i'm home. really, the east coast is my home. my trip to tx was absolutely lovely, but man, it's a different world out there. a good world... nice world... but this world (maryland, virginia, etc) is home.
i do wish i could take my friends on a field trip to tx. i bet most of you have never seen/smelled a feed yard, a grain elevator, really expanse farms... it's like being in a time capsule. very cool.
and the best part, of course, was visiting family. pictured are my mom's parents on the left, me, and my dad's parents on the right. all four in one place. note the effects of wind... my dad's mom's hair is not that big. tx is windy.
i really thought this would be a final goodbye for some of my family. a lot could happen in the two years i'm away. but our parting actually lacked that sense of finality, to my relief. the truth is, they're in good health. my mom's parents had a tickle war on the way to the car before they took me to the airport. my great grandmother will likely live to 105, much to her chagrin, and she'll continue to pray for me every night. my dad's parents rent out some of their farm, but still run the place, which is no small task. things will certainly be different when i return, but this is not the end.
i think the only one i really worry about is my mom's mom, whose alzheimer's makes it hard to tell if she'll know who i am next time we meet. maybe if i can make it to one of my cousin's weddings this summer...