Friday, September 9, 2011

Ruby Slippers

On this day last year we were at the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  It was a big vacation for us.  I had planned it almost a full year before we left and spent many months counting down the days.  The beach house that we rented came with a broken air conditioner due to a hurricane that had made it's exit one day prior to our arrival, but the September weather wasn't hot enough to give us reason to complain.  We spent the week with the windows open, the cool, salty, ocean breeze blowing in.  It was rather nice.

It was a difficult vacation in many ways because it included a one-year-old.  Any vacation with a one-year-old is going to require a little work and a lot of patience.  They simply don't care that you want to relax while reading a book.  They have important things to do, like tackling the task of going up and down the stairs over and over.  Abby needed practice, and she wasn't going to let an opportunity such as being in a house with two staircases go unfulfilled.

On my birthday, I, of course, slept in, waking to a husband-made chocolate cake and children-made cards.  Nolan had gone shopping the previous week and bought me socks and a hat, which made me laugh.  We spent the day driving around the Outer Banks.  It was a nice family day, which is exactly the way that I like to spend my birthday.

That week seems further away than last year.  So much has changed so quickly since then, that I found myself not trusting my own memory.  It turned out, however, my memory wasn't failing me, and I finally had to accept that it was just last year that we were enjoying the sand and sun of North Carolina.

I feel like I've been on vacation since our move in March.  This new state still doesn't feel like home.  I opened a birthday package sent from my mom which contained her homemade oatmeal cookies packed neatly in a bread bag, and my eyes filled with tears.  They smelled like home.  I got a package from a close friend, whose house I can walk to from my home in Kentucky, and I almost started to cry again.  I wish that we could grab a coffee and sit down and talk while our kids play around us.

I know that my feet will become a little more firmly planted in California over time.  There are things about living here that I really like, and I know that I will find more reasons to like it here as each day moves on.  But on days like today, Kentucky is still my home and I find myself counting down the days to our Christmas visit, when it will be teeth-chattering cold and maybe dusted by a little bit of holiday snow.

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