Where the heart is…

I was leaning against the counter of the Pretzle Maker today in the Eastridge mall in Casper Wyoming having a slack jaw stare off with the woman making me two jumbo pretzles. I was dealing with a three year old who was off of his schedule and had spent the last thirty minutes moaning/screaming as we meandered from Target to Ross. I don’t know what the pretzle lady’s problem was but it’s safe to say that neither of us were performing to the best of our abilities.

Before this point, it appeared as though the afternoon would be an unsalvageable mess until I was able to locate a coin operated pony to save the day.

This afforded me the opportunity to coax my son into the idea of ordering and then theorhetically eating some lunch. Now my only obstacle was the Pretzle lady who seemed less than enthusiastic about delivering said pretzles in a timely manner.

My other two boys were with their mother, up two stations in the food court ordering tacos. I kept them in my periphery as I passive aggesively eyeballed the pretzle lady. This is the moment that my youngest son, for reasons still unknown, decided to take a running right hook at my crotch.

He connected like a champ, sending my body into reactive convlusions, banging my knee into the counter and causing me to fall backwards into two women behind me. The women gasped, I made a noise like a drowning cow and my son; the little monster, he just laughed.

This was the low point of our trip away which was otherwise nothing less than awesome. Traveling with toddlers, one must accept the inevitable freak out. Fortunately though, he was able to sleep nearly the entire way home and recharge his batteries.

He woke up right as we were pulling into our home town of Lander Wyoming.

To this day, rolling into Lander still fills my heart with joy. It is nestled into a cozy valley beneath the shadows of the Windriver mountain range, looking picturesque enough to make Norman Rockwell feel inadequate.

This, for me is home. It is forever where my heart will be.

I am lucky that my hometown is so beautiful but of course that has nothing to do with my affinity for the place.

Lander is the town of my mom and my dad. It’s the place where my friends live and where I grew up from a child to a man. It’s where my three dogs know all the smells and were gracious enough to forgive my absence for an evening, provided I shared with them some meat treats. I did…

Lander is where my heart is because it is where all of my people are from. Most are still here and the others will always come back to visit.

It is the glue which binds every piece of life that is important to me. From my grandma Ida who is with us no more to the little boy who punched me in the family jewels today by the Pretzle Maker.

For me, Lander Wyoming will always be where my heart is.