Welcome back to another Trev edition of Atlantic Roots Pacific Hearts! As most of you know, I had my first trip back to Boston since leaving home in March. It was a trip full of fun, reminiscing, and realizing the differences of life on the mainland versus an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. So sit back, relax, and take a trip 10,000 miles in the making.
Michelle dropped me off at Honolulu International Airport around 3:30 pm, Hawaii time. We said goodbye, which was harder for her since she would be alone for 10 days while I was off jet-setting around the globe. I enjoyed one final fruity tropical drink at the airport and boarded my plane. As the plane took off, I watched the ocean below, whitecaps falling over onto themselves, before I closed the shade. There would be nothing but water to see until I reached the mainland. Living in Hawaii has made me appreciate the vastness of not only the ocean, but the entire planet. We are lucky to live in a time where we can travel pretty much anywhere fairly quickly.
I had 13 hours until I landed in Boston, so I read some comics and watched Mad Max: Fury Road again (a goddamn masterpiece). I landed in Dallas around 6:00 am Central time, which is 1:00 am Hawaii time, I slept pretty much the whole flight from Dallas to Boston and woke up to the pilot announcing we were flying over Rhode Island. It actually looked nice from the sky. Soon we were flying over Cape Cod and I could see the hook of P-town all the way to the elbow. I started to get excited about being back in a place I once called home.
My mother picked me up at the airport and drove me to our Cape house in Falmouth. It felt weird being back in Boston, driving around the same old roads again. I kept thinking how I knew where pretty much every road lead after 30 years. It was a stark contrast to Oahu, where I’m still committing new roads to memory. I couldn’t believe all the damn trees everywhere! I couldn’t look in any direction without seeing a thousand trees. I never realized we lived in the friggin’ forrest. In Oahu every direction is clear as far as the eye can see. On the southwest side of the island I can see all the way to Honolulu and Diamond Head. In Massachusetts you need to be about 75 stories high to see over the trees. It was also weird to drive for over an hour without seeing the ocean or lush tropical mountains. At the same time, it was very exciting to see squirrels and chipmunks again. I missed those guys! I see a hundred lizards every day in Oahu, but no chipmunks. I actually had the same type of lizards as pets when I was a kid (R.I.P. Pepsi, Sprite, Coke, etc.). They lived about 10 days before getting loose in my parent’s house. Clearly, they were meant to be roaming tropical islands and not hanging out in a cage in Holliston in the middle of winter. Who knew?!
It felt amazing to be back in Falmouth with my family, who I really missed. There were many hugs and lots of catching up. I got to see cousins who live in NYC as well as my aunt and uncle, who I used to see pretty frequently. I worked with my father before we moved and I saw my mom a lot; now I never get to see them. We text a lot, talk on the phone, and Skype, but it was nice to see them in person again. Everyone wanted to know how life in Hawaii differed from vacationing. Basically, I have to work between my trips to the beach and hiking the mountains.
We had a lot of fun taking the boat out, having our annual family dinner at The Flying Bridge, and just spending time together. My mother kept talking about how great it was to “have all three kids under the same roof again.” We gave her lots of shit for her overly-emotional comments, but she was right. It was great being together again. It always is. I went swimming with my niece and nephew at the neighborhood beach and, holy hell, the Atlantic is freezing! I did not last long in the water, but neither did my niece, so I could pawn it off on needing to take her back to the beach. It was much warmer swimming off the boat in Waquoit Bay, where my nephew, Brodie, and I jumped off the boat about 20 times. I think he would still be jumping off if he could be. We spent over an hour in the water, just jumping and floating. It was a wicked good time.
I hit a massive thunder and lightning storm on the way back to Holliston; a few cars had even skidded off the road. I hadn’t heard thunder or seen lightning since I left. It was crazy! When I got to Holliston, I stopped off at my friend and childhood neighbor, Mike McDaniel’s house. He was feeding his two daughters dinner and didn’t offer me an Eggo. Mike is a jerk. Afterward, I drove to local legend, Josh Robersaul’s, house. We embraced in an epic hug that could only happen between such long-standing friends. He was very happy to have a friend back in Holliston now that all of our friends have left him behind in Massachusetts.
It was strange driving around my old hometown. I passed Holliston High School and I couldn’t help but think how different life is now. I was so miserable and depressed in high school. I hated school and I’m pretty sure it hated me back. I was constantly told during my formative years that I would never be anything, that I would float through life, that I wouldn’t be smart enough to make it, and would end up pumping gas somewhere. It may sound mean, but I’m pretty sure I am doing more with my life than the people who told me that so long ago. I live in paradise doing a job I love and get compensated well to boot. So, I win. Very few people remain the same person as an adult that they were at 13. Why should doing well in school be the only measure of one’s worth? The experiences I’ve has since then made me appreciate life much more than anything school taught me. I still remember all the teachers who truly did help and care for me. I doubt I’d be where I am today without their support.
I’m going to end this post with lyrics from a CD I bought from Newbury Comics whilst I was back in Massachusetts. This particular song really struck a chord with me while I visited the place I grew up.
Can’t Kick Up The Roots by Neck Deep
Day by day we grew to love this place,
And where I make my grave is where my anchor lays.
The sound of my youth echoes out through these empty streets,
I guess I can’t kick up the roots;
It’s home, and that’s the truth.
I’ve been wasting away,
But in a town with no way out, there’s not much else to do anyway,
If you’re looking for a place to decay,
Then there will always be a place in my town called revelry.