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Packing Up

My sister, Queen of Legos, Cha-Cha, rocket scientist, universally accepted favorite went home today. She is probably in flight about now, watching the patchwork stream by below her, or maybe sleeping, possibly reading a book, or most likely is engaged in some kind of industrious activity. Joshua cried when she left even though she will be at our house for Christmas in three long short weeks. I put on a brave face.

This visit marked a true Thanksgiving for our family. In addition to mounds of food (which I did not help cook), we all grinned at a pie that had "Bud + Dot" (my Grandparents nicknames) poked into it's crust. Aunt Nancy, Uncle George and Aunt Mary Jane spent the day with us, played spoons and consequences, and generally reminded me how lucky I am with every blink of their eyes. There was also a moment where my Aunt Nancy looked exactly-to-a-t like my Grandmother and I almost called my Aunt Mary Jane by my sister's name.

Sprinkled into our visit were a few bittersweets. Like when I looked through my Grandmother's jewelry with my sister, deciding how to split it up. And when I saw a picture of my Grandpa that my Grandma painted. Or when I looked through my Grandfather's medals and belt buckles, his watches and hearing aid. And then when my hands touched Grandma's fine china, Grandpa's giant TV, Aunt Elda's china cabinet. Sweet but oh-so bitter.

Tomorrow we board a plane to fly home. Home to a daddy and Poppa and an uncle, home to a puppy and Christmas tree, home to my own bed and my own things, home to school days and everyday life. Home away from home, away from Dad and Mom, away from nieces and nephews, away from green chile and mountains that scrape the sky.

Home sounds sweet...but oh-so bitter too.

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It's always, always both.

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