Lone Pine

I’m not exactly sure why, but every now and then I find myself looking at location tags on Instagram. And sometimes I find some surprises. It is how I found my dentist and the local caterer where I got our last Thanksgiving’s turkey from, so it does work.

But over the weekend, I stumbled upon something that I wasn’t sure about, and still can’t get out my head.

I was looking at pictures that were tagged with the location of Lone Pine.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Lone Pine – it’s a tiny little town that’s practically in the middle of Nowhere, California. And it’s my home town.

When my family moved back state-side from the Philippines, we moved to the same town that my grandparents lived. Grandma worked at the Chamber of Commerce, and grandpa worked at a local propane gas company.

A few years later, my family was on their way to Texas, and while I’m still not sure how it happened, I was going to stay with my grandparents and finish high school. I know that I was tired of moving, and since it was the summer before my junior year, I only had two more years left, and who wants to start a new school again?

I spent those last two years of high school with them, and then headed off to college for a year, before finding myself back in Lone Pine before finally heading away for good when I moved to San Diego.

So image my surprise when I was scrolling through Instagram and I came across a photo of what appeared to be my grandparents’ house.

It took me quite a bit longer than I would have thought to be sure – I even had to ask my brother Josh if this was their house.

It was.

The last time I had seen it (let alone been to Lone Pine) was in June of 2005, when my sister graduated high school. The day before her actual graduation, my brother and I made the long drive up 395 to Lone Pine.

It’s a horrible picture, but here a picture that I took on that trip of the house.

I don’t remember how long my grandma stayed in Lone Pine after grandpa passed away in 1996. That also means I don’t remember when she finally decided to sell the house and ultimately move away.

Comparing the two pictures is really hard for me, especially since the picture that I took is how I remember their home. Grandpa took such pride in how lush and green his yard was, and those trees were pretty amazing. There was a patio next to the garage that was completely shaded by all of these climbing vines. Plus there was a pump that pumped the coldest freshest water I’ve ever had.

And now, it appears that barely any of that is left. And it truly does make me sad.

I may have only lived in that house for about three years, but it was my home. At the time, it represented the longest time that I had lived in the same house, which meant a lot to me. More than I realized in fact.

Back in 2013, K and I were discussing going on a crazy road trip – south from Tacoma to Lone Pine and then Riverside and San Diego, east to Sierra Vista and ultimately as far east as Florida, before heading north to upstate New York and then finally back home. That trip never happened because of a job situation, and while I don’t know I’m up for a road trip like that anymore, I still would like to take K to Lone Pine so she can see a little bit of my past.

I’d also like to climb Mount Whitney . . .

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