Sweet Home Georgia
As many of you know, I went home to Atlanta, Georgia for Christmas. It was a long, drawn out decision on if I should go or not and an even longer flight to get home. My grand total of traveling hours from my doorstep in KL to my parents house in Georgia, was……close to 40 hours!!! But, after much thought (ok, like 5 seconds) I decided that it was totally worth it!!!! I was home for close to two weeks and while we aren’t going to relive the trip hour by hour, here are a few of the highlights, in no particular order:
1) Driving. It had been six months since I had gotten behind the wheel and I had missed it! Experiencing that freedom, it was just like being 16 again and driving for the first time. Ok, not the first time, I’m slightly better now, but it was still pretty sweet.
2) College Football. Man, I miss this! We can download most of our “regular programs” and watch them over here, but have yet to figure out college football and it was a looooong fall without it. (Luckily, not many of our teams did all that great, so we didn’t miss much.) An example of the desperation: For the Georgia/GT game, I called my parents in Atlanta via skype and had them prop up the computer so we could see their television on our computer in KL! So, coming home in time to see all the bowl games on was fabulous! Dad and I sat and watched what I think was the Iowa game one night in its entirety, although I don’t recall who they were playing or who won. Just having it on was perfect.
3) Herman Cain, Clark Howard and Dave Ramsey on the radio. I love those guys.
4) Henry. Duh. Words can’t describe how happy I was to see the little guy. We went to the dog park, the pet store, took long rides in the car, chased the ball, played with the nieces, and snuggled on the couch. It was like I had never left. 🙂
5) White Elephant Gift Exchange at the Gilberts. This is with the extended Gilbert family and it has a level of competitiveness that one might not expect from a gift exchange, but it only makes things better.
6) Chick-fil-A, Moe’s, Five Guys, Cheesecake Factory, QT, The Counter, Cheviche, Shanes BBQ, J. Christopher’s, California Pizza Kitchen, pigs in a blanket, Dr. Pepper, my mom’s beef stroganoff were all consumed in mass quantities. I am so glad I found those elastic waist yoga pants for the way home.
7) Four hour dinners + non stop talking + best friends = one of the things I miss the most. You know the old cliché, “You never appreciate things until they are gone?” Well, not saying I didn’t appreciate my friends before, but now being so far away, I really, REALLY appreciate them and all of their wonderfulness! I had meals with teacher friends, diva friends, rowing friends, Godmother friends, and loved every second of it. I don’t know what I would do without those girls in my life!
8) Flannel sheets, box springs, and fluffy pillows. None of which I can seem to find in Asia. Well, flannel sheets I don’t really need, but I sure could use the other two to grab some zzzz’s at bedtime.
9) Yes, ma’am, No sir, and Bless her heart! Say what you want about the South, but we have manners.
10) Snow on Christmas Day! Never in my lifetime, in fact, never for 130 years has there been snow on the ground on Christmas Day in Atlanta. So happy I got to experience that, but was happy to return to 80 degree weather the next week. Turns out, snow is really COLD.
11) The Vent. The sports vent, the regular vent, the local vent, I don’t care, they are all good to me. Complaining about things in our community with sarcastic remarks and clever one liners? Yes please!
12) Good hair days. Having not had one in about six months, I had kinda forgotten about them. They had become like the Lochness Monster or Bigfoot, people talked about them, but nobody in KL had ever seen one.
13) Dishwasher. We don’t have one in KL and I (and my dishpan hands) sure do miss it.
14) Family. This, of course, goes without saying and is the reason you fly 10,000 miles in slightly cramped conditions. One of my favorite points of the trip was right when I got there. Coming up the escalator in Atlanta, I gave my regular shout out to the naked toddler playing in Centennial Park, (who is most likely about 20 years old now and I often wonder how he feels when he comes to Atlanta and sees the younger version of himself welcoming visitors from all over the world with no clothes on? Something to ponder on your next trip to the ATL.) who presence always means I am home.
When I got to the top of the escalator, I was searching for a familiar face and heard someone yell, “JEN!” I looked slightly to the left and about seven rows deep, I saw my mom’s hand waving above the crowd. All the sudden, she had nudged politely/pushed her way to the front of the crowd (never underestimate your mama) and was under the rope and hugging me like I had been on the other side of the world.
The hug that I had come to depend on for the last 31 years felt pretty good. Maybe we shed a few tears. Just a few though.
So, it was great to be home, but it was also good to come back to KL and see Honeykins (aka Husband Dan) again. I would like to officially nominate him for Husband of the Year for sending me home for Christmas. It’s funny when someone knows you so well that they know what you need before you do.
And I really needed to go home for Christmas! Thanks honey.