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homecoming by Yee-Fan Sun | 1 2
continued from page 1

In the end, it's these little things that get me missing home. By the time we're at Logan airport, trying to check in for our return flight to Tucson, I don't care that the United representative is insisting that a change in flight schedule means we won't be able to get back home till the next day. I'm packed and ready and we're flying home tonight, no matter how much wheedling I'll have to do. Ten minutes and many phone calls later, the kind lady at United has arranged for us to fly home on another airline. We'll get in late, nearly midnight in fact, but tonight nonetheless. Already, I'm thinking about climbing under my down comforter at home, tucking my favorite fluffy pillow just so under the back of my neck.

So this morning, I'm finally back in my own house, and I'm designating today a little vacation from my vacation, even though it's a weekday, I've been living the slacker life for almost two weeks, and there's a heap of emails that needs answering, work that needs to get done. It's nearly 9 am when I wake up, catch a glimpse of my bedside clock, remind myself that tomorrow morning, I'll have to reset the alarm so that it wakes me up at my normal workday time of 7:30. This morning, however, I'm taking the day for myself.

In the bed next to me, the boy gives a little sleepy grunt, rolls his shoulder away from me, pulls the covers snug against his chest. I slip out of bed of quietly, and pad barefoot around my house without bothering to get dressed first. The cold tile floor feels solid and sure, and I don't have to tiptoe carefully to avoid the rasps and moans, the way I do on the creaky floorboards of my in-laws' old New England house.

I walk into my living room first, and adjust the pillows on the red daybed, trying to decide whether I like the gray pillow sandwiched between the two yellow ones, or if it should go in front. I slide my hands over the sofa upholstery, stretching the velvet taut over the cushion, neatening the corners.

In the kitchen, I slide open the dishwasher. I pull out the clean plates, and slide them onto the shelf above the counter. Glasses go in the far cabinet on the right, silverware in the drawer just below. I work quickly, methodically, enjoying the satisfying open-place-shut of returning cleaned dishware to the proper drawer, the proper cabinet, the proper shelf. The only sound is the clatter of stacking dishes, my feet on the Saltillo tile, the occasional swoosh of passing cars from the morning traffic outside my kitchen window. Later, my boy will wake up, and I'll hear the water running in the bathroom. I'll throw on some music, turn up the stereo, start thinking about breakfast. And when I decide I'm in the mood for pancakes, I'll know exactly where to find the flour, the eggs, the sugar.  I'll smile while I watch the batter bubble into perfect golden rounds, happy to be back at my stove, in my kitchen, in my home. Sometimes you have to go away to realize how much you love where you are.

check out these related articles: 
leaving home | after school
home alone
| a room of my own 

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