I wake up this morning with the sun beaming through the window above my head at 5:15. There’s no doubt where I am, Phoenix. Tonight, if all goes to plan, I will lay my head down in West Chester, OH- 1,800 miles away. No matter how many times I do this, it fascinates me every time.
It’s bittersweet leaving Phoenix. No place really feels like home right now, so after just a week here, this kind of feels like home. I’m just getting used to the condo we are living in. I’m just learning the streets a little bit. I can get back “home” from a few places already. We love the little Mexican bakery up the street. We can walk to a great breakfast place. We found a Mexican hole-in-the wall restaurant almost within walking distance. We found a great pizza place. There are views of mountains all around us. A park within walking distance. We’ve got a church. We already even have a few friends here. We all joke that all we need to do is send for Zoe and Stevie and put an offer on the condo.
But, the fantasy is over and the plane awaits us. We make our way to the airport. At least the trip goes smoothly. We take off right on time and arrive in Cincinnati exactly on time. I used to be terrified of flying. Not now. If we make it, we’re home in West Chester. If we don’t, we’re home with Shayna. So, the fear is gone. Going home either way. We land. It’s a beautiful sunny 83º. It’s actually almost exactly the same temperature it is in Phoenix, above average for Ohio and below average for Phoenix. The weather won’t be a difficult transition anyway.
We pick up some dinner on the way home and pull into the driveway to see our next door neighbor out watering our flowers. On the porch are some flowers left for us by our part time worker and good friend. When we go into the house, there is a box with Shayna’s name on it and inside are Post-It notes each with three characteristics of Shayna written on them. And, there is a welcome home banner from another neighbor- hanging in our kitchen.
It’s been a good vacation. Shayna gave us several signs that she was there with us, but we missed her sharp tongue and her joie de vivre none-the-less. Having the signs are sustaining, but it’s not the same. We have dinner and catch up on a couple of shows I had recorded while we were gone. We will pick up Stevie and Zoe tomorrow and try to get back into the routine.
It’s good to back back here, but I think about how quickly I became attached to our “home” in Phoenix. As long as Ty and Kayla are with me, and Shayna in spirit, I’m home. I wake up in the middle of the night looking for the window that was above the door in the bedroom in Phoenix. I’m disoriented for a minute, then I realize I’m back in my own bed. I try to remember what my bedroom layout is and it takes me a minute.