Before we were even sure we were coming to California, I began to think about good-byes.  Really, there was something that prompted that thought, but at the moment I can’t remember what that was.

I think I was thinking of those brave men and women who crossed the Atlantic to make a new home in America. . .

A ha!  THAT was it!  While waiting in the barber shop I saw a slice of a show about the Mayflower pilgrims. Wow. I can’t believe I remembered!

Anyway, I spent a LOT of time pondering how those women left their homes, unsure if they would make their destination and positive they would never see their families again.  Then I thought of the folks – my own family – who packed their bongos (mom says it . . . ) and came west, again knowing their good-bye was final.

Right around the same time I was thinking about all of this, I heard a radio piece about food and homesickness. A food historian/anthropologist/important title lady spoke about immigrants and how they adapted their diet.  She shared about Chinese families who came to the South to work and stayed to open grocery stores and boarding houses.  They had no access to the comfort foods of their home land.  She interviewed a woman who said her mother never forgot the taste of lotus root and used all kinds of substitutes to share the taste of home with her children.

It made me sad and thankful all at once.

I appreciate that – so far! – that hasn’t been the call the Lord has for us, to leave home behind.  I am thankful that I have the opportunity to enjoy Hot Dog on a Stick and In-N-Out Burgers, even if it is only once a year.  That when I get a hankering for some comfort food like Potato Soup or Stroganauff, I have all the right ingredients for it even though my family hates it.

I am blessed by this.

I also have yet to make a final good-bye to CA.  I can bring my children to the place of my birth and share all the people and places that make it home to me.  This is a luxury, I know.

Especially so this year.

So, though I have been preparing my heart for several months now to make the post Christmas good-byes, I am still not ready.  I wonder if those women, those immigrants were ever ready.  Did all of them cry as they watched the shore or old homestead disappear?  I will see these people, God willing, again.  Why is it so hard?

I told myself that while Jac planned for 3 weeks, I would be okay with 2.  Two came and went and the third week marker loomed.  I wasn’t prepared emotionally OR physically. Packing for 6 is LOADS of laundry and work.  I had procrastinated.

Then the weather turned bad to the East and Jac’s back went out and I panicked.  Not because I was unwilling to travel, but because I hadn’t planned to stay.  Was our welcome over?  What about Jac?  And work? And our routine that needs resuscitation? I hate it when plans fail.

My hero/husband held me by my shoulders and told me to relax, found me a wine cooler and asked his in-laws if they could handle us for a few more days.

I spent the next day looking at slides with mom and my grandparents.

We aren’t prepared for good-bye, so we haven’t said it.


But when we do, I want to be ready.