Saturday, January 8, 2011


I'm home.  Even though I just left.

I've been told recently that I am a human dichotomy.  I want to be here when I am there, I want to be there when I am here.  I don't know that it will ever change.

The trip back ended up taking three days. It was exhausting in so many ways, but it's done.

Leaving was hard.  It always is.  But this time was the worst. 

I did my best to remind myself of the blessing we were given with the extra time there, did my best not to cry when the kids would see, did my best to smile.

I now know that when your heart breaks, really breaks, there is a true physical pain involved.  I didn't know that before this week.

Flagstaff was somewhat kinder to us on the return trip.  There were no head wounds, no major accidents.  We spent more time there than we would have liked to though.

At some point yesterday morning, I had to remind my increasingly frustrated husband that we clearly weren't in control of what was happening.  And that if we couldn't all just go with the flow, we'd go crazy.

And that was even before we spent over an hour at Best Buy.  The worst Best Buy ever, incidentally.  Not a single one of their displays was working right, none of the video games were functioning.  How the hell did they expect me to occupy four five children for the entire morning while we were waiting for the van? 

The van that was supposed to be ready the afternoon prior, but still wasn't after we'd stayed overnight and already checked out of our hotel. 

We finally headed back to the body shop and parked out front, all new and shiny, was the van.  I giggled a little at the bumper.  You see, when the van was brand spanking new, I hit a truck in a parking lot.  Relax, I didn't hurt the truck...I must have checked about a million times.  It's wheels were cranked all the way over and I underestimated how far out the front bumper stuck out (and you can't see it from the driver's seat) and hit the tire.  Literally bounced off the tire, but the new bumper was caved in.  We popped it out and touched up the paint, but it wasn't perfect anymore.  Six years later it's fixed, even if it was the hard way. 

Tom threw all the stuff that was in the truck into the van.  When I say threw, I mean it quite literally.  There was no rhyme or reason. He just tossed it in there and closed the doors.  By then, a few hours past the point at which I reminded him we weren't in control, we waved goodbye to Flagstaff.

Some point near the Arizona/New Mexico border, we noticed the window washer fluid jet wasn't working.  It's attached to the hood.  The new one.  Awesome.

By the time we hit Santa Fe, we were hungry.  And tired.  It was later than it was supposed to be, and we still had over 6 hours left to drive.  We decided to stay.  Got a room, then headed to eat.  We went to Olive Garden, which is apparently a very popular place to eat at 7pm on  a Friday night.  Who'd have thought? 

As we got out of the restaurant, we noticed the hood of the van.  Cockeyed and crooked, not laying flat.  At first I thought maybe it just hadn't been shut completely.  Nope.  It's messed up.

Double awesome. 

The drive back today was fairly uneventful, which was a welcome relief.  We did have an emergency stop in a Walgreen's parking lot so the little one could get out and walk around.  I laughed at Tom, asked him if AJ was a dog that he was taking out to potty.  Essentially, yes.  I can't say I blame the kid.  I wouldn't want to try to poop strapped in a car seat either.

I managed not to cry when I pulled into the driveway.  Mostly because I was looking at my husband and questioning him.  Really?????  He had shoveled 1/3 of the driveway and flew back to California hoping that it would warm up enough to melt the snow on the rest of the driveway.  In Colorado.  In January.

The kids got to open the rest of their Christmas presents finally, and my house looks like a wrapping paper bomb exploded on it.  Most of the luggage is still in the car, and there it will stay until morning. 

I looked outside to watch the sky fill with clouds in my backyard, only to see remnants of some kind of bird scattered all over the yard.  The dog's way of saying this: Welcome home.  I missed you.  Here's some feathers.

I've got to get the kids situated for school, put away the decorations, unpack everything, call the shop about the hood and a whole bunch of other stuff.  But not now.

I've got a beer, football is on TV, and the kids are playing with new toys.  I get to sleep in my own bed tonight. 

I'm home.

Even if I just left.

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