When I was little, we would go to Michigan's Adventure almost every summer. Early in the morning, me an my siblings would climb into the back of our minivan. Papa would drive north four hours while the rest of us drifted in and out of consciousness, flopped over in the back, stretched out on top of each other in the bench seats.
The park didn't open until 11am, so we would get there an hour early or so and eat lunch out of the mini van hatch back.
We ate cold sandwiches and string cheese and capri sun, plus a sprinkling of extra special shrink wrapped treats - cookies or gummies or maybe even one of those bizarre cheese-and-sticks doo-hickeys.
Those always-too-short days were spent running round, standing in line, riding the medium big coasters and getting sun burnt.
On those days my chest would puff up and my insides would expand up into my throat - struggling to find more space, more room to hold all the joy.
I was all eyeballs, no eyelids - the whites of my eyes showing all around my irises, all day long.
These days I don't spend much time at Michigan's adventure, but I still get that puffy-chest-throat-swelling feeling.
I'm back in Owosso this weekend and today is the best kind of day. It is wall to wall seeing people I love, people I don't get to see everyday anymore.
I just got back from the Farmers Market with my dad and now I'm sitting on the couch with my Mama. Then later today I'm meeting with my closest mentor, having drinks with friends, and watching the Tigers game with friends and family.
These days there aren't a lot of roller coasters in my life.
These days, I get that puffy-chested feeling on a cool fall morning. A cool fall morning filled with hot coffee, warm sweaters and the close, squeezing hugs of old friends.