Last month, while I was in England, attending the wedding and sealing of my eldest son Joseph, I had the opportunity to take a walk to the Coventry City centre, to book my coach (bus) trip to Heathrow airport to return to California. It is amazing how much things have changedin Coventry, yet still manage to remain the same, after an absence of only three years.
Cathedral Lanes no longer has that awful tent in front of it. One thing that has remained there for the past twenty years, is the small carrousel inside the mini mall. Both Joseph and Catherine enjoyed that ride.
The indoor market is still the same, bringing back memories of me getting some fresh yams for our UK version of Thanksgiving. Sadly, Coventry City football is heading out of business, their shop in town is closed, only the signage remains.
I shall miss the indoor market, Charlie's Plaice, a great fish and chips shop. They have the BEST chicken sandwhich I've had in any of the two countries that I've lived in. Great chicken, soft pita bread, and as much salad as you want, with just the right amount of Mayo. The chips (fries to the Yanks.) are still are great as ever. The price however has skyrocketed. What used to be cheap and good, is now the same price as a "regular" meal elsewhere. A sad sign of the times; however there was still the usua line in the shop, and the same people who fed me all those years ago, are still there. It's strangely comforting for some reason.
I'll miss ASDA if only because l can get a decent size packet of pasta there, I was able to get half bound bags and larger of the pasta. It was great. I also, for some perverse reason, miss the three pack cans of Tuna. It's more likely a throwback to my days as a divorced man, when l lived on Walsgrave Road. I was able to save some money at ASDA.
I shall miss my friends. It was a shame that the snow caused the closure of church. It would have been nice to see the Reynolds', Tony Gregson, et al. Seeing Brian and Betty Peedle at the wedding on Saturday brought back some tender memories too.
I shall miss, dearly, my best friend, and son, Joseph. Seeing him in the Coventry chapel with his dear Hannah, filled this father with a deep sense of pride and gratitude. Seeing the two of them, both dressed in white, in the Temple of The Lord, having that marriage sealed for time and all eternity, magnified those feelings of mine beyond my ability to properly express myself.
I both worry for the two of them, and am, at the same time, also filled with the sense that they both will be all right. It's kinda like watching your child ride a bike without any stabilizers (Training Wheels) for the first time. You can see the bike wobble a bit, and you just know that for the first few moments that the experience will be a "white knuckles ride" for the both of them, but that pretty soon things will stabilize and settle down for them both.
I love them both, and am eternally grateful to have them, along with my other children in my life.