I just returned from visiting my parents. They live in Yuma, Colorado. They moved back to Yuma three years ago after a 26 year stint in Salt Lake City, Utah. Yuma is the town I spent most of my school years. I was there fifth grade to high school graduation.
When I graduated high school, I could not wait to get away from that town. I disliked the town and most of the people I went to school with. I could not tell you why, but I did.
I did not visit Yuma until my parents moved back. I would travel about anywhere to see my parents. So, going to Yuma was a small price to pay to see them.
With an accidental step into Facebook, I started to hear from former classmates. At first I just accepted the friend request and continued to ignore Facebook. Until Xbox Live added Facebook functionality. I, on a whim, posted on Facebook from my Xbox mentioning my skill to do it. Immediately a classmate I haven't seen for years asked for my Xbox screen name so we could game together. I complied. We still play first person shooters together and I look forward to the times we get to do that.
Last year just before my Thanksgiving trip to see my parents I mentioned that I would be going to Yuma to my Xbox friend. He said he would also be back to Yuma at that time and we should hang out in person, without a controller in hand. I agreed and we exchanged cell numbers. Another classmate that I have kept in contact with over the years without the help of the internet was also going to be home for the holiday. So, he agreed to meet us and we would have a mini class reunion.
The Friday after Thanksgiving we decided to meet at the local watering hole and catch up. My Xbox classmate invited a couple of other classmates to join us and our numbers grew to five. The two new invites were women that I hardly knew in high school. The fact they remembered me and I them was surprising. We chatted and had a good time that night and I started to feel more of a kinship to my classmates. Probably more than I did during our school days.
Flash forward to last week and I find myself back in Yuma. As usual we spent a lot of time driving to bigger towns for some entertainment. We always do this as Yuma does not have much to offer. On one of the days we were in town we attended a flea market organized by the local credit union. While browsing the tables I ran into a classmate's mother. We had a good conversation. Again, I had another positive moment in Yuma.
While we were talking my mom found one of my classmates that worked at the bank and brought her over. We hadn't seen each other in years. I thought it would be a little awkward since she was my prom date in high school, but it was not. It was actually nice to see her and catch up a little. I think my mom enjoyed this part. She still has our prom photo hanging on the wall in her house. I guess she thought we would end up together. Well, that is not going to happen, but I did start to realize that Yuma and Yuma-ites are not the assholes I remember. Maybe it was me and they were fine. That is probably the more likely scenario, but it feels better to blame them.
Anyway what I am trying to say is that after a year or so of reacquainting myself with the town and the people I spent so much of my past with, I find I do not dislike it anymore. In fact, I look forward to my next visit this Thanksgiving. I guess I can go back home.