I guess time really does fly when you're having fun. The last 18 days went by so fast my head is spinning. Sort of literally. I caught a cold somewhere the last few days of the trip, probably on the flight from Seattle to Reno, so my head is woozy and stuffy, and the rest of me just wants to lounge around for another day or two. I shun the idea of needing to recover from a vacation, but what can I do? I feel crummy, and maybe I just need a little more time to ease back into being... back.
You know me, I much prefer to move forward. And travel of any kind, even small travel with family (as opposed to big travel, to say, Ethiopia) always makes me want more. Some people like to go home. I really just want to keep going. Maybe this time it's because I watched my dear family elders shuffle and teeter along, with one of us "young ones" always poised to steady an elbow or point out a dip in the terrain. They didn't see old age sneaking up on them any more than I do. I had my 54th birthday while I was away, and at one year younger than my mother was when she died, I'm feeling a little bit vulnerable. The biggest lesson Mom taught me, she taught from the Other Side. Life is short, honey. Better get on with it.
So here I am, nursing a cold in my cool adobe house, eager to see my friends, happy to be back with Rick, and honing in on what I imagine a "perfect life" would look like. I feel more like a gypsy than ever. My dad asked me what I would do if I could do anything I wanted. The answer came instantly. I'd downsize this life with Rick to a manageable amount of stuff so we could travel. A smaller, more affordable house would make a great base camp, because I also need that now and then. And a smaller RV, that I'd be comfortable driving, just in case, would allow us to keep moving, while still having our smaller version of home along for the ride.
In just under 3 weeks I found myself on 6 cramped, expensive flights, with endless waiting-around time in airports. I got tired of wrinkled clothes pulled from a suitcase, and digging through my bathroom bag for my toothbrush. I'd happily do some more world travel like that, but in this country, give me wheels over wings any day. I still like to take the long way home.
What comes next? Back to work, back to cooking, back to blogging, back to hanging out with Rick and my friends, back to being Mimi to Jacob, all while thinking forward to what we really want to be doing. And I'm pretty sure sitting here in one place until one day we find ourselves shuffling and teetering is not the way we want go. Funny what we can take away from a great trip. The best souvenirs are the ones we carry inside, the memories of good times with people we love, the things we learn about ourselves, the things that make us think. I'm not shuffling or teetering yet (well, maybe after a couple of martinis...), and given the choice, I'll take the wild ride and the long way home.