March 13, 2021 -There’s no place like home.

My friends, I have to tell you, it’s always good to reconnect with family and friends. I just spent the last 3 days over at my brother’s. With him, I can be as silly and stupid as I want to be and there’s no judgment. We have so much history together that we could spend days just talking about ‘old times’. In fact, I think if he had his way, he would have preferred staying in the era of ‘The Brady Bunch’ and ‘The Pink Panther Show’. There’s something about the 1970s that he’s fascinated by. I’m not sure if it has to do with the innocence of youth or the simplicity of the times, but I’m sure if he could time travel, that’d be his first and only stop. I don’t know if I ‘dig’ the 1970s as much as he does. My memories from back then differ greatly from my brother. The first 5 half of the decade was pure chaos in our family. My mom divorced my father in 1970 and until she remarried in 1975, we experienced some rough and tumble times. Regardless, we all got through it, some better than others.

I think that’s what’s nice about reuniting with family. Because of the connection created due to being in the trenches together, a lifelong bond is often formed. The bad part about getting together is that we egg each other on and have a tendency to get carried away. My brother got so obnoxious yesterday that his wife nearly throttled him. Whenever I come over, he usually plugs in the jukebox and plays several ridiculous songs (from our youth) in a row, at a high volume. I was treated to ‘King Tut’ by Steve Martin, ‘The Streak’ by Ray Stevens, and ‘Eat It’ by Weird Al Yankovic. He was a huge fan of ‘Music with Moskowitz’ when we were growing up. I don’t know how many times I heard ‘Fish Heads’, ‘They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!’, and ‘Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh’ as I walked past his bedroom (way back when). He’s got his quirks but I lucked out having him as a big brother. He’s one of the most honest, selfless, caring, and generous people I know.

Despite the fact that I really enjoyed our visit together, I am glad to be home. There’s no place quite like it! It’s nice to be able to do what I want, when I want, without worrying about how it affects others. My brother and his wife are ‘larks’. My husband is, too. Don’t know what a ‘lark’ is? Basically, that is a ‘morning person’. I’m a night owl (the total opposite). They function better at the crack of dawn and I function better around nine o’clock at night. When I stay at their house, it can be a bit of a problem. They actually have a spare bedroom that I could use but because they go to sleep at eight at night and I don’t go to sleep until two or three in the morning, I prefer to sleep in their trailer. I know, it seems silly but if you knew how sensitive my brother was to sound, you probably would opt to stay in the trailer, too. He hears everything, from when I watch television on the lowest possible volume to each time I flush the toilet.

If I went to bed at the same time as them, it wouldn’t be an issue, but I don’t. While they’re sound asleep, I’m the most active. I am grateful that they have an alternative space for me to stay in. It’s preferable to staying in their home and walking on eggshells. Like I said, I had a nice time during my short visit; however, I’m so glad to be home! There’s nothing like having the food I’m accustomed to eating readily available in the kitchen. And there’s nothing like sleeping in my own bed. I missed so many of the things I take for granted, a warm house for one! My brother keeps his thermostat at 60 degrees. Everyone wears coats indoors in his home. In my house, we keep the stat at 70 degrees. When I’m inside, I don’t want to have to wear a jacket. I also missed my super-comfy recliner. Nothing quite relieves back pain like a chair that reclines. I think my brother is the only man I know that doesn’t own one.

What else did I miss? Oh my goodness, I missed my dog! Although I’m not a big fan of constantly cleaning up all the poop in the yard, she’s a great companion and workout partner. I didn’t walk once when I was gone, in part, because I didn’t have her continually harassing me. I also missed her companionship. She usually doesn’t get up until I do and then she hangs out with me all day. My brother has cats and they’re not the friendliest creatures I’ve encountered. Despite my efforts, they never warmed up to me. More than anything, they seemed annoyed by my presence. Speaking of ‘annoyed by my presence’, I think my sister-in-law was glad to see me go. No, she was lovely and very kind; however, her husband (my brother) tends to behave differently whenever I show up and I know (from her words and actions) that my being there was making it difficult for her to effectively do her job. She’s a CPA and is currently working from home processing tax returns.

Just in case you missed the first 2-3 times I mentioned it, I thought I should reiterate how good it is to be home! It’s so nice to have everything close and accessible. Where I live, all of the grocery stores and shops are less than ten minutes away. It’s a small community and although it doesn’t have as much to offer as a big city, I am ok with that. It doesn’t have as many stores or restaurants or entertainment venues; however, it also doesn’t have as much traffic or crime or homelessness. It’s quiet and affordable, the water is clean and abundant, the electricity is cheap, and the people are (mostly) friendly. What more could you ask for? It’s also got a 10-mile, paved, loop trail that is beautifully maintained. If I want an alternative to walking the trail that’s just steps from my door, I can always use the loop trail for a change of pace (and scenery). This community has so much to offer. Honestly, I don’t know too many people that can say they have a ski resort a mere 20 minutes away.

I feel very fortunate and not just because of my home and the town where I live. My husband, who I missed more than the dog and the recliner and the warm house, is a real gem. While I was away, amongst other things, he finished repairing the washing machine and walked the dog in my absence (even though he didn’t feel up to it). He also texted me several times and told me he missed me. He was willing to accompany me over to see my family but he’s absolutely miserable when he goes, so I went on ahead by myself and he stayed home and took care of the dog. When I return to see my family, I suspect I’ll be going solo again. With warmer weather around the corner, I have a few trips planned. My mom is living in an assisted living facility and they still won’t let anyone inside the building except for residents, staff and essential personnel. It’s not very fun trying to visit her (out in the courtyard) when it’s only 45-50 degrees, so once it warms up, I’ll definitely be going more frequently.

Anyway, that’s about all I really have to share today. I got home just under 3 hours ago and need to get some shut-eye. My husband doesn’t realize I’m home so it’ll be interesting to see how he reacts when I climb into bed. The last time I did that (when he wasn’t expecting me), I scared the bejesus out of him. It was actually pretty funny (to me, not to him). That said, I’m heading to bed. I just have to brush the fur off my teeth first. Thank you so much for stopping by. For the folks that are ‘following’ me, I am grateful for you and the continued interest you have in reading about the variety of things I talk about each day. I’m no poet laureate or anyone with significant credentials to speak of but I do enjoy the opportunity to share things about my life and family or to just make simple random observations. If all goes well and I haven’t run you off, I trust you will return tomorrow as will I.

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