How does it feel being back in Minnesota?…

Today, it’s snowing in Minneapolis and the suburbs, and the roads are slippery.

Many have asked, “How does it feel to be back home?”

The answer to this question is entangled with many emotions. We had a good life here in Minnesota. Tom was born in Minneapolis, and I’d come to the state back in 1969 when my two sons were two years and an infant.

But, like all families, we each had our struggles, disappointments and tough times interspersed with the happy memories and milestones of our lives and the lives of our children, other family members, and friends.

Now, after being away for seven years, it feels very different and here. Today, I can only speak for myself. Tom can only decide for himself at this point, for which he isn’t entirely sure.

It’s not the same, for sure. Years ago, when on occasion I traveled for business or pleasure, as the plane flew over the city, especially at night, I had a powerful sense of, “This is my happy place. This is my home.”

I didn’t feel a moment of nostalgia or reminiscence when we flew over the city and suburbs on Friday night, other than the joyful anticipation of seeing our family members. It was simply another big city we were flying over at night, some of which elicit enthusiasm and excitement and others, very little emotion at all.

When we’ve arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa, on our way to Marloth Park, I didn’t feel a speck of joy. But, when we’d flown into the small facility, Mpumulanga/Nelspruit/Kruger Airport, my heart was pounding in my chest with sheer fun and excitement. It’s all relative. That’s the way life is. That’s the way our life is.

And soon, when we fly into Mumbai, India is a mere 50 days, my heart will be aflutter with hope and expectations for two months of a purely profound cultural experience with a smidgen of wildlife tossed in the mix. (We’re booking several days on tiger safaris).

But is Minnesota still our home? If not, then where is the home of these two nomads who wander the earth, now seven years in the making? It’s right here. It’s there. It’s everywhere.

The adage, “Home is where the heart is,” however corny that may sound, is with a doubt a truism. For us, wherever we may be at any given moment is “home,” and in our peculiar way, we call it so over and over again. 

When we say after a long day of sightseeing or visiting with friends, “Shall we head for “home,” honey?” “Do you feel like heading home?” We know what we mean, and thus, the definition for us in this extraordinary life we lead is “home is down the road to that place where we lay our heads, cook our meals and find comfort in the activities of our daily lives and each other.”

It’s cold here now, mainly in the low 20’s (-6.6C), and this morning sleet and snow are falling in thin sheets, leaving frosty trees, slippery roads, and walkways. I’ve yet to drive the rental car and suspect I may never in our remaining weeks in Minnesota.

We’ve decided we’ll stay through Thanksgiving, then fly to Apache Junction, Arizona, to our awaiting holiday home, unpack our belongings and then proceed to Nevada for a visit returning to Arizona a week or ten days later. We’ll only take a small amount of luggage to Nevada, and for the first time in a while, we’ll be traveling light. Of course, posts will continue along the way.

Today, we wrapped up the paperwork and got it in the mail for our required visa for India. It’s a complicated process that weighs heavily on our minds. Now we can relax knowing the paperwork is in the mail. We’ll receive the visa via email in several weeks.

Next, we need to process our “second passports,” which enable us to apply for visas requiring we mail in our original passports to apply for tickets. This prevents us from being in a foreign country without a valid passport in our possession.

Tonight, we’re taking three grandchildren out to dinner after watching granddaughter Madighan at her karate class. 

A special thanks to our loyal readers for reading our posts during this quiet time in our world travels. We appreciate every one of YOU!

We’ll be back tomorrow with more, however quiet, however mundane, and however uneventful it may be.

Happy day!

Photo from one year ago today, November 13, 2018:
This is my boy “Little.”  He visits almost daily.  He’d just returned from eating from the bale of hay left in the neighbor’s driveway when they departed after the weekend. That’s why he has grass all over his snout. He likes to cool off in the cement pond, sleep under the shade of a tree in our garden and climb the veranda steps seeking pellets. What a guy! For more photos, please click here.

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