Sunday, May 16, 2021

Homeward Bound

Five weeks slides past in the blink of an eye. 
We go from a longed-for stay with those we love in the States, to the comfort of a familiar bed and a bright kitchen, along with the sharp claws of one méchant cat. 
When we decided to live in France, we always promised ourselves we could return to the States if anyone needed us, but we hadn’t anticipated a worldwide pandemic. 
So 14 months after our last visit, we could return to this crew 
Mother's Day brunch
Tucker, Kaitlin and Spencer celebrating Mother’s Day with me at an outdoor brunch. 
We started in Florida, isolating for a few weeks to make sure we didn’t catch COVID from any of the 20 people on our flight across the Atlantic. We loved having time to hang out with Mom and Dad, plus frolic in the pool. 
I got to see so many people I love, including both my brothers.
Me and Craig

Craig traveled from Texas to visit Mom for Mother’s Day and we arrived that evening in time to share some memories. 

Kevin's birthday

My younger brother Kevin celebrated a birthday and I got to join him. 
We stayed with our friends Deb and Greg and, of course, got to attend a Blue Jackets hockey game. We had a suite to watch the game so were separate from other fan, but it seemed so close to normal. 
Blue Jackets game

A separate suite
Gathering with their family and Dave’s (our dentist and friend) family too. 
Open restaurants

We ate outdoors at restaurants from the very first night in Ohio, as the boys reminded us to eat pizza with our hands rather than with a knife and fork. We got to stay at Spence and Kaitlin’s apartment; everyone is so grown up. 
Fat Cat
Their cat Mrs Potts never took to us. 

Lovely evenings with friends around a fire, sharing stories. 
Fireside stories

Impressive creations
That is some studio, Sheila. Amazing stained glass creations are sure to come. And the beans and rice you served were delish. 
Friends and friends
Met my running friends for coffee where we talked about running and also gathered outdoors with my writing friends! I'm sensing a theme. No writing or running was accomplished during these gatherings. 

We visited with beautiful babies like Henry 
All smiles

And Elizabeth

That is one of the things we really miss in France, getting to visit with little ones. There's a café owner in Quillan with a little girl, maybe six, who will occasionally join us for a card game, but it's harder to make connections with kids than it is with French adults. 

A dental implant curtailed my activities at the end of our time in Ohio, but I healed enough to eat some home cooked meals with Mom and Dad - a Kentucky-style big breakfast. 

Who tires of Mom's homecooking? No one

Blue skies
We did a bit of work around Mom and Dad’s, but mostly we were pampered, feeling the love of a long-awaited visit. 
On Saturday night, we caught a flight in Miami and flew to Barcelona. It wasn't without its challenges. We stood in line at American Airlines for two hours before a hassled worker led us by the hand through security to catch our plane on time. 
The airport was mayhem, but the flight was over an hour early. 
Our friend Derrick came to fetch us in Barcelona. Luckily, he couldn't sleep so drove to Barcelona early.
We stopped in the Spanish town of Roses along the Mediterranean for the sea breeze and a nice lunch. 

Derrick had to get a covid test to come pick us up, so we rewarded him with a restaurant lunch. 

Restaurants in France are still closed through Wednesday. 
So nice to be home again after five weeks of shared experiences with our family and friends. 

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