1. Rolling brown hills that I used to dream about as a kid; they look like a giant's feet, or big ol' valleys of cookie dough.
  2. Sunset walks where you can see all of the valley: there's suburbs by the rolling hills (home to a hundred solar panel rooftops that brightly beam about), there's our neighborhood of ranches (all spread apart and silent and dotted with horses), and the stretch of field and power lines that winds into Oak Glen (dressed in pink by the setting sun.)
  3. I can't go to Staters or Queen Bean or Starbucks or Augie's without seeing everyone I graduated with or worked up at Forest Home with.
  4. Uptown, in all of it's new-oldness. it's got roundabouts and a Verizon store now, but that doesn't fool me; I think so long as I pass the Rite Aid and White Rabbit Cafe and First Baptist on my way up it, it'll always feel like the uptown I knew as a kid.
  5. Highway 38. It's long and windy and swirls around Mentone; it's beautiful on rainy days; it's always followed by something wonderful, because the only reason i'd drive on Highway 38 is if I'm going to Redlands, going home, or going to follow it all the way up to camp.
  6. The Community Park; I feel proud of how awesome it is--so expansive and always buzzing with joggers and basketball players and moms with newborns--and I like all the memories it has buried away for me. I remember the last million times I've gone, and if I sat down and gave it a good stare-down, I could probably remember a hundred more trips, too.
  7. It's warmth. I'm convinced you're magic, Yucaipa. You're my Shire in every way, and it's alright if my adventures take me far and wide; I'll be back, always.