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Homecoming in Cleveland

by Pat Cater

Fall is the time of year most schools set for homecoming...a time for alumni to return to their alma mater to enjoy a football game, spending time with good friends, and reminiscing about days gone by.

Two weeks ago, I made my own homecoming. Not to enjoy a football game, but rather to return to Cleveland to touch base with my roots, and yes, to spend time with good friends and to reminisce about life in Cleveland.

After 16 months, I figured it was time to touch base with my roots. So, I arranged for a long weekend from work, and started searching for cheap airfare. (Kudos to Southwest Airlines for the cheap tickets and excellent customer service!)

I boarded an early flight (much too early if you ask me!), anxious to see friends and family, and to spend time in the old neighborhood. I landed in Cleveland mid afternoon, then was off to pick up a rental car.

I had arranged for a "compact" car (after all, I was only going to have it for the weekend) and got a pleasant surprise when I was upgraded 2 classes at no extra charge (Isn't it nice to get something for nothing?)

My sister was gracious enough to allow me to stay with her and her family for the weekend, and was greeted with a warm welcome by her, her husband, and kids. It was good to be "home", albeit it for the weekend.

After getting settled, and spending time with them, I was off to the Irish American Club to spend time with friends there. It was nice to share some laughs with old friends, and to see the remodeled Pub. However, it was strange to hear those two words that are not in the Las Vegas vocabulary.. "LAST CALL".

I was surprised at how little things at changed. I don't know what I expected, but was pleasantly surprised to find things pretty much the same as when I left. I think the best part was spending time with friends and family… two very important things.

It was as if I had never left; the laughs and practical jokes picked right up where they left off. I don't think I laughed that hard in ages.

No matter where one ends up, I think it is important to remember where you came from. It is equally as important to keep loved ones close to your heart and an active part in your life.

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