Dorothy Got It Right!

26 Nov

The furthest I’d ever moved away from home was a safe, easy and convenient 47 miles, from Utica to Syracuse in 1998.  Feel like seeing family?  Just drive east.  Feel like I’d had enough of family – or likely they’ve had enough of me – just drive 47 miles west.  Bored?  Drive east.  Have a new nephew?  Drive east.  Niece?  East.  Another nephew?  East.  Birthday party?  East.  Wedding?  East.  Holiday?  East.  Summer barbeque?  East.  Someone’s sick?  East.  Sister does a redecorate?  East.  Brother-in-law Cheech is making homemade Italian sauce?  EAST… in a hurry.

It was perfect.

I figure I made more than 1,000 trips east, more than 120,000 miles — just to hang with friends and family, play with delicious nieces and nephews, and feel the comfort of familiarity only ‘home’ can give.  So when I took a 973 mile leap of faith to Atlanta in May, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel heading home for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Or… how anyone would feel about me.  Here’s what I learned.

No matter how much you plan, expect the unexpected.  The boss will need something at the last minute, traffic will be sludge, and your plane will be – the horror – delayed.

Be grateful for those who let you stay in their home, especially in fresh cotton-smelling sheets.

There’s never enough time to see everyone.  For those you can see, be present.  Completely present.

Everybody will tell you look ahhh-mazing.

And thinner.

And better than ever.

And so do they.

Nobody tells you – you look taller.  (I’ll keep hoping.)

Your mother will want to spend more time with you.  You did have more time until the ‘expected unexpected’ happened.  Note to self.  Make more time for mom next time, especially if she mentions the 1,234 hours of labor she endured, in the middle of a snow storm, in the pre-epidural days.  Just sayin.

Your full-figured cat your mother ‘stole/borrowed’ will still bite you because she doesn’t give a sh**.

Your sisters will interrogate you while the house still smells like a delicious blend of 35 Yankee candles.   

Cheech’s Italian homemade sauce will taste better than ever.

Nieces and nephews will grow taller.

Some will have new babies.

Old high school friends will be happy to see you even if they swear your old controlling high school boyfriend wanted to beat them up and it was your fault and you don’t remember it that way but are too tired from visiting everyone to do anything but smile, nod, agree and apologize.  Just like you did last year.

Colleagues will stop their busy day, just to be a captive audience, just to hear your stories. 

For better or worse, expect to run into people you didn’t expect to see.  You’ll never regret the nice things you say.    

Take the time to surprise a friend who didn’t know you were coming home.  Especially if she’s fighting cancer.  The look on her face will be etched in your mind.

For those you can’t get to this time, put them on the top of the list next time.

For those who knew you were coming – and didn’t want to see you – it’s time to move on…..    

Expect to drink a lot.  Or I should say – you’ll need to drink a lot.

Girlfriends will smile, even though their hearts are broken you can’t stay.

It’s often harder on those who stay.

People will be sad when you leave – which makes you wonder why you left in the first place.

Dorothy got it right.  There’s no place like home. 

3 Responses to “Dorothy Got It Right!”

  1. Patrick November 28, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    In going back, you return to a legacy created by you before you left. I wonder then, what is more important? The legacy we create at those places we once called home or the life’s we live at the place we now call home. While I suspect Dorothy got it right, home still remains where you want it to be.

  2. dadamo102 November 28, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    You’re right Patrick. That’s why there’s home…and your ‘home away from home.’ I guess. I haven’t quite figured it all out. But love suggestions. 🙂

  3. Brandy Richards December 29, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I’m hoping to someday make that list of people to visit! 😉

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