We’ve been home from the West Coast tour for a week and a half now, and I’m just catching my breath. D ended up driving home, and the girls and I flew stand-by thanks to the help of my dear friend Bonnie and her husband. We had such an amazing trip, but we were ready, after three and a half weeks, to be home.
On the trip as we made our way up the Pacific Coast highway, we stopped often to stretch our legs and let the girls run around on the beach, and it was interesting because every time we stopped, they constructed a different kind of “home” on the beach. Once it was in a shallow sandy gully. They created shelves and sleeping areas and a door to keep out the sharks. Another time it was a house of driftwood, stacked high to protect them from monsters. (I don’t know where all the menacing creatures come from, but they often feature in the girls’ play.)
D and I were struck by the fact that the longer we were on the road, the more houses the girls constructed. They missed home, so tried to create a version of home wherever we stopped.
D and I missed home, too. We loved Berkeley with all of its secret staircases leading to boulder-strewn parks. We loved Point Reyes and it’s wind-blown fields, its high cliffs, the gray whales surfacing for air just below us. We loved the Redwoods in all their magnificence, and the dry heat of Portland and Seattle. We were grateful for the luxury of time with friends and family that we don’t see often enough. But we missed out sweet dog, the comfort of our own beds, our families here. We missed the green of the trees along the Mississippi, our backyard, which is positively gigantic in comparison to West Coast yards. I missed running in the morning with my friends.
That is one of the things that I love about traveling—how I appreciate home in a new way after I’ve been gone.
Now, the girls are back in school. I am gearing up for my September online Motherhood & Words class. (I actually have a couple of open spots if anyone is interested…) I also hit the ground running at work only to find out yesterday that I will be either laid off or reduced to half-time.
I woke early this morning fretting about childcare and bills, but now that I’m once again sitting here in my tiny office, my laptop open in front of me, I am breathing more easily. I am home writing again, and it feels right. We’ll figure out the finances as we always do, so for now I’m going to try to stay focused on the positives: more writing time, more time with my girls, mid-morning runs with the dog, more time at home. Does that sound perfect?