May 19th marked the second year anniversary of our move out of Florida and back to where I grew up in the Chicago suburbs. Many of you who followed me in Florida, know how much I wanted out. Still, I wasn’t sure how well I’d do back home after twenty-seven years away.
I’m happier than I could’ve imagined (so is the hubs).
If it weren’t for chronic pain that I deal with and work to keep at bay (sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t), my life would be perfect.
On occasion, I find myself so happy I’m moved to tears! Like on a mild spring day when we drove to a lovely park with a walking trail, a small lake and lots of tulips blooming. Mom called while we were there. She happened to be out and passing by, so she stopped to join us. When we drove home, my lips reached back to my ears from smiling, and my heart overflowed, flooding my eyes.
In Florida, of course I wouldn’t have been able to see Mom at a park, nor would I have been able to tolerate the heat. And what’s more, there were no parks like the ones we frequent here.
Friends and family just stop by my house now. It’s what I dreamed of for years. It’s the way I was raised. When I was a child, if I heard a car door slam outside, it was usually grandma stopping by, or another relative, but probably grandma (grandma, laughing as usual on the far right, below).
Since I moved back, my mom stops by, or my sister-in-law with the kids, or one of my two besties.
My heart soars even while writing about it.
Dad moved to Wisconsin, and it’s an hour and ten minutes. Much shorter than the two-day drive from Florida. Last Friday, we made a last minute drive up to Dad’s for a visit and dinner out. Once again, the joy spilled out my eyes on the drive home.
This is not to say that family is perfect, but I’ve never appreciated family so much in my life. I wonder what would happen if everyone was separated from family for a time and then reunited. How much more might they tolerate from their loved ones that they couldn’t tolerate before?
I laugh when people think it’s humid here. The hottest day in summer in Illinois doesn’t reach the weight of the smothering heat and humidity of Florida. That’s not to say that I wasn’t boiling at a couple of the summer fests I attended this year. The difference was that I was able to sit in the shade for respite. Shade made no difference in Florida.
If I’m being honest, sometimes a teensy bit of resentment creeps in … all those years wasted with no family or friends. I thought for sure we’d be alone forever, and that no one cared. But, the resentment is minor and doesn’t last long. Because now, loved ones actually think I’m worth coming over to visit. I love having people in my home, and I also love visiting.
So, my blogging buddies, if you’re ever in town, stop by and see me. I wish for everyone this much fulfillment and contentment.
P.S. All of the photos are of the actual people and places mentioned. Including me as a kid on the far left striking a pose with family.
P.P.S. I see a “coming home” novel in my future.