Monday, November 19, 2007


This is how it happens.

The strong, consistent pull of deja-vu and the crazy quilt of childhood memories give way, more or less, to actual bearings and a sense of place.

We know most of the hotel staff by name, both morning and evening crews, and Miss Karen remembers to put aside a bag of stale biscuits so we can feed the ducks and catfish out back.

After we've dispersed every last morsel, after we stroll back into the hotel and board the elevator, Spencer and Katie take their places at the handrail to watch as we magically levitate above the lobby. Carter needs no prompting to push the number for our floor.

We're slightly, irrationally miffed when someone takes "our" space in the parking lot.

Laundry has been done, groceries have been purchased. And everything we own is infused with the faint, sweet smell of Nanny's house.

The revelers have gone home. The cards have been opened, the presents unwrapped. The balloons have deflated. There's still cake, but we've quit craving it entirely, and now eat it only out of a vague sense of obligation.

We see a car with a Texas license plate, and it rings a distant bell. Yes, Texas: we remember something about that.

We can't quite recall a time when the morning sun didn't rise over the mountains. And the stars: well, they've always been this bright, haven't they?

We go out for barbecue and run into a former neighbor.

Everything that was strange and foreign just a few days ago now seems utterly normal.

There hasn't been enough time to visit. Not nearly enough. There never will be, of course, and that's why it hurts to leave.

But we know that it's time to move on. And we know that, when we return, we'll happily start all over again.


Blogger anniemcq said...

Beautiful. Just beautiful. Safe travels home.

6:05 AM  

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