I didn’t grow up here.
But I’ve fallen in love with Scranton.
The trips I took to Scranton as a child were often similar.
A Sunday with my great-grandparents. A stop on the way up at McDonalds for two fish fillet sandwiches, two small coffees, and a Happy Meal (for me).
Spending the afternoon at Aunt Alice and Uncle Ray’s house to reminisce about the “good ol’ days” in a sea of pink and pea green furnishings.
I played with their pet cockatiel, egging it on to say something. Instead, I’d usually get a nip.
I walked hand in hand with my great-grandfather along the railroad tracks, through the houses, and he told me about what it was like for him as a child. When he met Nanny. Where they used to go swimming. How he got his first job as a footman at a local movie theater.
How he used to buy Mary Jane penny candy from a corner store that’s now a double block for two families. Where he went to school. Where he was born.
Then, we would stop at the cemetery to take care of the family graves.
Never in a million years would I have imagined that I’d later come to live in Aunt Alice and Uncle Ray’s house with my fiance. That I would get a job here and become so invested in this area’s future.
The path I took? Feels almost like something destined.
The history of heartache in this place? The ongoing struggles amid sparks of progress and beauty? The new and the old? The reborn and the decaying? It’s all part of the story.
Those memories my great-grandparents shared with me – they mean something.
The people, the places, the promise of the future – they mean something, too.
As with most things, the universe works in pretty remarkable ways and for some reason, it always brought me back here.
There are so many things to love about Scranton.
I’m going to write more about them.