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February 13, 2004

Chandler Next 4 Exits

There is exactly one road sign in the entire United States that holds any great significance or meaning in my life. It sits in the same place on the Loop 101 South, day in and day out. Simple white-on-green text: "Chandler Next 4 Exits."

No matter where I go to, I know it will be there waiting for me on my return trip. In plain sight if I come back during the day, sitting in obscurity until my headlights wash over it if I return after dusk. No matter where I've been, there it is: Welcome Home.

Even the best trips grow excessively long after a while. You can expend a lifetime's worth of film on a trip, get that one image that might set you apart from the rest forever... but all you really want is your own bed, in your familiar setting, where all your stuff is exactly how you left it. Maybe a little dustier given the Valley air, but otherwise the same.

Just coming back from a day in Tempe or an appointment in Phoenix, that same sign is a welcome sight. Traffic sucked, the meter ate your change, you failed an exam... but now everything's going to be alright. Your animals are still waiting to greet you, photographs of memories past are still blue-tacked to the wall, the white LED of your Mac pulses while waiting to be awakened.

Everything in its right place.

It's home. Four chances to get there. You can't miss it.

Posted by Colin at February 13, 2004 9:55 PM

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This is such a wonderful post. Anytime I drive East on the I-10 through Arizona and New Mexico, I get the same feelings when I see the overpass marking my entrance into Texas and El Paso, which will always be home to me. Thanks for sharing. :)

Posted by: D at February 18, 2004 11:59 PM

What a perfect topic for me to stumble on.

I've lived in Ohio and Kentucky my entire life. I am being aggressively pursued by a job in Phoenix AZ.

I would love to discuss this with anyone who actually lives there, because I am getting the impression that when I arrive to "see what there is to see", there will be some pressure to find a home for me and my cat and set a relocation date IMMEDIATELY.

E mail me and help me prepare myself?

Posted by: mary ann at February 25, 2004 11:23 AM

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