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Thressa Johnson column: Location of home as uncertain as DL Holiday Inn name

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wave Detroit Lakes, 56501

Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Last weekend, I made my way home for the first time since leaving for college. I know what you must be thinking...

"Way to stick it out, Thressa, you lasted two weeks (not even, actually) before fleeing in fear of eventual assimilation into the Real World!"

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First of all, I'd like to say thanks, because I was quite proud of myself, as well.

Next, I've got to ask about a billboard I encountered on the way into town that struck me as somewhat curious. It advertised "The Future Holiday Inn."

If it's going to be a Holiday Inn in the future, then what is it now? And isn't it really "The Past Holiday Inn," as well?

I propose we change all the signs to read: "The Unnamed Hotel formerly known as The Clubhouse and even more formerly known as the Holiday Inn and soon to be known as the Holiday Inn...again." We can shorten it to "TUHFKATCAEMFKATHIASTBKATHI...A" so that it fits on the billboard.

Pretty catchy, huh?

One of my dad's friends found the sign quite entertaining, too, and came up with his own advice to the city.

If they make a few minor movements of the words, it could be the "Holiday Inn of the Future," a hotel for time travelers wishing to view the beaches of Detroit Lakes minus the robots and hovercrafts and chips-implanted-in-brains of years to come, but without having to sacrifice electrical outlets and flushable toilets and FaceBook.

Of course, this might require the Chamber to make some adjustments to its motto, as well; Dad's friend suggested, "It's all here, all years!"

(If you giggled at his idea more than mine, it's okay. College has made me realize that I'm young, ignorant, and in need of guidance. For example, this is a direct quote from my Total Fitness & Wellness textbook: "If you don't currently smoke, the best advice is not to start. If you do smoke, you need to stop." I see this extraordinary lesson in healthy practices as proof that a Concordia education is worth every penny.)

Driving into town, seeing that billboard and being at home, made me feel like a pseudo time traveler. As excited as I became while Jake and I neared the city limits (boy, was he pumped when I woke him from his slumbers to point out that KFC, his former place of employment, was still there!), and as "normal" as everything seemed, it also felt very far away, and very long ago.

My room was just as I left it, but my brother had grown another 17 inches since I'd last seen him.

Zorbaz nachos were still the epitome of amazing, but the stories I told between shoving handfuls into my face had changed entirely, now focusing on meal plans and roommates and having to do my own dishes.

The strangest part, though, occurred when I was saying my goodbyes to Mom and Dad and I inadvertently referred to my dorm as "home."

The reaction: "Whoa...what'd she just say?"

There's an anonymous quote that states, "Home is the place where it feels right to walk around without shoes."

When Jake and I got to my house and went inside, we took our shoes off on the porch; I'll spend hours in my dorm before realizing I'm still wearing Converse.

Now, when I have a bad day and the only coherent thought in my mind is, "I want to go home," I'm not certain where that is, which makes navigating there extremely difficult.

When the Holiday Inn figures out which decade it's residing in, let me know. For now, I'm going to take my shoes off and see where I end up.

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