I looked through my pictures to pick a few for this post, but none seem quite right. I'll put some at the end, but they're not exactly related to this.
The drive home was uneventful. We drove. And drove. We stayed at a Days Inn for $45 that seemed pretty clean at 11:00 when we went to sleep and at 7:00 when we woke up; really, we were awake for under one hour in the room. (Here would be a good place for a picture I know Jason has. C'est la vie.)
Our visit went really well. There's something nice about seeing my children playing with so many of my family's children. Our quirkiness stood out at times, but the things I actually worry about (temper, boundaries, selective deafness) all seemed to blend right in with the things the other children were doing.
We saw Ray and Stacey in a play. I talked to my aunt for hours. The children got to swim and wade. I helped start a little garden. I saw just about everyone I hoped to see for almost long enough.
Now we're home. And we slipped right back into this place I love so much that lacks my dear family but abounds in people I hold dear. We started our first day back in a perfect way- we went to a pie breakfast at Woodbury elementary. I wished I had a camera, as it so typified my feelings about where I live. We were in a cafeteria that had a wooden floor with basketball boundaries painted on it. There were so many people in that little room having pie for breakfast (proceeds benefit the local library). Outside, the sun was shining, promising spring, and inside, everyone chatted and drank coffee and waited their turn and made room for the newcomers. It was a great welcome home.