A few weeks ago, I visited an old friend and we watched the Eagles-Giants game together. The Giants played well and came away with a surprising victory on the road in Lincoln Financial Field. I see this guy once a year; he’s the last person I know in the town I lived in from age ten until I went away to college.
After the game, I took the long way back through town to Route 80 East, so that I might drive past the house I grew up in. The house is on a remote street in an area of densely wooded hills above the lake that gives the town its name. The short street, called a “trail,” like all the roads around it, isn’t a thoroughfare to anywhere else. If you’re driving on it, you’re visiting someone or something on the street. I drove slowly up a steep incline, saw the old house at the top, and saw, too, that the people next door were having a garage sale. This gave me an excuse to pull into my family’s former driveway, look up at the house for a moment, then back out and ease the car up to the house next door. I killed the engine and got out.
The garage sale people were a couple in their late twenties or early thirties with two kids, one on a small bicycle and the other an infant propped up in one of those ExerSaucer play centers. The wife was sitting on the steps by the front door. It was early evening, not quite 6pm, but it was September so there was still plenty of light.
“You saw one of our signs,” the woman said. “You’re one of the very few.”