“Oh you can go to the East
     Go to the West
     Someday you’ll come
     Weary at heart
     Back where you started from

     You’ll find your happiness lies
     Right under your eyes,
     Back in your own backyard.”

                                                   Medeleine Peyroux

We were on our way in from LaGuardia. Catching up.

“Have you heard from Stacy?”

I had, and noted that the Bohrers were extending their honeymoon until Tuesday.

“Dad, “asked Michael, “Do you have any urge to go to Hawaii?”
“We loved it there,” Meredith added.
“Not a chance.”

And then we had a variation of a theme conversation that’s been shared with each of my kids. This cowboy is just not a traveler. No need; no desire. No way. No how.

Why would I? But for the kids, everything I truly need is within the confines of the Buckeye State.

Perhaps I’ve overstated the case. I love Vegas; I like Florida. But both can be enjoyed only in small doses. Three days on the strip. A weekend in the sun. But that’s it. Why waste time away when real life awaits?

I wish I had a dollar for every JDate would-be match I’ve clicked right past because her profile said “Love to travel.” Travel to Cleveland, please.

Remember the David Spade movie, “DIckie Roberts-Former Child Star”? Where did HE ultimately find his greatest peace….in his own backyard!

A program guy calls it “marveling in the ordinary.” What a wonderful place to be.

Maybe you need to have a little mileage on you to get it, but so be it. I would rather soak up the standard fare of day-to-day with my family and friends than enjoy the tropic sun with them.

Seinfeld had a great run with a “show about nothing.” But it wasn’t. That’s how I feel about my life these days. It’s consistent; it’s predictable. It is, however, HARDLY NOTHING. I am present in a life that, (but for, perhaps…and only perhaps….a companion), is full.

Yesterday was a perfect example. Saturday in Great Neck included breakfast at Astoria’s Neptune Diner, stopping for a manicure, CVS, bantering with an optician, the grocery store, slouching/watching TV (Michael taped “Curb” for me), dinner at an Italian restaurant, and then more TV…together. Just being. And I savored the moments.

It’s the same on the home turf.

Marveling in the ordinary…where the simple things are not as “ordinary” as they are exceptional.

There is nothing routine about my routine. And I love it.

I wake and say my prayers. Oatmeal at the same place at the same time every day. Call the kids. Go to meetings. Work. Wednesday breakfast with OSU boys. Friday home group. More work. A play here, some organizational work there. Shabbos dinner with Hal, Margie, et. al. Aunt Helen On Demand.

So excuse me if I never send you a postcard from Maui. And don’t laugh when I pass on hot Broadway tickets or dinner at Nobu. Or Cub seats.

There truly is no place like home, and although sometimes that means New York or Chicago, “home” remains where my heart is.


  1. Aunt Helen says:

    What do you mean by “Shabbos dinner with Hal, Margie”? Is this something new?

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