Three and a half glorious months in California. Which is the most time I've actually lived here since 1987, the year we left San Franciso with baby Grant in tow and moved to Minneapolis. So 23 years now, wow, hard to do when you only feel 30 something.
I've spent a lot of time alone, well, me and the dogs, but they don't talk much. Dandy and Bode and I have walked a gazillion miles through trails covered in pine needles and up and down steep town streets lined with well loved miner's cabins and Victorian era frou-frou. We've stood on massive piles of crushed rock left over from gold mining days. I've spent a fair amount of time with my sister, though not as much as I'd have liked to spend. I've spent some time with my Dad and sMom, again not as much as I'd have liked. But it wasn't that "vacation" mode visiting, where you hurry from one activity to the next and never really get to talk. I love to see my family doing the everyday things in their lives, running errands, trying to decide what to have for dinner, bickering with each other, sitting outside on a sunny day watching the dogs play, working in the barn, going to a not very good play and standing in front of masses of roses deciding just which bunch would make her the happiest. (Note to self - forget the flowers, buy more wine.)
I love these people, none of us are easy to live with, all of us are worth the trouble. Now I have five more sleeps until I head back to the Midwest and I miss them already. I doubt I can live away from them happily ever again and I find it interesting that I learn this so late in my life. I've always been the independent wanderer and I'm proud that I was able to make a life so far from home. It's true that after an event like a heart attack you do some serious soul searching. "If my time is short, where do I really want to spend it and with whom?" And while my time has not been shortened I still feel like I need to look carefully at what remains.
Mostly I just want to say thank you. I'll send a generic THANKS out to the skies for life and family and friends and classic movies, teardrop trailers and dreams. Because I haven't had dreams for a long time and suddenly there they are and it's good.