Monday, May 26, 2008

There's no place like home

I wish it were as easy as tapping ruby red slippers together and chanting "There's no place like home."  I wish I could be with my family whenever I'm feeling homesick.  Unfortunately it took a very long plane ride and months of planning.  Also money, Air Force leave request, and much preparation.  I spent the last 10 days on the East Coast, and it was wonderful.  I spent the first part of my visit up in Maryland, where I got to see my good friend Kimberly graduate from med school.  I also reunited with some old friends and even went to my old church.  Then I headed to the Outer Banks in North Carolina for some much-needed R&R and girl bonding time with my mom and sister.  Lisa had flown in from Las Vegas.  She is almost 6 months pregnant with a little girl, and definitely has the "glow" of pregnancy.  She has always been beautiful, and is even more so now.  We went to a lesser known area of the Outer Banks called Ocracoke Island.  It's a very small island that is accessible only by ferry, private boat or plane.  It has a population of less than 1000 and has miles and miles of untouched beaches.  Most of the Outer Banks has been built up and commercialized.  But not Ocracoke.  As soon as we drove off the ferry there was a sense of old-town comfort and quiet.  People ride bikes around the small island.  There are no familiar chain restaurants or stores - no Wal-Mart, no CVS, no McDonald's.  Instead there are quaint privately-owned shops, such as "Sweet Tooth" candy store, "The Back Porch" restaurant, and of course the General Store.  We stayed at a lovely B&B called The Cove.  Our deck looked out at the water.  After 3 glorious days at the beach, the girls headed back home to Virginia and I spent the rest of the week catching up with family and preparing for Lisa's baby shower.  We had a mini family reunion for her shower - almost all of the 12 cousins were there.  My last night at home I walked around the farm taking pictures with my new camera, marveling at what a peaceful night it was.  My parents have built their retirement home on a farm and there's a little pond in front that sparkles at night when the sun is setting.  It couldn't be more picturesque.  The next morning was filled with tearful goodbyes - particularly when my sister left.  I almost always cry when we part.  I miss her so much.  And I miss the rest of my family, too.  Coming home from vacation is always hard.  Especially when you've gone home to visit family.  Hence the title of the blog.  Despite the friends I've made here in Texas and the exciting new adventures I've had here, I still feel like a part of my heart is missing because it's with my friends and family in Virginia.  There truly is no place like home.

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