Monday, September 22, 2008

Home again

No, this is not our home, but it is a cabin just up the road a bit from where we live at a place called Mosquito Lake.

Camp Connell, CA -- We arrived home just after dark on Sunday night after a four hour drive from Yosemite.
Everything in the van smells like a campfire, a nice reminder of our five weeks living in a campground. It will take a while to get the smoky smell out of our clothing.
We were not aware that we missed anything while we were away, we had such a great time, but here are a few things we appreciated when we got back here on home ground:
-- Friendly folks at the Camp Connell General Store, who watched out for our place while we were away. We had a local beer on our first afternoon home, visited, watched a card game, and just enjoyed the feeling of being back;
-- A warm bathroom. I'm not overly sensitive, but a seat that isn't icy and a spigot that puts out warm water are luxuries I missed;
-- The smells and sounds of the forest around our home has a welcome-home feel to me. Yosemite certainly smells good too, but this place smells like home, with a mix of cedar and oak and pine, and the bird calls are familiar and comfortable;
-- A warm house. We had learned what it was like to go to bed cold, and wake up to much colder. Here it was a balmy 40 degrees this morning, and I did not have to wear fleece to dash for the facilities;
-- And, of course, family. It is always such a joy to see children and grandchildren, and re-engage in their lives. Even when we are watching from a distance it is a joy to hear about school, basketball games, Cub scout meetings, and archery classes.
We still appreciate the opportunity to have been in such a beautiful place.
I miss seeing coyote chasing ground squirrels as I hike across a meadow to work. Or the sight of a Harrier hawk soaring low to the ground, looking for lunch. I miss the great hikes in the high Sierra, and the sound of animals unseen but nearby. I miss the new friends we made and worked with, and the very interesting people from all over the world we met almost every day.
I even miss the sound of someone banging pots and pans to chase a bear away from the garbage they accidentally left outside.
But it is very nice to be warm, to be comfortable, to be close to family and neighbors. To be home.

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