Never enough time...

Today I'm tired. I could probably curl up in front of Netflix, or Prime, pop on some reruns of Nubmers or CSI and just crash out for the entire day kind of tired. Ever have one of those?

We are "home" visiting family and friends while I seek gallery representation in the Philadelphia area. We haven't been back in a few years due to the busyness of life and... oh yeah... 2020*. With everyone's work schedules, including our own, and waiting for Covid test results** we mostly had one day... ONE DAYYYYY to see everyone.

I started the day off seeing a dear friend whom I hadn't seen in nearly 30 years. We met in the morning for coffee at a local diner in which I spent many hours, having many meals with many friends when I was growing up. Even the owner knew we would spend much more time than we had originally thought... We told her we needed a few minutes on the menu because we were catching up from 30 years and she responded by letting us know the diner was open until 7:30 that evening and she would bring us water and coffee. After about an hour of chatting, I think we finally ordered... we didn't leave until after the lunch rush*** when we both had reminder alarms going off on our phones. We parted ways with hugs, gratitude for one another, and promises to keep in touch. Then it was off to my mom's to visit with my family, including my sister and all her littles.

Once we arrived at my mom's house, I knew it would be another poor attempt at staying on a schedule. In addition to my mom and sister, my 3 nieces and nephew were there and loving up on us. We ended up playing a game of Skip-Bo, which is a family tradition for us, and we finally brought the youngest of the bunch in on the fun of the game. It was great teaching the littles about the nuances and strategies and seeing the light bulbs pop on in their eyes when they 'got it'. The game took longer than expected, of course, but it was great fun and we had so many laughs. Mom won.**** Before the end of the game, we were already receiving text messages to confirm we were on our way for our next stop, and dinner. Once the game was cleaned up, goodbyes and hugs were exchanged and we were off to my sister-in-law's house for dinner.

My sister-in-law made a fabulous and healthy meal for the two of us, while everyone else slurped down some pizza from the local pizza place. Not something we really have out in AZ. I mean they're there... but they're mostly chains and not the small mom and pop shops that we are used to in Philly. They were in their glory with their greasy cheese and crunchy mozzarella sticks. We hung out and talked about past times, current times, art, and future plans while the kids played and the smallest dog in the land bopped around from person to person seeking pets. Before long, we realized it was after 9 pm and we still had another stop to make. Our small spawn stayed behind to hang out with her cousin, while we ventured on to our last stop, my husband's best friend.

At this point, we should have just brought sleeping bags. We all sat around the dining room table, some with water, some with beer, and others doing shots. All the while talking about the excitement of the BFF and his s.o. being pregnant with their first, the parties that are common at 'Simon'✦, health, wellness, art, and the latest happenings of the group of friends who have known each other since what feels like the beginning of time. Before long I was getting a text from my small spawn asking if she was sleeping at her aunt's house, or if we were ever considering picking her up... it was after 3 am. After about 20 minutes of goodbyes, restarted conversations, reminders that the child was waiting and more goodbyes, we were off to bring the evening to a close.

We arrived back at the house we are staying at after 4 am... clearly one day was not enough time. Time with family and friends never seems to be enough time. Too often, while in the moment, we assume we will always have the time and opportunity to spend time with and love these people who are so important to us. As the cliche goes, you don't realize what you have until it's gone. Though we are very fortunate these people are not gone from our lives entirely, they are gone from our day-to-day. We miss them terribly and sometimes we don't realize how much we do until we have the chance to be with them again. I find myself feeling the most 'homesick' when I am at home; knowing that in a few short days I will be across the country again, in the warm, snow-free desert environment that we have made into our home.

It's these times when I start to consider again if moving back is the best thing for us and our family - despite the snow and bitterly cold winters we are desperate to escape.


*Yakno, the year that slipped by and no one wants to acknowledge b/c it was a shitshow of a year? - more on that in another blog post.

**No one was sick, but it is a state requirement for PA that you either self-isolate for 14 days, or have a negative test upon entering the state. We didn't have time to isolate that long...

***As rushed as a lunch rush can be during a global pandemic...

****This was a great accomplishment as she was staring down the all-time family champ, my 12-year-old daughter. She has officially lost 2 games as of this writing... out of probably hundreds played. How is that even POSSIBLE??

✦When I asked who 'Simon' was, I was promptly educated that the 'manor' was referred to as 'Simon' - and by manor, I mean a twin style house on a street full of other twin style houses. πŸ˜‚ I learned that a few houses within the friend group have 'manor' names. πŸ€” Perhaps we should name our house as well...