I got to spend a few days in Orange County, California with some of my old friends from as far back as high school and elementary. It was nice to get back to old my stomping grounds and surf some of the waves that I learned on many years ago.
It was quick business trip without the family which meant that I was able to catch a few waves between meetings. Even though It was cold and small it felt nice to get in the water with some of my old buddies.
I grew up in Orange County until the age of 12 which was JR. High, or Middle School as they called it in the south. My Mom and Dad lived in small apartment in Huntington Beach when my twin sister and I were born. They eventually bought house in Santa Ana, and that is where I grew up until they moved to Texas when I was in seventh grade.
Moving from California to Texas was hard for me as a kid, especially as a pre-teen. Most of my friends were surfers or skateboarders and we spent our days dreaming of riding waves. We would go to the beach whenever we could and practice carving concrete waves on the sidewalks when we couldn’t do it in the water. Moving 6 hours from a coast with no waves was the last thing I wanted to do as kid. At the age of 12 I didn’t have much say on where we did or didn’t live as a family, I had to go along for the ride.
I made due with my surroundings. I kept skateboarding and started to play school sports like the other kids did in my classes. All school year I would draw pictures of waves and sunsets on my books and dream about the summers when I would get back to beach with my friends. As I got older and started working I would put away money so that I could spend my summers in California. Finally by the age of seventeen I was old enough to move back and finish High school on my own.
The summer before my last year of high school I moved back out to California to finish my senior year. I stayed in an extra room at one of my parents friends house who also was the superintendent of the private school I attended before we moved to Texas. I am sure it helped that I was pretty good athlete and they had a growing football program, even though my desire to play team sports faded quickly when I was able to get back on a surfboard.
Driving around Huntington Beach brought back memories of being a careless teanager with nothing but time on his side. I don’t really have a place to call my hometown, but if I did I suppose this would be it.