68 thoughts on “Who Doesn’t Love Coming Home?

    1. I have a feeling you’re going to appreciate the photo I have of the Palmer Method handwriting samples I found in a one-room school. Not everyone has such nice handwriting these days — even good handwriting can be part of the world’s magic! Thanks for the remembrance.

    1. Thanks, Jean. I thought of you when my kinfolk and I went out for dinner in Paola, Kansas. We found a whole group of Red Hat ladies at dinner. Funny how these associations stick in our mind. We figured it was a good sign re: the quality of the food, and it was.

  1. I hang a virtual Welcome Home banner in your honor; my parents always hung a real one when we came home from summer camp, or some other enterprise, and it made my heart so warm. xo

    1. What a wonderful tradition your parents offered you. Thanks for including me, even virtually. It’s quite delightful, and heartwarming indeed.

      I spent a night in the hill country with a friend who sent me home with a beautiful hard-bound copy of “Sense and Sensibility” in my bag. As she said, “All those romance novel readers I know ought to give this woman a try.” Quality endures, doesn’t it?

  2. We had our little trip over the past weekend and while it was fun, it was good to get back home. I’ll be excited to hear how your trip was.

    1. I knew your trip was coming up. I hope it was wonderful, and everything that you had anticipated. I hope there were some surprises, too — like the white squirrels I found in Eureka Springs. The fact that they escaped from a carnival decades and decades ago seemed fitting: the town being a bit of a carnival itself.

      By the way: is the cotton crop as good as it looks? I can’t remember ever seeing fields so thick and white, and it looks like the weather’s going to hold for the harvest.

    1. I think “obscure and interesting” are more easily found when we browse instead of search. Someone asked me if I’d used Google Trips to plan my travel. Hardly. I’d much rather ask a local what’s worth seeing, or find someone from the area to explain mysterious sights. I suspect people who say Kansas isn’t interesting haven’t gotten off I-40, as you well know!

    1. I am back, indeed. I have the laundry done, the car washed, and food in the fridge. The only real chores left are paying some bills and taking the car in for an oil change and clean filters. I can only imagine what all those miles on gravel and dirt roads did — not to mention the general dustiness due to the harvests. The lack of rain’s been good for people who need to get huge pieces of equipment into their fields, but I’m sure they’ll be glad to get the dust tamped down once it’s all over.

      I love that song. I actually like about everything from Asleep at the Wheel — I’m glad you enjoyed it, too.

    1. It was safe, indeed. I confess to cutting off I-10 and coming in the “back way” rather than going through Houston on the freeways, but I just wasn’t ready to make that full transition to urban traffic after so many days of a nice, slow pace. I have to say, some of the best fun I had was in a pickup making its way through a pasture at 5 mph. There will be photos!

  3. Hello Linda,
    I have spent a wonderful time travelling with you, reading about your road trip. You always make it sound ‘romantic’, and I am sure it is.
    Driving roads less travelled – up hill and down dale, through fog and rain, stopping to lunch on a log whilst watching frogs or contemplating purchasing a patchwork quilt.

    I hope you had a wonderful birthday with your aunt and cousins eating donuts in Kansas – who got there first?

    Safe trip back, and I hope Dixie forgives you :)

    1. There always are a few frustrations to go along with the fun and the sights (this time, it was fog in the mountains and some computer glitches) but that’s life, generally.

      Of course I got to the cider mill first. By the time my aunt and cousins arrived, I’d managed to enjoy a couple of doughnuts and some cider, and had watched a fellow unload a semi-truck full of apples: 53,000 pounds! But it was a good idea to meet that way. I’m told my aunt was a bit hesitant about an out-of-town, overnight trip, but she had a fine time. We all agreed that we should do it again, perhaps in the spring, and I think we may make the Crystal Bridges museum our destination then. I skipped it this time, in favor of other Arkansas delights — more on those later.

      Dixie already is out from under the bed. Three weeks is a long time to be “on guard,” and she’s sleeping precisely like a cat who hasn’t had a good nap in a while. She’s stopped coming to full attention whenever I make a move, so i think she’s feeling more secure. It’s good to have had kitty sitters I could depend on!

    1. The answer to the unasked question: not a single pound gained. I thought I’d gained two, but then realized I had stepped on the scale wearing shoes and all. So, I’m happy about that, and very happy to be back in the land of grocery stores, where salad greens and such can be found.

    1. The settling’s pretty much done, and the work routine begins tomorrow. I’ve even been granted a meow or two from the kitty, so all is well.

      It has occurred to me how glad I am that I work outdoors. If I had to transition from a trip filled with mountains, prairies, and high plains to an office building and a cubicle — well, it wouldn’t be easy. There probably are fewer chiggers and mosquitos in office buildings, but we all have to make sacrifices.

    1. That made me smile. My mother always was a traveler who wished she could click her heels together and just be there, already! My dad was the roamer and the wanderer — he would have loved this trip almost as much as I did.

  4. This little post makes me smile. I saw Asleep at the Wheel back in 1979 (or was it 1980?). So much fun.

    I hope you’ve enjoyed your time away and I’m looking forward to the posts I’m sure your journey will generate.

    1. Asleep at the Wheel certainly has worn well. It’s such fun to those old videos — a hippie Ray Benson is just the funniest thing in the world. But it’s great music, and they put on a great show. It’s great that you got to see them. They’ve got several Texas stops in their upcoming touring, including a Texas dancehall tour. How great would one of those nights be?

      I have enjoyed the time — as you and Cheri clearly enjoyed yours. Of course, it takes a certain discipline not to fuss over what is or isn’t happening back home, but I managed minimal — almost non-existent — fussing, and it added to the enjoyment.

    1. Thanks, Nia. I’m looking forward to getting caught up with everyone, and especially to seeing how things are in your part of the world. As peaceful as possible, I hope. xoxo

    1. Thanks, Becca. It seems that some of our Texas trees have put off their color change — a friend in the hill country says Lost Maples is yet to “bloom.” With luck, the trees there will turn, and not just drop their leaves. I hope your October has been beautiful, and filled with color.

    1. Thanks so much. There was a lot to enjoy, and a lot to ponder on this trip. The biggest surprise turned out to be rocks. I’m glad I decided to push a little more west and explore the Kansas chalk formations. They really are interesting.

  5. I trust you’ve had a great time, seen a lot of interesting things, talked to some interesting folks, and now have LOTS of ideas swirling around to post about, Linda! Happy travels home — you’ve been missed in BlogLand.

    1. Thanks, Debbie. It’s a good thing I kept notes on the trip, or place names and people’s names might have disappeared. Shoot — whole days could have disappeared. I was so unplugged it was remarkable, and wonderful. Not only did I forego tv, radio, newspapers, and social media, I didn’t even play music in the car. Three weeks of that kind of quiet makes it possible to hear amazing things — more about that, later.

  6. You said you might have to resign yourself to sleeping on the couch for a night until Dixie Rose decides to forgive you for being away. Well, I figure, after three weeks away, you’ll be lucky if she hasn’t found a way to install a Dog House on the balcony for you!

    I, too, look forward to the stories and photos.

    1. Believe it or not, I thought about you at one point during the trip — the day I saw them lining up all the snow plow blades. May you be free of snow-and-ice tribulation this year. Just enough to make it pretty (and help fill the reservoirs?) would be nice.

      Dixie seems to be testing out all her favorite places, now that she’s come out from under the bed. Her sleeping chair has been abandoned for the corner in the dining room. I suspect once she’s tried out the sofa, and the bedroom corner that takes the sun, we’ll be back to what passes for normal around here.

      As for the Dog House — it may be metaphorical, but it exists. I always get over-anxious to be friendly, and she makes clear that she’s going to be the one to set the schedule. She won’t bite, but those claws are made for marking. Lesson learned (again).

    1. Being a fan of Celtic music generally, I liked that selection, although I hadn’t heard of the group. I absolutely could see them playing at our Renaissance Faire, and I’d be willing to make the trip to hear them live.

      What’s funny is that, when I saw the female lead vocalist, my first thought was of Stevie Nicks: specifically, her 1976 live performance of “Rhiannon.” I think it was the similarity in the gowns as much as anything, but of course that Welsh witch Nicks sang about was Celtic, too.

      I did end up with a few photos I really like, including my first “selfie,” and a couple of good abstracts. Oh — and one photo of the car that could serve as a Toyota ad: at least, composition-wise.

      1. That is one of my saved YouTube videos and I knew exactly which one you were referring to. Not exactly what one thinks of as Celtic music but the witch is indeed.
        Wouldn’t that be a plum to have a commercial gig. Not anything I aspire towards but given the opportunity…. Looking forward to that as well, Linda.
        The guitarist is Richie Blackmore whom you may be more familiar with as having been in Deep Purple way back almost beyond memory. The lead singer is Candice Night. They are a married couple, hence the name of the group.

  7. Welcome home. Like your other readers, I too, look forward to the narrative accompanied by photography.
    I commend you for leaving your cat in order to take a trip and enjoy yourself. I know so many people whose animals dictate what they do!
    I love my dog but she is a dog.

    1. “…but she is a dog.” Precisely. As a friend said prior to my leave-taking, “If she dies, she dies.” As stark as the statement was, it helped to erase any lingering sentimentality about the situation.

      I know people who refuse to travel until their pets die because it “wouldn’t be fair” to leave the animals. I wasn’t about to become one of that group. I certainly would have missed a lot.

    1. It’s more à propos than you might think, Steve. Slightly entertaining circumstances left me with two cemetery plots — one in Iowa, one in Texas — and for years I’ve vacillated: cremation and burial there, or here? Crossing the state line this time made clear what the answer needs to be. When I write about it, I’ll probably use the poem: which I’d forgotten, and which is perfectly à propos.

    1. That’s quite right, Shimon. And if we’re attentive, travel may help us to appreciate another truth: that the “strangers” we visit also are at home, in their own places and in their own ways.

    1. You’ve been “otherwise occupied” with a vengeance, Ariel. I’m not surprised you missed knowing about my trip.

      It was the Grand Tour, midwestern style (Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, with a smattering of Oklahoma), and it was delightful. The very few disappointments and frustrations came very early in the trip, were resolved in one way or another, and faded away beneath an onslaught of perfect delights. What more could a girl ask?

    1. We’re into phase two: out from under the bed, and into full, demanding yowl. It’s acceptable for me to brush her now, and I think she would take hours of brushing if I’d give them. The sweet thing hasn’t figured out that if only she would be more accepting of other people, she could be brushed every day, even when I’m gone. We all have our quirks.

      I’m being a little watchful, as her voice has changed, and she’s breathing much faster than usual. But, she could be hoarse from yowling, and she could just be tired from having to be so watchful. A few days of nice napping, and we’ll see how things are.

    1. It’s interesting how many routines have to be re-established. Just because they are routines, they often aren’t even recognized until they’re disrupted. But we’re putting life back together, and thinking about how to write about that time away.

    1. Volume up, windows down — that works for me. Although I must say, I spent much of my time tuneless. When you’re chugging along back roads at 20 mph, you can hear a lot of the world.

      1. Or riding along on a bike, or traveling with a backpack on wilderness trails. I am not much for listening to music or programs when I am traveling by car, and never when hiking or biking. I did used to listen to the Great Courses series when I was commuting to work in Sacramento. Loved that. –Curt

  8. You are so right. I love travel, as surely you do. But nothing is like coming home, indeed. Hopefully that is what all should be able to feel, although of course in many countries life is both exposed and unsafe, so even people who love their country will not be able to feel the same.

    1. Home, of course, can be more than a geographic place: a truth that offers comfort in circumstances like those you mention. During one of her last hospitalizations, my mother began saying “I want to go home.” Somewhat insensitive, it took me a while to understand that she wasn’t referring to her apartment.

      One of my favorite songs is “Goin’ Home,” written by William Arms Fisher. Based on the Largo from Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 (From the New World), it perfectly suits the end of a journey, or the end of life.

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