Monday, April 6, 2009

The Cure for Homesickness

I have been feeling extremely homesick for the past couple of weeks. When Friday evening came around, Chuck came home from work and we talked about the weekend's to-do list. I'm pretty sure there wasn't a single fun thing on this list which included yard work, touching up some ceiling paint, and cleaning out the garage. While he went outside to get the first thing, mowing the lawn, crossed off of the list, my mom called to tell me that they had decided to barbecue on Saturday. She said she knew it was last-minute but she thought she might ask in case we could come. My sister and her family were going to be there too. As much as I wanted to go, I was pretty sure we couldn't do it. After all, there was so much to do around here, not to mention that Chuck has been playing guitar at our church on Sundays. I felt terrible asking, but he immediately said he wanted to go. He knew how much I'd been missing home, so he called to make sure he wouldn't be missed too much on Sunday. We packed an overnight bag and left on Saturday morning.

Sometimes I really crave the country. It takes us a little more than 3 hours to get to the house where I lived from age 11 until age 18, and where my family still lives today. I don't miss the house -- actually we always try to convince them to move to another house. The one they live in gives them far more trouble than it's worth. What I miss most is just the whole feeling of being home. Once we get off of the interstate and cross the state line into Louisiana, I begin to feel myself relax. I welcome the sight of the pine trees, wildflowers growing along the road, and road signs designating the parish lines. I don't even mind that once we enter Louisiana the speed limit changes to 55 mph. It's okay with me that we can slow down a little bit for a few days.

And I think that's part of it. I like a slower pace. Certainly there are pine trees and wildflowers where I live in Texas. I like where we live, but sometimes I simply long for what is familiar. I can let my guard down at home when I'm among my family. I don't have to pretend like everything is okay, or put on a brave face. I can just "be."

We spent Saturday enjoying hot dogs, pork chops, and delicious hamburgers from Mom's kitchen and my step dad's grill. We sat around the table and played a board game that lasted for several hours. We laughed, ate, played, relaxed, and ate again. I snuggled with my nephews and colored pictures with them, and I marveled at how much they'd grown in the past few months -- Nephew A had lost his first tooth since we last saw him! It was hard to leave everyone the next day after such a short visit, but driving 6 hours (round trip) in two days was worth it. It helped me feel connected again. The fact is that I've been in a constant state of sadness for weeks now... or is it months? If I were being honest I would admit that it's more like years.

These moments away, where I can relax in the welcoming arms of my family no matter how briefly, are just what I need to push through sometimes. This weekend the only cure for my homesickness was going home.


Andi said...

Wow, your perspective is somehwat different than mine on this one. Glad you live close enough to do a last-minute quick trip. I'm headed there for Easter.

Alicia said...

That's so hard not be around you family as often as you like:( My heart aches for you. I'm glad that you got to spend time with them and just "be" you and enjoy them.

Strangley your posts often make me hungry.

TRS said...

That sounds like a great visit. I used to live 3 hours from my parents - it was great - easy to get home - but they're not going to drop in without calling ahead!

Now I'm 10 hours away and I miss all kinds of stuff and it's a pain to plan a trip home to visit.

Kathryn said...

I understand homesickness, but differently. I have a foster mom i miss, & i miss the country where i grew up. That's a 24 hour drive (one way) from where i am now, so it rarely, rarely happens. Sometimes i'm so homesick it makes me ache. For me i think it is a different kind of longing i call "homesickness."

But homesickness for family is something i've never experienced. Wish i could say i've the kind of relationship to family that you get homesick for.

Lovely that you have such a good relationship with them & can be there in a few hours drive. Hope some of this settles for you.

Amy said...

So glad you got a weekend back home, Stacey. I used to live three hours from my parents when we were first married, and it can be just too far sometimes. Now I live 20 minutes from them, and I still get homesick. Sometimes you just need your mom...and her cooking. :) Hope it gives you a lift.

Connie said...

I am SO glad you guys came. It is never ever the same without you. The boys are already counting sleeps until we see you again. ((HUGS))

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way about my family, only I have to drive 14 hours there and 14 hours back or a very expensive two hour flight each way. Its terrible living so far away, I wish I was closer, I wish I could hop in the car for a 10 minute drive to be there to visit with them. They're flying up for the Easter weekend and I can't wait.
As for the sadness, once you can name it you can claim it babe!

Ro-bear said...

Hey Stace, I'm just the opposite once we cross the state line into Louisiana. I can't "home" fast enough, and I start getting antsy. My wife jokes that she can tell when we are going to see my family, because I start getting even crazier and sillier than normal. Glad you had a good time! Guess we won't see you there over Easter, huh?

Marian said...

I know exactly how you feel. I actually had one of those days today. :( My parents moved around a lot after I graduated from HS so my "home"sickness doesn't come from me missing a home but from me missing my family. I know the ache ~ So glad you got to spend some time with your family and so glad you have an understanding husband that will pack up and go!

twondra said...

That's awesome you had a good weekend! I'm so blessed to have my family right here and I don't know what I would do if I didn't. I'm soooo happy you got to have a weekend with them.

Living With Loss said...

Hi Stacey

Thanks for your kind comment on my blog.

I'm so sorry for everything you've been through and I wish you lots of luck on your journey from here.

I look forward to reading more and getting to know you better.

Take care, N

Life In Mazes said...

I am so glad you got to come home to LA! I am just beginning to really aprreciate all that my home state has to offer. Praying for you! I am so glad you are finding yourself connected again!

Becky said...

I am so glad you have a place where you can just be. I don't have that with my family, but fortunately I have it with my husband (I know you do as well).

I agree with Alicia, reading about the barbecue makes me hungry!

I was wondering what part of Texas you live in. My in-laws live in Wimberly which is between Austin and San Antonio.