I had just spent 15 minutes unloading a bag of toiletries (shampoos, soaps, curling irons, creams, toothpastes...) that weighed more than Molly. Returning home from our long vacation late in the night, we fell in to our beds post haste leaving the mountain of unpacking for later. Unpacking brings with it such a mixed bag of feelings, every article removed from the suitcase and placed in its designated spot is attached to a specific memory of the time away yet returning the item to its rightful place sparks appreciation in my heart for my designated spot in this big world--HOME, my HOME in particular.
(Have I ever mentioned that I get homesick sometimes while on vacation? with my family? and my books? and my very own coffee maker? I'm not sayin' it happened on this vacation, but it has happened a
That I may have been beginning to feel drawn back home after 13 days away, doesn't mean I looked forward the end of our vacation time. Quite the opposite...the day we loaded up to head north was full of sad, miserable, excruciating, gut-wrenching good byes. Most of my children (save the one who, like her mamma, is emotionally lassoed to her home) mourned the companionship of their cousins and grandparents for the greater part of our 10+ hour journey home. Tears flowed profusely. It wasn't pretty. I too, am missing the easy companionship of my family, the extended one which didn't feel so extended while we lived vacation life for a week together.
How then does one go about "returning" with a balanced perspective?
My Man would suggest a list or maybe two...
Reasons that make it difficult to face the end of vacation:
~the smell of coffee in the morning made by an early rising brother-in-law
~my Mom, willing to go the distance for a laugh
(believe it or not, those sunglasses are not part of the joke!)
~rocking chairs on the deck
~built in playmates
~the ever-present scent of my Dad's pipe smoke
~a sister to scratch Molly's back...ad infinitum
~a sister to braid Kate's hair...over and over
Reasons I'm Glad to be HOME:
~sharp knives (apparently these are not allowed in rental properties located anywhere near the beach!)
~my very own bed (nuff said!)
~smell of home (every place has its very own scent you know!)
~a friend greeting us with soup for the next day as we wearily pulled into our driveway
~the art gallery on our fridge, I missed its messy haphazardness
~we left on a hot summer day and returned to crisp fall air (ahhhhhh)
~grinning as the child who missed home exclaimed as we exited the interstate near her home "kank you, kank you, kank you for bringing us home!"
Oh, we're going to be hitting our paces just fine shortly. One of the most distraught of our children entered the kitchen the morning after our return saying, "Hey! This cool fall weather makes me not as sad about vacation being over...but I'm pretty sure I'm gonna need to smell some pumpkin baking in here pretty soon."
Her grandmother wisely reminded me as she was challenging herself not to dwell on the OVER but to focus instead on the happiness that WAS, "I'm determined to choose joy..."
Sounds like a perfect way to bid farewell to summer and vacation and welcome all that is autumn...
...by choosing JOY...
(and perhaps grabbing a slice or two of pumpkin bread wouldn't hurt either!)