When I got off the plane at at Newark Airport in New Jersey, I thought to myself, "whoa, the air conditioning is really strong here", only to realize that I was outdoors, and that cool, crisp feeling was in fact, the weather. As Mazi and I chattered in the car on the way to her house, I could not help but notice the fall foliage the Northeastern USA is known for. The trees were beautiful shades of yellow, orange and red; it was spectacular scenery to start my trip with.
The old country is indeed beautiful.
It was a great trip. I spent quality time with my mother and siblings, watched my nephews run the whole tefilah (prayer service) for their bar-mitzvah and bonded with my niece over some shopping at Macy*s. I shopped Target, Walmart, Nike, Joyce Leslie, Kohl's, Macy*s, Bed Bath and Beyond, Costco,and Art Brown (for the beloved pen afficionado in my life). I saw my Venezuelan nephew and spent a day traipsing all over Manhattan. I laughed with old friends, my "people", picking up right where we left off three years ago. I ate at restaurants, walked, walked and walked more. I bumped into Ben the mailman, who not only remembered my name, but my girl's names as well.
By Wednesday, I started to think about returning home. Home to where my children were. Home to Isaac.
By Thursday, I was sick of shopping.
By Sunday, I was counting down the hours to get on that plane.
I think that ultimately you can go home again. At least for a brief time. I love that place and it will always be the home of my past, the home I was born in, the home that helped shape the person I am today.
But now I live in a place that I chose. And you know what?
It's good to be home.
(Special thanks to Mazi and Sarah who insisted I make myself comfortable in their beautiful homes. Which I totally did, and is partially the reason I gained two pounds on this trip).