But it's more than that. It's what we do while we're there that seems so familar. Sitting on folding chairs watching the kids play in the driveway, taking a walk to the playground, kids playing with their dad's old toys (check out that truck!), and eating homemade treats that Nana (or in the case of donuts and ice cream, Grandpop) shares - all of these things remind me of Iowa. Not to mention the corn cob pipe, although, in my memory, it was my grandfather smoking, not a granchild!
Granted, Mountainside is within 30 minutes of NYC, not exactly bucolic, but that's exactly what makes it so special. You wouldn't know the city was anywhere near this place, and from where I stand, that's quite a good thing.