February 15, 2009

Welcome back, Mr. Kotter.

So I'm sitting here in what's now my mom's office. It was first my bedroom, then my playroom, then it was a piano room for a while (even though we kept calling it the toy room), and after we moved out, it was mom's office. Don't get confused: she doesn't actually need an office. But it's where she keeps all her papers and stuff.

We've hooked up our desktop PC and it's all less-than-conveniently shoved on to one corner of the desk, tower parallel to the monitor, sitting directly behind it, printer perched on top of the tower. We're using dial-up until the Windstream people come and install the DSL on Wednesday. I told mom to tell whomever she spoke with that I was capable of installing a DSL modem but apparently she either didn't or they ignored her. So we signed up for free Netzero until they get here. Bah. Dial-up is so. friggin. SLOW.

My travels were as smooth and easy as can be expected. All of my flights left on time. Southwest is exceptionally punctual. We left within five minutes of our scheduled take-off with both of my flights. My only complaint? I wish I could have flown alone. I understand I couldn't leave both kids with my husband and take the easy way out and that the intent of the generous ticket purchase was to alleviate the mind-numbing terror of driving for three days with a young toddler...but it would have been so relaxing to be without the inherent worry for a child all day. Not to mention the inevitable tears and frustration that goes with being stuck in a carseat all day, the pressure that builds up in his little ears despite incessant binky suckage, being too excited to eat, the hassle of security, and the whiplash he must have after the pilot hit the brakes in our 737 in Pittsburgh. The poor kid was conked out right through our descent but snapped to (quite literally) when they hit the brakes.

All in all, though, I couldn't complain. Our night with family was pleasant and, thankfully, peaceful. The minute I laid him down he stopped squirming and passed out within ten minutes. We drove up to my mom's work the next morning and had lunch, then mom and I hit the grocery store and drove "home" to Conneautville. The next morning, we met my mom's friends for lunch at the little diner in town. Rob says, when I told him what we were going to do, "You're taking my son to a hen fest?" Indeed, I was.

Everyone I've run into has said, "Welcome back!" or, even weirder, "Welcome home." It's crazy. I know it should feel like home but I still feel like an outsider. I've been gone for almost six years. Should it feel like home? "Home" for me has been in California since 2003. I can tell you it feels good to be here. I feel normal again. In California, I was a little too redneck and a little too...countrified. I'm polite to people, I'll say "Hi!" to complete strangers, I say "please" and "thank you." I hold doors open for people and expect the same from others. Rarely, if ever, did I experience that in California. Also, it seemed like no one was ever happy out there. Back here, I don't know, it seems people enjoy life a lot more. And I dig that.

So, I guess "Welcome home" maybe isn't so ill-fitting.


Amy McMean a.k.a McSunshine said...

I'm glad your trip went well. I'm sure it'll start feeling like home soon. When i moved back "home" after college I didn't feel like this was my home anymore. but it does now.

Minxy Mimi said...

Glad you made it home safely! I think you were living in a rude area of Cali, because we are not like that in my town! Dont judge us all by a few (:
I hope you have some fun getting re-adjusted to being home!

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