We have just returned from our Thanksgiving trip home to Ohio, a whirlwind of travel through the state seeing Brian's family, my family, a few friends, and even some snow.
We also saw the inside of our favorite Athens restaurant, Casa Nueva. This is a place we actually plan our lives around, so that we can maximize the number of meals we get to have there. This time we fit in two - a dinner and a brunch. I'd consider that a success.
We took two cars home, so that we could bring back some items from my dad's house, including my mom's sewing machine. I am so excited to have it. According to my aunt, it belonged to my grandmother. I remember using it as a kid - first when I was in 4-H, and my group, "The Stupendous Stitchers", prepared some sewing projects for display at the fair. Later I used the sewing machine to make those loose, patchwork-sided jeans that everyone was wearing in college. My mom used it mostly for craft projects - cutting up a thin, old linen bedspread to make little rectangular sachets of dried herbs and flowers. It's a cabinet sewing machine - hard to come-by these days - and I'm really looking forward to using it.
Driving home through miles and miles of rain today, I let my mind wander. I thought about all the Christmas gifts I need to make, knitting imaginary rows in my mind, conjuring up the combinations of yarn I want to use for various projects. I thought about my blog - how it's evolved and what it really means, where its going, how to keep it true and honest and growing both in depth and in readership. I thought about a conversation I had with a good friend - a wise, beautiful, strong woman who is also a writer and creative spirit. We talked about finding a place where we can be free to express ourselves in stark and brutal honesty - how hard that is, how much courage it takes, how impossible it can be. I thought about how, as far as I know, there is no yarn shop - at least to speak of - in Athens. I thought about how much I sometimes want to move back to Ohio, how guilty I feel about the miles I put between Dora and her grandparents and other extended family, how much easier, at least in some ways, it would be to just give in and move back. I imagined that I could probably open a really awesome yarn shop in Athens, like Purl's or Yarn Paradise, and do really well. I could sit in my shop all day and knit, surrounded by a million colors and textures, happily enjoying a relatively competition-free existence which I would never have in Asheville.
After a longer-than-usual trip, we pulled into the turn lane on Patton Avenue to make the left onto Druid and head up the hill to our house. The grayness had followed us all the way to Asheville, with wet streets below and ominous dark clouds above. As we waited at the light, our little house a few yards away, the sun broke through the clouds. For a few intense minutes, the bright fall sun glowed orange against the glistening pavement and yellow ginkgo leaves on the corner by our house. It seemed like the sun was only shining in one place in the world, right over our little house in our little Asheville. Here I was, wondering again if we're doing the right thing living so many miles from home, and suddenly our overpriced little bungalow was bathed in sunshine.
Was it a sign from God, or just a meteorological coincidence? I guess I'll never know. It was enough, though, to quell my doubts a little longer, to remind me of why we came here in the first place, to make me think of this as home-sweet-home once again. My little girl is sound asleep in her bed, the dogs and cats are napping while the furnace hums away, the porch light is on waiting for Brian to get home from teaching. Home-sweet-home indeed.