Thursday, October 16, 2008

You Can Go Home Again

Today's Wonder of the World is...Coming Home!

Flickr photo by Blondieyooper
Lately I've been thinking a lot about the wonder of coming home.
It's probably because we've had a rash of happy homecomings lately!

If you live in South Carolina and were awake around 3am Monday night, you might have heard the cheering from one particular homecoming party! A plane full of nearly 400 soldiers returned to South Carolina from Iraq, to hundreds of happy wives, husbands, and kids!

Todd's brother Stu was one of them!
Welcome Home Stu! We're so glad you're back!
Stu had been in Iraq since May. It was his third tour there, so I'm sure he's more than glad to shake the sand out of his shoes! There he is in the picture hugging my sis-in-law Swanee.
I'm sure he's having a big time, catching up with Swanee and their four teenage girls!

And speaking of teenage girls, we had another family homecoming the very same weekend!
It was Sarah's Fall Break.

How nice it was to have all my chicks back in the nest!
Even if my oldest chick spent much of the time running all over creation, seeing her chick friends, who were also home from college!
By the way, notice how classy we are in that picture, with our jar of applesauce on the table and our assorted selection of plastic glasses?
And look who's under the table! Tanner wanted to be part of the togetherness too. That, and he was counting on the fact that someone would drop some chicken noodle bake on the rug just for him! Then he'd gobble down Sam's napkin for dessert. He's not picky!

Sarah's break reminded me of those days back in the Dark Ages, when I came home from college.
Actually it didn't remind me of those days until the second day Sarah was home. We sat at the table and ate lunch together (she ate breakfast--the sleepyhead!) and she told me how her high school friends were teasing her for still having an 11:30 curfew, even though she was living on her own in college!
I remember having that same conversation with my mom!
Sorry sweetheart! Yes, I guess we were being a little ridiculous. But we like our sleep! And my eyes refuse to shut when they know you're out driving in the dark somewhere!
But I can be reasonable. So we compromised. From here on out, I set the alarm for 1:00am and she has to be in to turn it off, or I get to wake up and worry. Woo hoo for Scheduled Worrying!

On Sunday afternoon, while Sarah packed up her clean clothes and waited for her ride back to school, I asked her what she thought about coming home. (Besides the fact that her parents were ninnies and wouldn't stop begging her to sit on their laps.)
Here's a few of her thoughts:

She LOVES her bed, even if it is a lumpy old hand-me-down and has a spring that sticks up in her back.
She misses old people. And children.
Doing laundry in the dorm is CRAZY EXPENSIVE. Plus, if you go to class with your clothes in one of the dorm dryers, you can come back and find your clean underwear all over the folding table, next to two boys with sheepish grins on their faces!
It is very quiet at 2:30 am in our house.
She likes bagels now. We should buy them.

Coming home can be so strange and bittersweet--and wonderful too. The only certain thing in life is change, right? Change happens and life moves on.
And sometimes home changes too. Here's one of my all time favorite pictures of my brother Steve and me.

We were home visiting from France at my parents' house, and Steve and I were catching up. I love that photo because Steve and I look so happy to be with each other, and because we're bathing our boys while we talk (actually we don't look like we're paying too much attention!) Although the photo doesn't show it, while we're chatting our boys are playing with the same bath toys that Steve and I used to play with! That's because my sentimental mommy saved all our bath toys! (Stop grossing out, you! The woman is a whiz with bleach!) How I love that purple plastic kitty and Steve's favorite chime ball.

Hey, that reminds me! Awake in Rochester tagged me to show a picture of one of my favorite childhood toys!
I couldn't find one of the retro sixties kitty, but here's the chime ball.

Flickr photo by jimmy j
It makes me happy to see it.
Steve, does it make you happy too?

And everyone else, if you'd like to play along, consider yourself tagged!

Have a wonder-full Thursday, y'all! And please, tell me your homecoming stories! Can a person truly go home again? Even without bagels?
And what about your favorite toys? Did your mommy save them? Or carry them off to Goodwill the minute you were out the door? Did she turn your bedroom into her home gym? Or keep it as a shrine to you?
It's a safe space. You can share.

Love, Becky
PS. Here's one of my favorite homecoming stories (of sorts,) if you're looking for a good book!


a Tonggu Momma said...

Welcome home, Stu!!!! As a child, I waited on the tarmac more times than I can count. Glad you are home now.

TattingChic said...

Oh, I remember my first visit home back from college! I was torn between wanting to be back at school with my college friends and wanting to stay home with my "Homies", LOL! Cute post!

JaxPop said...

Glad Stu is home safe. Your post is very timely. I was blind-sided with a "you gotta go bail out a job" in Chicago last week. Our visit to see the kids - our vacation - even the holidays are all on hold. Flying back to pick Deb up tomorrow & then we're stuck here for who knows how long. My visits "home" will be limited to flights south to check the house, water plants & take care of the cat once a week - return flight same day. That'll be exhausting. I'm already freezing my tail off - miss my beach.

steve said...

Yay for the chime ball! That does make me happy. I don't remember what we said in that conversation, but I do remember reminiscing about the bath toys and being glad that our kids could enjoy them. Yay bleach!

Suzie said...

Im so glad he's home. I love Fanny Flag too

Rebecca Ramsey said...

People, you won't believe it! I'm supposed to be writing right now, but I dropped in to read comments, and I became suddenly obsessed with finding that kitty on ebay! (See, I really need to hire myself a boss to crack the whip!)
I'll drop in again later and add a comment with a link to see it. (To reward myself for getting work done.)

The thought just occurred to me that maybe that purple plastic kitty is MY obsession, not yours. Oh well. I'll post a link anyway.

LW said...

I love homecomings…
My daughter lived in Vietnam for three years and would be home for part of the summer.
We didn’t plan anything during the time she was home; we just focused on her and her hubby and soaking up the visits…we were two pathetic parents waiting for a little time with our kid …

And I so understand about the worrying about our teen age kids…I feel like I have spent a life time waiting for my kids to come home…our first two are 15 years apart…

200 soldiers coming home is a time for celebration…


Rosemary said...

Welcome Home, and Thank you!!!!

Anonymous said...

YAY STU!!!!!!!

There is nothing like the precious memories that follow a priceless photo.

lotusloq said...

Happy homecoming Stu!!

As for what my parents did with my room: they knocked down the wall between their room and mine and doubled the size of their room and made a big walk-in closet. How's that for taking it to the next level? Now when I visit I sleep in my brothers' old room. Oh well! It seems only fair. I don't live there anymore.

Paula Clare said...

Welcome home, Stu...and THANK YOU for your service to our country!

This past weekend we didn't have a fact, we took pieces of home to our son's (and soon to be wife's) new apartment. We have given them our kitchen table and chairs, and they wanted our isn't lovely, trust me...but it's the one that we've had all the years of my son's growing up...and he's grown...attached. It's also wide enough for me and DH to lay side by side and watch tv...a perk my son and fiance want to enjoy also. We are temporarily without a couch...we have one lone chair in the living room now...but I am happy to know a piece of "home" will be at "home" in our son's new apartment. We hauled it over 500 miles, across a parking lot, through a breezeway and up two flights of stairs...we REEEEEEEEEEEALLY wanted him to feel at home!

Great memories...and lots of mental snapshots (didn't take a single photo, can you believe it?)

Fete et Fleur said...

You are such an amazing writer. I've told you this many times before, but I have to tell you again!
My best homecoming: The first time I spent a weekend away from my husband. I missed him so much I could hardly eat all weekend. I jumped into his arms off the airporter bus and nearly knocked him down.


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

They built a new house and moved--I returned and had to ask where I'd sleep. "In the guest room," Mom told me. Ah.

adrienne said...

Scheduled worrying - I love that idea!
How fun to think about the childhood toys...Operation was always a hit...I'm gonna go search the back of my brain now.

Meaghan said...

Your heading is awesome and the toy in the picture, i so had one of those.


CC said...

Hurray for homecomings!! You know the best one ever? Tonggu momma can agree with me on this one... landing at your local airport with your child for their first homecoming EVER. Now THAT is a celebration! :)

Rebecca Ramsey said...

CC, I bet! Talk about happy!

Meg, welcome to the blog!

And sorry, the rest of you. Bad news. I can't find that link to my plastic kitty. I know you're devastated.

Our Juicy Life said...

it's nice to hear that people are coming from from Iraq safe and sound, now let's get them all home.

May Vanderbilt said...

The chime ball! I would love to know who invented that. It's such a whimsical toy. It doesn't really do anything and yet it charms.

Yay for homecomings!


I loved that Fannie Flagg book too!

Welcome home to bro Stu! I can't believe his girls are teenagers, but I guess that was inevitable, lol.
Great to see a pic your family together at home (with the platic cups!)

I'm going to get a bookplate from you to put in my own copy of your book since I got it after I moved and didn't get it signed by you. I meant to bring my copy with me when I visited in April but I forgot (like I didn't have enough on my mind lol).

Miss you, but LOVE keeping up with you here!

Susie Q said...

Coming home...going home...the sweetest words in all the world.

Welcome home Stu!