Maybe the word home takes on a new meaning for me this summer. As my sister said so pointedly, I’m a bit of a wandering gypsy, living out of a suitcase with nothing but the essentials. My passport – nearly full and flimsy like a well loved deck of cards – is my lifeblood and my iPad is my Bible. I won’t spend more than two weeks in any one place this summer, which means home could be just about anywhere. Just yesterday I returned from a trip to Atlanta to see family and friends. This was home with all the bells and whistles of southern comfort and hospitality. Heat and humidity, afternoon thunderstorms, evening lightning displays in the sky, mosquitoes and locusts at dusk, rolling foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, sweet ice tea and home grown fried green tomatoes. This is the home of my childhood – my true home. It had been a while since I had last visited Atlanta in the summertime and I had forgotten how special a place it is for me. Sitting in the inevitable rush hour traffic jam on I-75 north wasn’t so frustrating, surprisingly. Focusing on the break lights ahead of me somehow lulled me into a trance-like state remembering the barefoot summers of my childhood, unaware of the grin stretching across my face. Summertime was when my friends and I had the time of our lives. We lived for sleepovers in my best friend’s tree house, trekking through the woods to the creek at the far end of our neighborhood, cookouts by the lake, a beach vacation in Florida, and spending a couple of weeks with my grandparents who spoiled me and my sister rotten beyond belief. It was an all-American childhood…the good ‘ole days. Just when the memories started to fade, I snapped out of my trance to the piercing sound of the car horn behind me…the car ahead of me had moved a few feet and I hadn’t noticed.
Now I’m back in Miami, a city that definitely provides all the comforts of home but none of its charm. After travelling to Minneapolis and San Diego for the last week and a half, Jeff will return to Miami this afternoon which perhaps will make it feel more like home. But rest assured there will be no grass growing beneath our feet just yet. With Jeff leaving for South America on Monday and my brief return to Barcelona before my trip to Southeast Asia next week, who knows where our next home might be?