Getting to Idaho was a bit chaotic, but after having survived United Airlines and their ridiculous connections, I did finally make it home, just twelve hours after the original ETA! (A two-page, single spaced complaint letter did prompt United to offer me a travel coupon worth $150. While it forces me to fly their lovely airline again, it will be nice to be able to subtract that from a future excursion!)
My Idaho visit was a whirlwind. The trip started with Matt and the kids and I showing up to Dad’s Rotary meeting , to the utter astonishment of my mother! Two and a half weeks were quickly filled with picnic lunches in the park, a birthday party for my dad (happy 63rd!) visits and dinners with friends, two county fairs and a rodeo, a bit of yard work, a bit more shopping and a trip to Roaring Springs Water Park.
Really though, the best parts of the time home were the ones spent just hanging out with family and friends. While dinners and planned activities are always fun, just sitting around outside on a nice summer evening is about as good as it gets. My driveway basketball skills were put to the test on one such evening. Dinner at Fuddruckers was followed by an impromptu game of HORSE to break in Matt’s new hoop. After letting the kids take a few shots, we ushered them out of the way to make room for the real game! Mom, Melyssa, Kristina and I were the starting line-up. It didn’t take more than about seven rounds before I had earned my five letters, but luckily bedtime for the littlest ones came and I subbed in for Kristina. I apparently have much better basketball skills as her than I do as myself. Regardless of whose name I’m playing under, all my shots had a style that left the others green with envy!!
After getting home from being home for a few weeks, I think I’m really coming to see that the concept of “home” is going to become much more pliant in the future. Idaho is always going to be home. It is the place where I was born, attended twelve years of public school, met and married Thad and then taught for a decade. There is no replacing that “home.” But, home is also always going to be wherever we are currently posted. That house will have to be home if we are going to be successful in the Foreign Service lifestyle. One thing Peace Corps taught me was the necessity of making whatever dwelling we are placed in a home. That means that this time when we head out for China (and then the following postings!), I will not only take the clothes and daily necessities that constituted my measly PC weight limit, but I will also be shipping an abundance of cozy additions like throw blankets and pillows, Scentsy products and ALL of the framed travel pictures we had hanging in the Nampa house. As cheesy as it sounds, the truth is that home really will be wherever Thad and I are together, whether that be our beautiful suburban house in Nampa, a hotel-like apartment outside of Washington DC or the mystery places that await us abroad!