On New Year’s Day, my husband and younger daughter got up at 3 a.m. and drove up to Massachusetts to pick up my older daughter and all her stuff. The plan was to load her up and then return the next day, but they made such good time, and she was all packed (and wasn’t too keen on dragging out the goodbyes), so they loaded everything up and headed right back, arriving home at 2 am in the morning.
Yes, you read that right: they were gone for a total of 22.5 hours and were driving for 19.5 hours of that time.
They spent the next day doing a lot of this:
I was bummed they came right back because I’d been looking forward to a leisurely day at home (mostly) alone, but then I got over myself and adapted. As one does.
When they arrived home in the dead of night, I went downstairs to say hi. Charlotte was all excited to see me, and my daughter was walking around pointing out all the changes. And then I made my younger son wake up and come down because I wanted to be there when she saw him for the first time — all six feet and four-plus inches of him. The look on her face!
I didn’t think about my daughter that much when she was gone. I mean, I thought about her, of course, and we talked on the phone (a LOT), but she was so far away and so busy doing her own thing that she was sorta back-burnered in my mind. The last time she was home was over a year ago for the whirlwind wedding weekend, and she came home a couple months before that for about a week — in other words, she was only home twice in the two years she was gone. The last time I saw her was when my husband and I made a quick trip up in early spring.
I guess what I’m saying is, she was gone a long time and we hardly saw her. And now that she’s back, I’m almost sorry for myself for having lived the last two years without her. It’s like only now that she’s here do I feel the weight of her two-year absence.
In a couple weeks she’ll move into another house not far from here where she’ll be housesitting. She plans to work with my husband, perhaps pick up some other jobs, and get reaquainted with the area while she figures out what’s next.
This same time, years previous: the quotidian (1.4.21), my new kitchen: the computer corner, Lebanese dried lemon tea, high-stakes hiking, just for sparkles, Christmas cheese, 5-grain porridge with apples, when cars dance, cranberry crumble bars.