Let’s get this out of the way up front… there are days when I long to be back home. I miss you.
Don’t get me wrong, life here in Austin, Texas is pretty great, what with the lack of winter (although we did have a snow day this year… boy, did that take me back!), the endless ways to entertain oneself, the live music scene, the healthy lifestyle etc. Plenty of great reasons to carve out a life down here. But I miss you.
You see, I (secretly) keep up with what’s going on back home. I peek in on Buffalo Rising at least a couple times a day for real time updates about you (I mean, I found out about my brother and his daughter opening up a gym on Hertel Ave. through Buffalo Rising before the news had spread through our family!!) I look at WBEN and GR55 online on a daily basis. I look at a webcam that offers a live feed of the Elmwood/Forest area a couple times a day. My favorite site is a webcam trained over the mouth of the Niagara River. On clear days, I can see all the way to Point Abino! I track all of this stuff because it makes me feel like you’re not so far away.
Those webcams tell me that your weather is finally getting better. I know it’s been a tough year up there but I’ve seen lots of sunshine lately, and more than a few people strolling Elmwood in shorts. I’ve seen boats heading down the river (I actually watched the ice-boom being removed couple weeks ago…reality TV at its best!). I saw an article this morning about Colter Bay setting up an outdoor space and couldn’t help but daydream about a “microbrewed cold one” al fresco! Are the pins in yet on the golf courses? The tennis nets up in Delaware Park?
As a die-hard Buffalo sports fan (trust me, it gets into the bloodstream and stays there!), the past few years have been an ongoing lesson in futility, even as I’ve removed myself by some 1,500 miles. I still feel my son’s pain as he agonizes with me, long distance, about the trials and tribulations of our beloved teams. But the corner has been turned, I can feel it all the way down here! Welcome to Buffalo Mr. Allen and Mr. Dahlin.. .you have no idea how long we’ve been waiting for you!!
You want to know the other thing I miss? I miss your people. Yes, I’ve carved out “community” down here, but it’s just not the same. I’ve lost touch with most of the people I call friends (it’s just hard to keep up with everyone when I’m so far away). I miss walks on Elmwood Ave. where I couldn’t help but run into a familiar face or two. I miss walking into Wegmans and seeing a friend while scoping out the “Best- EVER” chocolate cake!
Waterfront, Hertel Ave, Elmwood Village… I feel your positive vibe all the way down here! Yeah, Austin is a pretty cool place to live, but I miss you. Please write me every now and again, let me know how you’re doing. Go ahead, brag a little bit about yourself. You’ve been through some hard times, but it sure sounds like you’ve pulled yourself up by the bootstraps and are moving forward. Too cool!
I’m sure the day will arrive sometime during the early winter when I’ll say something like, “Man, am I glad I’m down here,” but I want you to know that today, in this moment, I miss you.
As always, Bart Chambers