Just like old with a brand new shine – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

I was pretty calm most of the way home as I was able to keep busy with reading and eating and the movie. Did you know that some flights are now charging for meals? How strange is that! Its like you have to order from a few ridiculously priced items or not eat at all. I guess if people bring their own snacks they won`t be able to complain about the horrible plane food will they. Anyway, I got to finish off my cookies that I had left over from Argentina, so that was happy. The guy beside me happened to be a scientist who kept my attention focused on the merits of physics and philosophy. I spent the last few minutes in my relieved silent tears congratulating myself on a job well done.

My precious sister was waiting for me behind the gates and I couldn`t even really talk when I got to her. There were no words to say anyway. We just held each other making up for all the lost hugs. The drive from the airport felt quite different than it ever had before. I mean, I have been on this stretch of road a million times but never felt so…together. I was not thinking about where I had been or where I was going…I was just thinking of where I was that moment. It was a great space.

My smallest nephew had called Trina claiming he was sick and needed to come home. Just as we suspected, it was a ploy to come home to see aunty. When we ventured to his classroom to check him out, he forgot his illness immediately jumping into my arms and staying there. After reassuring him profusely that I wouldn`t be hopping on another plane anytime soon, he returned to his class.

I saw my Dad next who I found tinkering around in his garage among his mountains of tools and junk collections. This is very much his natural environment and here he is at his best. We hugged and chatted away when suddenly Dad must have decided he hadn`t gotten enough so he gave me another big bear hug. I launched a full out investigation of my parents cupboards finding all my favorite foods and finding a way to combine them into one big feast. I made a healthy lunch for us and remembered just how MUCH I love preparing food. We took tea together before going to pick up my nephews from school.

I heard Nubian yelling from across the schoolyard and he broke into a full sprint when he saw me emerging from the car. Next, I was delighted to find that I am still able to catch and swing Khaalid around in the air like a “sack of potatoes.” He must have missed it because he asked if I could do it just one more time…”pretty please?!?!” How could I resist?

I sorted through my massive heap of mail while my nephews explained all their new favorite pastimes. My mom arrived home from work just in time to accompany us to the park. We walked arm in arm sharing and catching up on the news of the moment. My mom has just begun taking Sign Language lessons and the boys have picked up some of the words. So between the three of them, I have access to quite the silent vocabulary. We played in the park and my mom taught me how to give a “proper” underducky. Khaalid frowned on my first attempt so gramma had to show me how it was done.

I tried to play a game of Frozen Tag with the kids but they ran me into the ground. I finally had to take a break and admitted how out of shape I must be to my mom who just sat on the swing grinning knowingly. She said the only time she participates is when there are no other kids around…otherwise, “forget it”. Ah yes…Ancient secrets passed on! My family is full of endearing quirks and adorable habits. I seemed to have developed a whole new appreciation and love for them. I guess I suspected this given my recent self realization but it has burst into flavor in ways I could have never imagined. I love so much here. I am so glad to be home.

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