I’m home tonight with Sweet Husband, first time to sleep in my own bed for the first time in seven nights. I head back to Hattiesburg tomorrow for one last day with children and then Saturday I’m off to southwest Missouri to spend some time with the GrandSner for Thanksgiving. Sweet Husband will be staying home with the puppies because it begins to get very expensive to travel when the both of us go. They get boarded and we need hotels and his truck guzzles gas. When it’s just me, it’s a much easier trip in many respects.
I’ve been going home for Thanksgiving for longer than I can remember. Before Sweet Husband and I got married, I told him that wouldn’t be changing. I understood that Thanksgiving was a big football holiday for him and I wouldn’t ask him to come with me, but I wouldn’t be changing my tradition. He’s OK with that, but this year he asked me if I needed to make two trips to Missouri in less than 4 weeks. My Sner is flying in for Christmas on December 17 and on the 21st, we’re going to Missouri to see GrandSner. I just looked at him. Normally he’s much more astute.
So Saturday I go home again, and it’s so very true that you can never really go home again. I’ve made peace with the fact that the GrandSner’s house is no longer the GrandSner’s house. That it’s now been close to two decades since my grandparents’ house was theirs. I’m pretty sure that I’ve written about this before, but the places that nurtured me and grew me are fading and will soon be gone. It won’t be long until the primary reasons why I travel “home” no longer exist.
Labor Day was my last trip “home” – it will always be “home” even though here, this place that I never would have ever imagined would be home is truly home – GrandSner didn’t know who I was. The mental decline in a mere three months was astounding. The change in her from Memorial Day (the trip before) to Labor Day broke my heart and really made me confront the fact that it now won’t be long. So yes, yes, I really do need to make two trips in less than four weeks.
The last trip I made was fast. I had my Big Girl Camera with me, but I didn’t take any pictures. I think that this trip – because I’ll be by myself and I’ll have the luxury of some time, I’m going to do myself the favor of taking a lot of pictures – those places and spaces that hold meaning and were at one time important to me, that hurt me, that formed me, that held me, the healed me. I don’t know that those places have power any more or if that only resides in my memory these days, but I’d like to see what turns up through my viewfinder…and I’d like to have some representation of it that lasts for those days when I no longer make those pilgrimages north.
One of theses trips I’m also going to go slowly, the back roads, up through the Ozark mountains – in the spring when it is gorgeously green and in the fall when it turns those brilliant jewel tones. I will stop when the mood strikes me or when I see the picture that is begging to be taken. Maybe Sweet Husband and I will take a trip at spring break, make it a multiple day trip, stay at the Shack Up Inn.