I want to sit in my car, turn the key, and take you to small place in a quiet town. I want to go beyond the tall city buildings and away from the hustling grind of the everyday businesses, away from the senseless chatter of meaningless complaints, and away from the everyday energies that drain us from our dreams. I want to drive over the George Washington Bridge and through the valleys and mountains that make our upstate drives as scenic as they are.
I want to drive along I-80 into the State of Pennsylvania, over the Pocono Creek between the rocked edges of the Pocono Mountains, get off of at exit 302 into the town of Stroudsburg, and onto Route 611 North.
I want to head passed the quiet homes and the old barns, passed the antique shops and outlet stores to the Scotrun Diner on the west side of the road.
People say hello in this town—even to strangers. They smile. They say please, thank you, and they do things like hold doors open and say, “After you,” without expecting anything in return.
That’s why I like it here . . . .
At the diner, the waitress can seat us near an old couple that comes in at the same time every day. They order the same thing each time.
The little old woman has white hair and she wears glasses. The old man is balding and wears a hat that represents his time with United States Navy.
The old man wears glasses as well. He dresses in khaki pants, a freshly-ironed buttoned down shirt, and dress shoes.
She wears an outfit that compliments his, and together, the elderly couple define the beautiful commitment of, “In good times, and bad, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health for all the days of my life.”
The menu at the Scotrun is simple and the decorations are modest. The place has survived the decades; it has survived the economy and the changes of its surrounding population. The diner has survived the growth of technology while maintaining its own simple approach, which is sit people down, feed them, and always serve with a smile.
I have eaten things here that I never thought I would eat—like eggs and scrapple. And I don’t know what scrapple is . . . but whatever it is was good.
They serve Irish bacon, huge pancakes, waffles, and thick omelets, stuffed with shredded potatoes, cheese, ham, and all the artery-clogging specials a man could ask for.
There is a casino nearby and ski resorts too. There are nice hotels in the area, but I prefer the resort with A-frame cottages that remain as they were when I was twelve. This place means everything to me.
This is where I took my daughter on a nature walk. This is where I took her sleigh riding in the colder months. And in the warmer months, I took her to the pond where she caught her first fish.
This is where I completed my first published story, and this is where I learned the wonders of a fireplace, and how amazing it is to see the shadowed silhouette of my woman’s body flickering against the wall as she lay there waiting for me.
Even in the coldest time of year, this is the warmest place I have ever been to.
No, there are no large hotel lobbies at this resort and there is no daily room service. The furniture is weathered. So are the kitchen and its appliances. The television is a relic and its outdated VCR is pointless since no one has VHS tapes anymore.
But I love this place for what it is.
I love its pretty imperfections, which scale me away from the ongoing technologies like cell phone watches, smart phones, and I-pad tablets.
I want to get in the car, turn the key, and go.
But I can’t right now
Note: I know I write abut this place often, but think about it . . .
Can you blame me?