The Homecoming

I was away last week for a few days. I don't usually go away overnight by myself, but I went to visit my sister for the better part of three days so that we could have grand adventures together.

And we did! It was awesome! We went to the beach. We had all kinds of fun around Harrisburg. I even rode some trains, which has been a dream of mine. And I loved it! But then, perhaps best of all, I got to go home.

I conveyed my regrets before I went about leaving my two favorite fur-faces behind: my fuzzy tabby son, Dexter, and my beloved, bearded husband. We were also in the midst of a car crisis; my Mazda had been badly injured by a bump in the road, and we weren't sure it could be fixed.

I left on Tuesday morning, knowing my husband would do all in his power to arrange the repair. He also promised to go looking at new cars while I was away. I thought I might come home to NO cars at all, as if my Mazda couldn't be fixed, our plan was to sell it to the mechanic for parts.

But as it turns out, all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well! I came home on the train Thursday afternoon to receive the update: my husband had cut an unbeatable deal on a brand new car, which we picked up on Friday.

And our mechanic, Dave, called to say he would fix my Mazda and we could pick it up sometime over the weekend! I thought I'd come home to NO cars: guess what, now I have TWO!

Monday morning, we drove down to Huntingdon to get my Mazda. "Hey, girl," Dave said to me with a nod, when he saw me. But I was speechless, for there sat my car, all fixed and ready to drive! And so I paid the bill, and Dave and his assistant chased a tiny tabbycat around the parking lot. (Its name is Fred, and he has been recently vetted and will grow up to be a shop cat, someday.)

The entire rear suspension has been completely rebuilt, and it is good to go "until the end" now. I am hopeful I will get a few more years out of it. Dave told my husband it felt like "putting a brand new dress on a little old lady" - ha! - but he did the repair to his standard specifications and it is now safe to drive.

The suspension is like new. The car is solid as a tank on the straightaway and nimble on the corners. It feels like putting on a comfortable sneaker: I don't even think about it. I just hop in, and drive!

Before I left for my trip, I took all of my things out of my Mazda, for I wasn't sure it would come home again. On this day, I cleaned out the car and vacuumed the interior and sorted my stuff and put all the things back inside. As the sun was setting, my husband came inside and said, "Do you want to get a few pictures of your Mazda? The light is just about right on it right now!" And so I did.

So there, under the late day's sun, is my Mazda, which has a new lease on life. There it sits in our driveway, a place I thought it might never be again. I plan to continue to drive it to work, for around-town errands, and for backpacking trips. For longer journeys and happy little joyrides, we'll take the new car.

And there on the front stairs are the two furry creatures who own my heart: my sweet husband and that tabbycat (both of whom have been keeping a pretty close eye on me since I got back).

As I saw them all there, these things and creatures that are so important to me - my car, our home, my husband (who did so much on my behalf while I was gone) holding our beloved cat - tears welled up in my eyes.

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well! I am grateful. I am well blessed. I am home.

I've chosen not just one but TWO songs for this day. The first is by the Dixie Chicks, and it is from their album called simply: Home.  Here is I Believe in Love, to celebrate those two standing on the steps there. And here is a song about home: Lonestar, with I'm Already There.

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