The ocean is still there, just west of California. For peace of mind, I need to check up on it from time to time. Also, California still hangs on to the western edge of the continent; it has not tumbled into the Pacific during my absence. California will always be the seat of my soul, but Missouri is home. I felt a strong magnetic pull toward home as I traveled the last couple of miles from the airport on my return journey. I'm not sure if it is the place, or the fact that the boys live there. For now, it feels right. Oh my God, I missed them. Grandpa Steve and Julia did a fabulous job, the boys were happy while I was gone, and happy when I returned. I heard no complaints about either my absence or my presence. Although, Logan did mention that I don't serve as many desserts as Grandma Julia.
Heartwarming reunions and fabulous food were the features of my week. I reunited with relatives and work colleagues every day. Women I worked with in 1985 gathered one evening and we feasted on food for the mind, body, and soul. My trip was planned around the Pacific International Quilt Show in Santa Clara. It was interesting, but not so interesting as the time I spent with host Irene and cousin Lynette on the same day. Two days spent with my dear friend of nearly half a century, Nancy, were way too short. She also facilitated my reunion with the Pacific and with the fabulous Pasta Moon restaurant in Half Moon Bay. She is a person I could spend days in silence with, yet come away having learned something and feeling loved. All the people I love and commune with are life-long learners. I hope I qualify.
And my dear daughter Colleen. I am so proud of her and the life she has built for herself. She lives on a wonderful piece of property (never mind the rattlesnakes) in the Sierra Foothills that emanates tranquility. Meeting with treasured friends and relatives in her home was a privilege. She is a warm, gracious, and generous hostess. I was deeply touched by the time that dear friend Lisa, her husband Brent, kids Alexandra and Cameron carved out of their lives to spend with us. Brother Rick and his partner Kathy came to visit on short notice and helped warm my heart. I never see enough of any of them.
Tomorrow, we return to the comfortable day-to-day of our lives and I am content. I did not get to see all the friends and relatives I love, but I have seen many of them one way or the other during the past year. Maybe I'll catch up with the rest of them next year.