This is one of my favorite pathways in Island Walk - it follows one of the larger lakes that are embedded throughout the five square miles of this community. Late yesterday afternoon, I took my customary stroll, thinking ahead to next month when we will (hopefully) be back with Magic and Molly along. This is their favorite pathway as well, and bringing them down in the dead of winter is quite a treat. Suddenly, it's summer again, and there is a new spring in their step since daily walks no longer involve coats or ice balls on tender paws. Of course, traveling with two dogs is quite an undertaking, and requires extra time and money, both of which are in rather short supply here this year. When we've brought the dogs to Florida in winter's past, we've taken three days to make the 1500 mile trip. This time, mostly because of time constraints, we might try to reach our destination in two days, which means over nine hours of travel time per day. The dogs are superb travelers - but it's the humans who get tired!
It was a good trip, these past few days - not long enough, but welcome and appreciated. We did some very nice, vacation-like things, enjoyed some time with our son and daughter-in-law, who coaxed us into a (surprisingly!) fun try at playing Beatles Rock Band on their Wii™, and had some maintenance done on our car (the 98 Pontiac Trans Am we keep down there) to keep it in good working order for the winter.
I did not open the work folder I brought with me. It came home untouched, and I will deal with the ramifications of that on Monday. It was simply too important to just rest this time, to leave behind the world of medical reporting and insurance company requirements, and immerse myself in the world of sunshine, quiet pathways, and arched bridges.
I read quite a bit and finished two delightful novels - The Family Man, by Elinor Lipman, and Knit the Season, the latest installment in Kate Jacobs series about the women of the Friday Night Knitting Club. Both were perfect relaxation reads - well written with good stories and interesting characters. Though quite different, both novels touched on the importance of family connections, and of making those connections a priority in our daily lives. This is something that's been on my mind quite a bit in the past few months, so these novels were very compatible with my current mindset.
Today we came home to a rather nice fall day, nice enough to go for a walk (alas, no lake views or bridges to traverse).After the walk, and trip to the library where I was greeted with an embarrassment of riches on the reserve shelf with my name on them, I came home and settled in with a cup of tea and my latest bookstack. That's Molly on her favorite perch.
It was good to get away - but it's alright being home again. I don't suffer the disconnect I once did when we returned from Florida. Perhaps I've grown accustomed to having a fragmented family, for that's what it is, really. With my son and daughter-in-law, as well as my father living in Florida, half of my closest family members live far away from me. It took a while to come to terms with that, but I believe I've made some sort of peace with it.
But I've also learned, especially in the last few months, how precious time can be, and how terribly capricious fate - one minute the people we love are with us, and in the next they can be gone forever.
In the end, home is wherever you can be with the people you love the most.
How about you? If you're home, are you happy to be there? If not, where would you rather be?