He slept on my chest for 2 1/2-hours, and as comfortable as he was is how comfortable I was during my 66 1/2-hour trip to my old Kentucky home.
It is comforting to me that such a place exists where people know me, people love me, places are familiar and despite being gone a year, it feels like I never left.
I did all of my favorite things.
From the moment Penny picked me up from the airport Thursday, I was hugged, talked to, laughed with, cried on.
Friends came over for game night Thursday, and it was normal. More friends who couldn't stay but wanted to say hi, popped in just to "see your face." Kristin and I sat at her kitchen table and talked in person about everything we email about. Her husband joined us Thursday night, and we stayed up way too late talking about things grown-ups talk about - work, business, what it's like to be on city council, family, life. Their almost 4-year-old remembered me, their 16-month-old liked me. On Friday, we walked the campus of our Alma mater, which spurred nostalgic conversation about how long it's been since we were in college, what we were like back then and how it changed us.
Friday afternoon I was with Brooke, and my surrogate nephew, and it was natural - the three of us hanging out. We browsed Wal-Mart like only we do, we talked, gossiped and laughed. We party-planned, decorated, cleaned. I watched her be a mom, and wanted to say, "I told you so." She's a great one. I've been telling her for years she would be. After the baby was tucked in bed, and we had finished getting ready for the birthday party, we fixed food and crawled in bed to continue talking (uninterrupted) and watch TV. We literally talked until we couldn't stay awake anymore. Saturday we celebrated her son. And later we went to Nashville, we talked the whole way, laughed, cried, plotted and constructed sentences that sometimes didn't make sense and yet we understood. We got to the hotel, talked about our days of working in a hotel (where we met), tried for 10 minutes to get into a room that wasn't ours, drank wine, watched the last 16 seconds of the Kentucky/UCONN game, browsed menus, visited the vending machines, and lights out at 11:30. She dropped me off at the airport the next morning at 4:30 and just like that, my trip was over.
I love the place that feels comfortable to me.
I love the people that make me feel at home.
I love how the combination of the two makes 365 days seem non-existent. Why, I was just there yesterday. And 365 days from now when I visit again, it'll feel the same way*.
*it'll be less then 365 days before my next visit. I promised.