I must admit, growing up in good ole NEPA (Northeastern Pennsylvania) was both a blessing and a curse.
On one hand, some of the best people you'll ever meet live there, but on the other hand, there's never really anything to do. Even though there always seemed to be a shortage of things to do, there was never a shortage of good friends and even better food.
Some of our traditions, like a bunch of drunk people running up and downhills with giant statues of saints, may seem a bit odd to an outsider, but it's things like those that really make NEPA what it is- home.
1. Most of your nights were spent in a Sheetz parking lot with good slushies and even better friends.And if you were really in the mood, you got an Appetizer Platter or french fries to go along with your slushy.
2. And when you weren't at Sheetz, Friday night high school football games were the place to be.
Whether you were a student, an alumni, a family member, or just someone who loves the game, you always looked forward to Friday nights under the lights.
3. You still have Nina's number saved as a contact in your phone for when you're craving some wing bites and volcano fries.
You also couldn't wait for fall because of their seasonal pumpkin spice wing sauce. Do I want ranch/bleu cheese and carrots with my wing bites? Heck yeah, I do.
4. You and your family/friends have an annual tradition to go see the Christmas lights at Nay Aug Park.
That tradition normally involved stoping at Dunkin' Donuts or Krispy Kreme and getting a hot chocolate and some glazed donuts for the ride through the park. Nothing like a hot chocolate, glazed donuts, Christmas music, and decorations to really get you in the Christmas spirit.
5. You refer to the University of Scranton as "The U."
Sometimes you might even call it "da U."
6. Making plans with your friends was always a hassle because there was never anything to do, so you ended up driving around wasting your gas, or in a Walmart parking lot.
And when you didn't wind up in a Walmart parking lot, you probably ended up in a grocery store parking lot or back at Sheetz with all of the other teenagers in the area.
7. You have a count down every year to St. Ubaldo Day.
Drunk people racing up and down the hills of Jessup carrying statues of Saints? Count me in. You also know that the Jessup Carnival and Ubaldo are two totally different things.
8. The basic fall outfit for almost every girl was a plaid shirt, yoga pants or jeans, and Timberland boots or Uggs.
And these girls were probably also carrying a pumpkin spice flavored beverage.
9. You know what time of the day to go Moe's on Monday to avoid the lunch and dinner rushes when the line wraps around the entire restaurant.
Even when the line is that long, you're still willing to wait for your burrito because you're a loyal Moe's customer.
10. Whenever you tell people you live near Scranton, they ask about The Office.
Yes, I've seen The Office. No, it wasn't actually filmed in Scranton. No, I don't know Michael Scott. And no, Dunder Mifflin doesn't actually exist.
11. You know it's pronounced EN-EE-PEE-AY.
It's not nee-puh or neh-puh. You say the name of each letter. N-E-P-A.
12. Regardless of how far you may roam, you know that NEPA will always be your home.
No matter how long it has been since you've last been there, you get that warm fuzzy feeling every time you return.