While I sit here exhausted, trying to arrange all my thoughts of the last couple weeks back home and the last year as a whole, one thing is for certain--I am blessed. Now that doesn't mean I am always happy, of course it doesn't, that is just ridiculous. It also doesn't mean that I wouldn't change anything. Nonetheless, I am overwhelmed at just how lucky I am sometimes.
First off let me start by saying a giant thank you to all of my friends and family back home that made for a very special 3 week vacation. It was much needed and much appreciated. We crammed a lot into the first two weeks as a family and I just about killed myself the last week running all over. Wouldn't have changed it though, too much good stuff is good sometimes.
OK, so a quick rundown. Golf for me the day after I got back probably wasn't a good idea and my scores showed that. No harm done. Sunday school was great, getting to catch up with good friends, and having several groups invite us over was wonderful as well. Thank you Evans and Sheehys, and Gunnemans thank you for stopping also. Racquetball Monday was an experience. Fun to be back out there, not so fun to stink it up so bad. Dentist Tuesday resulted in everyone having good news except Rian, who is back to having Mom and Dad brush her teeth. Yikes, kid! Wednesday, my folks showed up and took us for some Mexican (oh how I missed you so!)...(parents and the food) after more racquetball. Friday morning, Dad and I did something we hadn't done in ages. Single digit age for me I think. We went fishing with my neighbors, Matt and Paul, thanks to both for the invite and Paul for the boat. What a fun time. Cigars, couple cold beverages, and we all caught--winning combos. Poker that night--also rusty, and shopping the next day. Church again Sunday, cavity filled for Rian & racquetball on Monday, followed by a movie then dinner, and saying goodbye to my parents. Kelsie had a positive report on Tuesday from her neuro, though we aren't off medicine and seizures are still present, she was pleased with K's progress, and said there were FEWER seizures. Thank God. Golfed again Wednesday night with better results and Lace helped her friend set up her classroom for school. Thursday was more cavities and Friday I golfed with my brother in law and then we had our farewell dinner with Leasea's sister and family. I said goodbye to Baylie that night for a week, and Saturday after breakfast with the Carlton family, I said goodbye to the other three as they got on the plane, England bound. I saw a movie and tried to take it easy that night, I was off to Tunica at 5 am on Sunday...
...Pre-dawn, Matt and I are picking up Tate and Eastbound. Had to be there in time for a tourney, which I finished one off the money in, and then had a ridiculous, Paula Dean buffet. Bad idea, as we all over-ate. Good idea because it was so dang good. Took some seriously rough beats at the poker table that night and I was down in a hole to start day 2, but golf was coming. Monday we played 27 holes of golf, I shot 48 on the front, 48 on the back, and 48 on the bonus 9. Nothing brilliant, but I beat Matt, and I guess you could say I showed consistency. A quick hustle to the hotel for three showers and back off for another tournament which I made final table, but no cash, and Matt chopped the pot for a win--congrats Matt! I hit big again and again on 3 card and was out of my hole and up a bit after day 2. Came back on Tuesday, relaxed, got laundry started and finished on Wednesday between errands. Was pretty well squared away and ready for my flight to Chicago on Thursday to met my cousin Gary and his roommate Daryl for some fun and a ballgame. Thursday was the fun, bouncing around downtown and having Gino's East pizza, before heading back to condo to sleep and get ready for the ballgame Friday. Hit some places in Wrigleyville before the game, which the Cubs came from behind to lead before showing off their patented come-from-ahead-loss skills. Awesome. Couple more places to show D and then I was off to the airport. Got back to AR at midnight, got home, showered, slept, woke, finished packing and was loaded up for the airport 10 hours later. Ugh. 16+6 hours later I was in Mt Bures hugging all my girls.
So, what does all that do? It leads me to this. I love home, I miss home, but it was nice to come back here, because this is where my family is. As fun as that last week was, I had to stay that busy so I wouldn't be lonely. There are many issues when you are living two places. You are always town between where you are and where you aren't. Who you're with and who isn't around. What things were like, and how they are. That isn't a bad thing, and I hope I am learning how to cope better. I have met some great people here who are becoming friends I hope to have for many years. I have wonderful, tolerant, helpful friends back home, that while missing them makes it hard to be here, there prayers and support and help, makes it possible to be here. I think it is probably like comparing girlfriends; better left undone, just look to each new experience with a fresh and positive understanding. And I am trying.