For the better part of 37 years, I didn’t leave North Carolina for more than a week or ten days at a time. It was what I knew. I traveled, sure, but I always came back. Then, of course, Mississippi came calling.
Last November, I came in town to celebrate my mom’s 70th birthday, but I hadn’t been back since. 8 months. Wow. It was time to come back.
I legitimately have no idea where to begin this week, except to say that everyone makes me feel so special when I come home. I planned the trip for 4-5 days and ended up staying 6. I didn’t even scratch the surface of seeing everyone I wanted to see. But those I did get to see, we balled out. Literally. A golf extravaganza. But it was so much more.
Watching Jeff get the party started Friday night at Monroe with his brilliant eagle on hole 4 and his 50 foot putt on 17. Seeing Tripp chip-in for eagle soon after on 18 to end the day and bury me and The Cavemeister. Admiring Caves’ cool Payne Stewart hat. Me and Matty C, walking hallowed Pinehurst # 2 in absurd heat. Eating about 42,000 tacos for dinner that night, because I needed it. Talking shop all day Sunday with Caddy Chad, and seeing all of the boys, plus some. Watching newbie Leebo almost make that birdie on 13 at Eagle Chase.
Eating my mom’s signature meal (my life is mainly eating) with my parents, then singing songs while my mom played the piano to perfection. Seeing the Queen Bee of Wingate beside the post office. Playing golf with my dad for the first time in quite some time. Devouring the chicken, bacon, and cheddar (add pickles) sub from Gino’s. Then some more Gino’s. And then a little more. Snagging BBQ with Jimmy (I seriously love eating). Getting absolutely punked with the epic fake rattlesnake trick. Chatting with Suz and Jonny. Getting to be Uncle Benj for a few hours. Solving the world’s problems with Junior. Talking and listening, listening and talking, for 20 hours of drive time.
I listen to comments about how unique it is that we all still take the time and energy to get together with some kind of regularity. I don’t necessarily disagree with those sentiments, though I usually smile and think, it just takes a little effort. As with pretty much everything I do and subsequently write about, nothing gets done unless you actually do it. So we do it. And we did it. And we will likely do it again.
It would be silly not to mention our good friend, newly promoted Josh Lowery, Commander, USN, for which this entire shindig was originally planned. Because 2020 is bonkers, at the last minute, he couldn’t make his own party. We missed you brother, and we are extremely proud of you.
‘Til next time…
Have a great week.-Benj
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