One week from today - we'll be home. Well, as close to home as exists for us. Our plane will land at LAX. After that? No idea. We have to re-create Home, just like we've been doing all year.
I'm looking forward to so many things about being back: my home schooling community, my church community, my beloved Book Club. Trader Joes, In-N-Out Burger, Mambo's in Glendale and Porto's in Burbank. The Old Zoo in Griffith Park, concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, trips to the Science Center and the Aquarium and the Natural History Museum. Los Angeles is such an awesome place!
I'm hoping to settle right back in with pals. I'm daydreaming of spur-of-the-moment barbecues with friends in the backyard, and Monday Night Pot Luck in the park. I'm also irrationally nervous. We've been gone for over a year. Will our friends be able to make space for us in their busy daily lives? I'm trying to manage my expectations.
We have a lot to do when we get back. We need to find a (cheap!) place to live, buy a couple of (cheap!) cars, unpack our little storage cube, and start filling in the gaps. We'll need (cheap) beds and tables and chairs and bookshelves. We're playing a game of sorts, where we furnish our entire place with a few hundred dollars from Craigs List and Freecycle and charity shops. The name of the game is to spend as little money as possible, and to put everything we can away for next summer, when we plan to take off again for a few months. Simplicity! Non-consumerism! I'm petrified!!
The hardest thing for our family will be missing Bob. By September he'll be back at work for 12 hours a day again, and while we're eternally grateful that someone in the family will soon be gainfully employed, we're still sad to share Dad.
So in a week everything changes. Again. Just like it has every few months for the last year. Bob and I have talked about how, as amazing as it sounds, we may be more stressed about the Coming Home than we were about the Going Away. So much has changed for us. I think we don't want to loose it.
We've been carrying a plaque around with us for the year, and we put it up when we move in somewhere new. It says some of what we've learned this year about as well as anything: