"My soul is elsewhere, I'm sure of that. And I intend to end up there." -- Rumi

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Home for the Holidays

After more than a month of emails, negotiations, one very important bank visit, and a couple confirmations, I am pleased as punch to announce that I will in fact be leaving on a jet plane to visit my amazing sister and brother-in-law over the Christmas holidays.

Okinawa, I hope you're ready. :)

I haven't seen my sister in over a year and a half.  By the time December 17 rolls around, it will be close to two years.  That is redic.  I haven't seen Brad in even longer than that.

Back in 2008, I spent some of the happiest months of my life sharing an apartment with Eve, and later with Brad as well.  Now, I can be kind of difficult to live with, so it is really important to note how fantastically the three of us got on.  Movie nights and barbecue extravaganzas on my tiny charcoal grill.  Lots of hanging around, talking about music and the environment and politics and Stuff, because that's just how it rolls when you're with people that really get you.  It's the little things that end up shaping your memory -- leaning against the kitchen doorway and sipping a glass of wine while Eve made cookies.  Quizzing Brad from his Flight School books.  Leaving my (very) spicy pasta dish on the coffee table and coming back to find it half gone and a dog who was about to have intestinal problems.  Working in our small back garden by the door.  Finding out we were about to be evicted in ten days due to our landlord not paying his mortgage and getting the house foreclosed on.

Okay, that last bit was less fun, but it was certainly memorable.  But Eve and Brad were about to move to Florida anyway, to tackle the next phase in their lives including getting married. :)

Since then, there have been visits, of course.  Lots of visits while they were still Stateside.  And calls, and emails, and Facebook, and skype.  But damn if that is just not the same thing.

But now, after all this time, I get to look forward to close to a month with my sister and her awesome husband.  Two days shy of four weeks, to be exact.  That is some serious quality time.  I don't want to waste one second of it.

In that way, it does sort of feel like I am coming home for the holidays, despite flying to the opposite end of the world and landing on an island in a foreign country I have never been to before.  Home is where your heart is, after all.  It's a cliche 'cause it's true.

Of course... home can be more than one place.  Home is also, first and foremost, will always be -- HERE.

And of course I cannot be in two places at once, so traveling to Oki over the holidays means I will not be traveling here, to see and hug and laugh with these people:

It will mean that nearly a full 14 months will have passed before I eat my Mom's cooking, pet my dog, cut another piece of wood with my father in his workshop.  It will be a Christmas without the Christmas Mouse, a dilapidated and tattered stuffed mouse that has been part of Christmas every year for as long as I can remember.  When Sparky was a puppy, he got the Mouse and chewed him up, destroying the paper book of carols the Mouse had held (until then).  But despite his new rough edges, the Mouse stayed.  Because he was part of Christmas.

I will miss the Christmas Mouse.  I'll miss walking around my very own neighborhood looking at all the lights, and I'll miss chatting with all our awesome neighbors when my folks have them over for their Christmas get-together.  I will miss the banter between my two incredible parents -- two more opposite individuals you will never find!  These are things Eve and Brad have had to deal with for a couple years running, and they seem to have done pretty well.  But in a year of changes, of growth and experience, this will be one more first.

I feel like I have been living a charmed life since things turned around for me so abruptly this past March.  If someone told me then what I would be doing now, about the things I am about to do and the places I am soon to go... I couldn't have believed them.  Because things don't work out that way, right?  This is real life.  Well -- this is real life.  And sometimes, just sometimes -- they do.

I get to go home for the holidays.  I get to hug my sister.  This is one lucky, very grateful girl, signing off.


  1. Mary, seriously, what an amazing post! Are you talking about the night I left you in charge of taking my cookies out of the oven and you forgot?! lol Such happy memories at the Raintree House and at home. I am so completely excited and thrilled that you will be here for the Holidays!!! Now we just need to get Mom and Dad over here too!

  2. Haha -- yeah, I guess that was the same night I totally failed Domestic Responsibility. :) Good times!

    Two months and four days now... not that I'm counting. :) Love you!