Monday, November 13, 2006

Who says you can't go home again*

We have now been in Delaware for almost a week. Actually, we are, at this very moment, less than two hours shy of one full week in the state of my youth, with two weeks to go.

It's fun. No, really. I enjoy coming home, especially for long periods of time, so I don't have to cram seeing everybody into 15 minute intervals while I race across town with the kids from house to house. I like driving around the streets of my childhood and adolescence, reminiscing about lazy Saturday afternoons on the high school football field debating the merits of the Born in the USA with friends back in 1985. I enjoy hearing my sister talk about kids--sons and daughters of people that I went to 8th grade with--that her kids are now playing with. Most of all, of course, I like spending time with my family: sitting around the kitchen table with mom, gossiping about all 5 of her siblings and their extended families, driving around town with my sister and her two kids, discussing the new Carolina football coach with Dad.

My parents' house is extremely comfortable, even with all of us extra folk taking up space. The guestroom I stay in is huge, with a remodeled bathroom, both of which are nicer than what Lance and I are currently building in L.A. The kids have a nice room with twin beds and lots of leftover toys from when my niece and nephew were small. Best of all, the basement: chock full of old toys and games, a partially working television, kid-sized table and chairs leftover from my childhood, and three different boiler-type rooms to hide in. My kids will play down there, happily, for hours, leaving me to make dinner, phone calls, read the newspaper, or watch TiVo in utter peace. I could get used to living here, trust me, especially since my mom stocks the fridge and only lets me pay for beer. There is even a spare car for me to drive around in. Also, I get to spend quality time with my best friend Susanna and her two children, commiserating about girls who turn into brats at age two and husbands who are wonderful in so many ways and yet still drive us crazy. In L.A., I don't have any "good" friends who are also moms, so it's nice to be able to talk to someone who totally gets where I'm coming from for a change.

You'd think I'd have more time to blog, then, but to be honest, I'm enjoying the break. I miss you guys, of course, but it's a little bit of a relief not to have all those November posts to plow through every day. No matter how much you guys make me laugh, or cry, or nod in agreement, sometimes it's nice to just live my life outside of the computer for a little while.

One of the great things about coming East for a few weeks is the opportunity to see old friends. Along with Susanna, I also get to see old friends from middle school, friends from college who trek miles just to see me, and blog friends. Since I'm here for 3 full weeks, it's fairly easy to fit everybody in. I have even found the time to fit in a visit with my Dad's mom--a difficult woman, and a visit I don't generally look forward to. But it's done! Already! My mom's mom can be difficult too, but in a different, much more loving way, so we've already spent several nice afternoons with her. Last weekend, I actually drove with the kids to Virginia (about 4 hours away) to visit Lance's brother Mark and his wife. They live on a neat old farm in the middle of nowhere, between Charlottesville and Richmond. (This is the nice brother, of course. I would never travel any distance to see assboy.) The kids had a blast riding tracters, playing in the barns and feeding the goats, and I had a great time hanging out with Mark and Margaret. My sister's daughter (age 9)came with us which was a huge help for me, especially in the car, especially since the traffic going home had us traveling from 10am until 5:30pm.

I will leave you with a few shots of the gorgeous leaves--we got here just in time to catch the last gasp of them in the neighborhood; now they are mostly gone. For many of you East Coasters, this is nothing, so these pictures are dedicated to my fellow California bloggers (you know who you are):

DSC01109 DSC01110

I hope everyone is having a wonderful November!

*I have a sinking suspicion that the title of this post is a song lyric from someone like John Cougar Mellencamp--and now you will all see me for the top 40 music redneck that I am. I know that you've been pegging me for a Radiohead fan all these years, but alas, I've finally given myself away.

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