It’s been a whirlwind month (actually less than a month). Since arriving home on June 4th I’ve been away from home 6/22 nights and we leave in 3 days – spending our last night in CA at an SFO hotel prior to our 6:00 am flight to the UK on Friday.
I love our home. I love our community. I love my kids, my friends and yes, Dug, the dog. I am always conflicted about leaving. Last week my weird, anxiety dreams began and I know it’s because we’re getting ready to leave. And yet…it’s a big world and while home, I’m always dreaming of the next destination. Glen and I have always laughed that we spend our vacations planning our next vacation. Gotta work on that “living in the moment” thing! I think we are getting better at it.
I spent two days in Chico this week. The early morning drive up to my alma mater is always beautiful. I remember when I lived in Chico for school and later work, I always took a deep breath – a sigh – as I turned off the freeway. It just felt like I was home. As years passed and life got busy, I sort of forgot that sense of comfort that I got from arriving in Chico. This time…as I drove through the farm fields and watched the sun rising in the east, I reflexively took that long, deep sigh…ahhhhh… As I pulled into town on this early summer morning and I breathed in the fresh, clear air and felt the warm summer sun, I was reminded of why I absolutely love Chico in the summer.
There’s a calmness. There’s a sense of hope about the upcoming (academic) year. The sky is blue, the clouds are puffy white, the leaves are green and there’s just this sense of….ahhhhh. I remember my first summer in Chico. Every morning I woke up and looked out the window to that blue, blue sky and those green, green leaves. I remember thinking as I ate my salted cantaloupe for breakfast (why I remember that so specifically, I don’t know!) that I’d never known so many summer days of crisp, clear, blue sky. After all, LA ‘s summer months began with “June gloom” followed by July and August smoggy haze. The lazy days of a hot summer in Chico are a sweet, sweet memory.
I’m wandering with my words as I write this post trying to think…what exactly is the point of this post? I think that maybe I’m trying to express coming to understand that “home” is a word, but mostly it’s a feeling. As life bends and turns, we find many “homes” and they are not all literal places.
Yesterday, the four of us (Glen, Niels, Blair and I) traveled to Aptos to attend the baby shower of the daughter of our dear, dear friends – The Johnstons. “Grammsy”-to-be, Kimmy married a college friend of mine, Barry. In the 80s, Glen and I moved to Orange County and soon after, so did the Johnstons. Our lives ran parallel for a bit as we happily attended Lamaze classes together in preparation for our first-born children, Niels and Christina and then they moved to Oregon. While we never “broke up”, there were long periods where we rarely saw each other or even talked on the phone. (Remember when calls were “long distance” and expensive?) This relationship was one of those rare instances where as a couple, each of us instantly bonded and we became a very close foursome and two twosomes and we continued our deep friendship over the years, from near and far (mostly far).
And here’s what I’ve been trying to get to with my thinking today…Kimmy and I are what we call “potato sisters” – I’ll just let you wonder about that – and we have that connection that can’t/won’t be broken no matter the distance, time, or…break up. (That’s a different story.) So…short story long…Kim is another “home” for me. She gets me. She knows my history. She loves me in spite of my weaknesses. She laughs with me. She cries with me. And I love her because when I see her I just instinctively, reflexively take that big, long sigh….Ahhhh…I’m home. Love you, Kimmy.
Wishing that each of you have a “Kimmy” in your life…one of many “homes”.