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Homestead happenings: home!

January 12, 2011

After almost 3 weeks away we’ve returned home.

In one of the many airports. Anyone else as completely gripped by this trilogy as Rose?

Even though we left beloved family, snowfree playgrounds and Iranian bakeries, I always love coming home. It’s like falling into the arms of an old friend, even if that friend’s beard is all crusted up with ice.

And as much as it’s fun to be a tourist, to walk around goggled-eyed and gawking, as we did, I love being a local.

I love knowing where to get grapefruit seed extract and oregano oil at 8pm when my tonsils are so inflamed I just want to spit them out and be done with them (the strep came back). I love running into people I know everywhere. Sometimes it feels a little Mr. Rogers Neighborhood around here. I mean really, Frankie, two doors down is the checker at my supermarket, Jane around the corner cuts my hair, and Cody, next door, brews my beer at the local brewery. Because the brewer’s a person in your neighborhood.

I love that pick-ups and drop-offs at Col’s school are like Old Home Week with gabbing parents clogging up the bin room. I love our sweet hometown newspaper, in which the same handful of people have been feuding over homosexuality and abortion in the Letters to the Editor for the past ten years. (My friend David once said, “couldn’t they just get each others’ phone numbers and talk it out on their own time?”) Dan came home from his first day back at work today and said “I love driving around Southwest Colorado! I saw hundreds of deer and elk today!” I love that too.

Back to their old tricks! (Fun and little known fact: our bathroom sits right in the center of our small house. Hi toilet!)

Of course, there are adjustments to be made. Like getting back to work. Or resetting my mental thermometer to include the possibility of 24F (as a high). Also, returning to the passing-of-the-baton family lifestyle, where instead of being together all the time with nothing much to do, we’ve got schedules and deadlines and the kids get shifted back and forth between us so each parent has a shred of personal time, or personal work time, as it often goes for me. The kids loved having Dan around, especially when he leapt into a room like a kung-fu master, screaming “hiii ya!” and slicing at the air dramatically. “Chop me up Daddy, chop me up!” Rosie would screech.

Time with Daddy usually ends up like this:

Tonight, at the dinner table, Rose shouted to Dan: “bite my butt Daddy!” Which seemed perfectly normal at the time, though I can’t remember now how that fit into the whole sitting down and eating of quesadillas together. Something about Dan’s presence, I think. When our friend Sue drove us home from the airport yesterday, a little kung fu hysteria started brewing in the backseat, and Sue wondered as the kids cackled with laughter, “would it ever occur to you to hop in the backseat with your kids and start chopping them up?” It’s the division of labor. I nurture, he karate-chops.

We’re all slowly getting back into our home groove. Rose has been sifting through piles of Christmas gum and bandaids, distributing them across various purses.

Col had a playdate with his dear friend Mathew, in which they played together joyfully for hours while saying very few words. “That’s just how it is when I’m hunting with a buddy.” Dan mentioned, understandingly.

We’ve already been to the library for a new stack of books, which the kids have been reading aloud in this very Jewish bar mitzvah chanting type way, which kills me with cuteness. “And-den-she-says-please-waaaaaait.”

It is lovely to be home.



*Thank you for the heartfelt birthday wishes for Col, they filled my heart with joy.

*I am offering a new writing class, details here. (sorry, nothing online at this point).

*Oh, and welcome and gratitude to all the new e-mail subscribers to 6512 and growing!

22 Comments leave one →
  1. January 13, 2011 9:31 am

    Welcome home! Sounds lovely (and what better place for a bathroom than right in the middle of the action?). You’ve won “Cars from a Marriage.” I’ll send it out this weekend if I can find your address (and if our snowplow-demolished mailbox gets restored).

  2. January 13, 2011 9:55 am

    Your home looks and sounds like an adventure to me! Welcome back! Though I suppose you never left the place I usually find you….

  3. January 13, 2011 10:35 am

    Welcome home! Looks like Rose reeaaallly missed that leopard-print purse. I mean, I would, too, of course.

    Also, hope you’re feeling better soon and can get back to nurturing and enjoying the karate-chop, butt-biting action soon. =>

  4. January 13, 2011 11:08 am

    Welcome home :)

  5. January 13, 2011 12:00 pm

    No matter where you roam “There is no place like Home” Going back where you begin, helps to make a better end.
    Ginny ( who was trying to say , glad you went home and had a good time while there and now back to the new home you have made).

  6. Heather permalink
    January 13, 2011 12:06 pm

    I always love returning home from a trip, it just reminds me of the fact that even though it is just made from wood, my home is where I have laid down my roots. Welcome back.

  7. January 13, 2011 12:45 pm

    Welcome back, mama. I love that picture of Dan and the kids engaged in what my 3-year-old christened “tackle snuggling.” I think enthusiasm for the tackle snuggle is a sure-fire sign of a good dad.

    Hope your throat is all better!

  8. January 13, 2011 12:47 pm

    P.S. Raises hand excitedly to indicate interest in the hypothetical online writing classes you will offer one day!

  9. January 13, 2011 1:52 pm

    One of my favorite things about traveling is the return home. It’s part of the whole package, as far as I’m concerned (and I truly love the traveling part). And I, too, love feeling like a local. It’s harder and takes much longer in a big city, but I’m starting to feel a little bit more like that too, and it’s so comforting.

  10. January 13, 2011 3:03 pm

    Wow. Rose is an advanced reader! I too, enjoy settling in at home after some time away.

  11. January 13, 2011 10:31 pm

    I love how your kids read aloud! Love it.
    and happy belated to your sweet sweet son. <3

  12. abozza permalink
    January 14, 2011 6:02 am

    Welcome home! It’s nice to go away, but oh-so good to come home!

    Can’t wait for Rose’s review! I’ve been curious about that series! :)

  13. January 14, 2011 8:41 am

    Grapefruit seed extract and oregano oil for strep throat…I will have to remember that one. I had battle with strep that just wouldn’t go away many, many years ago…that was no fun. I started eating oregon grapes, seeds and all, to help boost my immune system and I really think that that helped solve my strep issue…I think. Hope you are able to conquer yours and feel better soon.

  14. January 14, 2011 1:45 pm

    People in your neighborhood. Yeah. I know that wonderful feeling.

  15. January 14, 2011 3:12 pm

    Welcome home! I feel like I’m back in your living room too, lapping up every word about your wonderful (and almost fantasy-like) neighborhood. So good to have you back in your element because that’s one of my favorite places to be too.

    I also had a post written about the “division of labor” between My Guy and I when it comes to parenting – what is it about dads and their physical play? We moms feel like such duds next to these cool daddy dudes (at least that’s how I feel sometimes).

    And I’m so glad you’re reading the Larsson trilogy too. I absolutely loved it. Couldn’t put it down.

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      January 14, 2011 3:47 pm


      There was this great New Yorker cartoon with a dad making goofy faces (pulling on his ears and sticking out his tongue) through the window of the hospital nursery at his newborn. The caption is: Why There Are Moms.

      My cousin, who has four kids who are often piled on top of their Daddy, says, “Dads suffer so much abuse!”

      And it’s sort of heartbreaking that there will never be a 4th Larsson book (unless his girlfriend really has that 4th novel from his computer).

  16. January 15, 2011 1:44 am

    It’s the division of labor. I nurture, he karate-chops. Oh sister I know that division.

    I can so relate to your small town encounters, naturally. Welcome home!

  17. Emily permalink
    January 15, 2011 5:18 pm

    Hey Hey Welcome Home everybody!!
    Dan, thanks for the surprise visit to Jojo the other day, he was so happy to see you! And happy to share the joys of being home. I will be happy to share those joys someday too! For now, I learn a little about life with a child as I care for my five year old nephew darling. I wish I could whisk him over to Colorado! He wishes so too. Hopefully next time! I bet he would love play in the Colorado Rocky Mountain High with Col and Rosie!! Cover your ears when he starts singing the song though, the boy’s got some pipes!

  18. Emily permalink
    January 15, 2011 5:24 pm

    plus sending lovings to your throat Rachel, may it release its irritation away, heal and settle into harmonious function with the rest of your body

  19. January 15, 2011 8:14 pm

    That photo of Col and Rose with Dan is exactly how I remember time with my own dad at that age. It certainly seems that you have arrived at a wise division of labor on the homestead!

    Welcome home!

  20. January 16, 2011 4:05 pm

    Welcome home! Home feels good. Take care of yourself. No more strep throat for you! xo Kyndale

  21. January 16, 2011 11:40 pm

    You just sound like you like your life so much.

    I love that.

    Except for the strep throat. Bad strep throat! Please leave Rachel be.


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