Even though my parents' home isn't officially mine anymore, I actually think home is always home and that you can have more than one. It's comforting to feel utterly comfortable in more than one place, and I'm aware that in this respect I'm very fortunate; not everyone has family or is close to theirs. After landing in NOLA yesterday, we rented a car, ran by the market and then a wine store where Lili, a friend from my writing group (I've never met her in person but feel like I know her after talking so much over the past 11 months) was sampling and selling her Delightful Palate goodies. It was absolutely marvelous, such a treat, to meet her. We hugged like we were long-lost friends; I'm sure you can see the warmth here too!
Back on the road, we got in last night, and the boys were beside themselves with excitement. Mom and Dad had set up hay bales and targets in the back yard for the boys as a sneak peek of their archery-themed gifts to come. But rain sidelined flashlights and searching so instead the kids got to open their bows and arrows. I have not seen such thrilled boys since the night before when they opened their gifts from T's parents.
At 6am today, Jack was outside with Tom, arrows in quivers, arm covers donned, targets set. Oliver joined in shortly thereafter, and it is abundantly clear that Tom will soon require his own bow. The boys have hardly come in since, so smitten are they as archers. Jack asked if he was as skilled as Katniss. I told him to keep practicing. My aunt Renee came over, Dad returned home from rounds and other on-call duties, T and I snuck out to the gym and then to the market for veggies and other yums for dinner tonight. We passed a sign that promised me that "perms are back" -I highly doubt this!- as well as multiple and enormous arrays of yard-based Christmas decor. There is no evidence of a "war on Christmas" around here (not really anywhere, IMO), of that you can be sure! I found these reindeer eerily large. That Santa is just shorter than life-size, if you need a better sense of scale. Wow, yes?
Mom and Dad are going to a party tonight, so I'm cooking for Renee, T, the kiddos and moi. It's going to be a beautiful veggie feast of bounteous proportions: eggplant with tahini; roasted beets with horseradish; thyme-spinach pesto; butternut squash with pearl couscous and goat cheese; other items TBD. It's warm enough for shorts which is always vaguely dissonant but cold weather is promised at some unspecified point in the future. I'll take whatever really!