There’s No Place Like Home

Our trip home had potential to be a little dramatic.  Doc woke up the day before we were supposed to leave with a weird blister on his arm and a feeling of tingling all down that arm, which gave him suspicions that he had shingles.  Shingles and pregnant mamas don’t get along, so he had to call in sick so that he wouldn’t spread the love at the clinic. Shingles and kids who’ve never had chicken pox don’t get along, either, and I wasn’t keen to drive across the country with miserable munchkins along.

We drove east through Spokane, glad to leave Yakima in Washington, and drove into the night through a spectacular lightning storm over Butte, Montana, and past the dark forests where spot wildfires lit up their little corner of the universe.

The most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen came over us as we drove  south east through Utah to a little state park in Green River, right on I-70.  We didn’t have time to stop since dark was washing over the east and we wanted some daylight to set up our tent, so I took this picture through the car window as we drove on.

We had stopped at a PataGucci (ahem… Patagonia) outlet in Montana and got these little hats for the girls.  Good thing, too-  it was a chilly desert night in the tent!

Saw some dear friends in Colorado after almost sliding off I-70 in the snow coming over Vail Pass.   I recant that statement- we didn’t almost slide off-  my sense of reality gets a little funny in heavy snow/slippery road/spinning-tired semi-truck/passing horrible car crash/crossing Rocky Mountain pass/near death experiences. The outcome wouldn’t have been so good if I’d been driving because I would have just shut my eyes and hung on for dear life, I can tell ya that.

But all’s well that ends well, right?

Anyway… we saw some dear friends in Buena Vista and I was too busy enjoying being around them, their four blonde kids, rabbit, garter snakes, turtle, Sheepadoodle, and five ducks to bother getting my camera out of the car.

We drove through the hardest, most unrelenting winds I think I’ve ever tried to stand in coming out of Colorado and for the first two hours of Kansas.

We passed beneath Midwest-style thunderstorms that you can see coming for miles and miles, gray rain through Missouri and into Tennessee,  and then  in Tennessee –   the world turned green again.  Different than midwest green or Colorado alpine green.   Different than Yakima everything’s-dead-brown for sure.   It was a feast for my eyes and I still find myself surprised, almost two weeks later, every time I look out the window at how verdant and vibrant the ground and trees are.  Even the sky feels cozily smaller and closer to the earth.

The threat of shingles never did materialize.  It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, actually. We got home several days early since we left Washington early and Doc had time to till up a garden spot before he had to go back to work.

So it’s back to life as usual.

Back to cooking and baking in my favorite kitchen in the world, back to laundry in our damp, creepy, crickety  basement, back to curtains blowing in the Spring that seems to hang on forever in this little town…

Back to playdates, buttercups, and friends stopping by…

I love to travel and  I think our family will wander for a long time before we completely “settle down”, but I love having a place to come home to, even if it isn’t our official, eternal home.

So our travels are over, for now.  We loved being on the road, but more than anything, we love being home!

And that ending sounded like a children’s book ending….   forgive the sappyness….. :)

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