasn’t long before other Islanders fans from Long Island started congregating in the area.  We all discussed what it was like to live away from New York, and all agreed that there’s no other place like it.  After waiting impatiently (as New Yorkers are wont to do), the Islanders finally emerged for warm-ups.  It wasn’t like being at Nassau Coliseum, but my son and I loved seeing all of the players from such a close vantage point.  Before long, the crowd started filing in.  We said goodbye to our fellow New Yorkers, and headed for our seats.

I held my son’s hand as we made our way through the crowd, all the while singing over and over in my head, the Bon Jovi song, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,”…“with every step I take, I know that I’m not alone – you take the home from the boy, but not the boy from his home…it doesn’t matter where you are, it doesn’t matter where you go – if it’s a million miles away or just a mile up the road – take it in, take it with you when you go…who says you can’t go home!”

By the time February rolls around, most of the cold weather will probably be gone, and my in-laws will return to New York.  We won’t be experiencing New York first-hand until summer, but for now, I’m glad that we’re at least getting to experience “a slice of home.”

  1. This is a great memory for you guys, Adam. Unlike you, I don’t long for “home” but I DO miss the familiarity of a lot of things. Restaurants, knowing all the short-cuts around town, and lastly bumping into friends while out and about. My husband used to joke with me that we couldn’t go ANYWHERE without running into my “fans”. He was very transient throughout his childhood due to his Dad’s job. I had roots. I lived in one home for the first 18 years, went away to school, and returned back to my hometown. Even when I was 300 miles away in Gainesville (may I throw in my “Go Gators” here?), I would always bump into friends from home because so many of us went to UF. I have no chance to run into childhood friends anymore and I didn’t realize how much I missed that. Would I return to South Florida for weather and pizza? NOPE! But I’d sure like to feel like HOME some time.

    • Your relocation is one of the more interesting ones that I’ve read about, Beth. Most people move south towards “better” weather. It’s rare to see people moving towards the cold. I’m surprised that you’re not more homesick, given that you had such strong roots to your area, although I’m glad to see that you’re happy where you are. I also never heard of anyone longing for pizza outside of NY…very interesting. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Majestic!!!!

  3. Hey Buddy! I’m going to Inman next week…you have a credit if memory serves….come on up! 🙂

  4. We blew through right after Christmas but between family and obligations ran out of time faster than we expected! 😦 We’ll be back soon though and if you decide to move again…heck I’ll probably come to the next town you live in. 🙂 Hugs! Sorry I missed you and hate that I’ll be missing you again in NY. Can I mail you a pizza? I understand your pain…there is no pizza like NY pizza.

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