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Week in Review: No Place Like “Home”

When folks in my program here in Colorado asked what I was going to do over Spring Break, I often said that I was going “home” to Kansas.

But then, when I packed up my bags at the end of break and got ready to head to the airport, I said I was getting ready to go “home.”

That’s one of the most confusing things about being a young adult. The town where I grew up and then did my undergrad still feels like home. Of course it does! I spent 22 years of my life there.

But then again, when I visit my family, I’m living out of my suitcase. I don’t have my gym membership. I don’t have my sheets and my pillow and my pillowcases. I don’t have my car. I don’t have my low-FODMAP pantry. I packed my laptop and some homework, but I don’t have most of my textbooks and my giant stack of student papers or my professors or my favorite mug or many of the things that essentially comprise my life and livelihood. So coming back to those things is also, in a way, a homecoming.

By the way, my dad really likes the name Dorothy, and that would have been his first choice of name for me.ruby.slippersBoy, would I have loved ice breaker activities with that combo. “Hi, my name is Dorothy. I’m from Kansas.” : P

Being home was actually really wonderful–and busy! I ended up having quite a few outings with friends and family and seeing a lot of people I hadn’t seen in awhile. So here’s my little weekly list: in this case, of Spring Break adventures. Thanks, as always, to Meghan for my current favorite weekly linkup!Capture

  1. The weather in Lawrence was gorgeous at the start of the week! On Monday, the Mad Bad Mommy Bommy and I went over to Ted Ensley Gardens, a fun little place on the edge of Topeka, our state capital. The gardens are particularly beautiful when the tulips start blooming, and we were a little early for those, but we still got to enjoy lots of daffodils, plus a few hyacinths, scilla, red buds, and blooming pear trees!DSCN0722 (2) DSCN0721 (2) DSCN0729 (2)
  2. On Tuesday, my dear friend Sydney (truly my oldest friend) and I went over to Kansas City to the art museum, the Nelson Atkins. Sadly, it was closed on Monday and Tuesday! Fortunately, it was still a beautiful day, and there was a ton to see (for free!) out in the sculpture garden. We walked around the complex, chatted, went to Barnes and Noble for lunch and some book/CD/coloring book browsing before heading back to Lawrence.DSCN0762 DSCN0779 DSCN0802 (2)
  3. On Wednesday, Mom and I back to Topeka, this time to see my cousin and her beautiful new baby girl, Maya! We went to the Topeka zoo and strollered the baby around, trying to encourage her to look at the animals. (She slept pretty much the whole time, except for the hippos, giraffes and orangutans.)DSCN0817 DSCN0830 DSCN0837
  4. Thursday, Sydney and I watched the KU Jayhawks in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Barack Obama himself has chosen us Hawks as the victors for his bracket, and he knows his basketball. Just hope it doesn’t jinx us!
  5. That evening, my brother and his wife came over for supper. Since it was St. Patrick’s day, I made some gluten-free brownie bites with green avocado frosting–they were a hit!DSCN0850
  6. Friday, I disciplined myself and did responsible things: finished up a draft for my nonfiction workshop course and tried to get caught up on some grading–and did a lot of complaining about all the grading I had to do that I hadn’t done over break. I actually did a fair amount of grading over break, in fact; it just always takes a lot longer than I anticipate it will. 20 more to go–at 30 minutes a pop, that’s supposed to be 10 more hours of work. But hey, it earns my keep here in Fort Collins, and considering that, the work load isn’t too bad.0ff6b41b9f1b51eef07f53e96c0801a1
  7. On Saturday morning, said a temporary ‘good bye’ to my dad, who left for an awesome adventure on sabbatical in Tuebingen, Germany. Here he is with my mom after supper earlier in the week. DSCN0712
  8. And finally flew home to Colorado. Spent time with my sweetie for dinner Saturday night and for some hiking in gorgeous sunny weather on Sunday. Plus I copy-edited his research paper that he’s getting ready to present at an engineering conference. Also did a little lesson planning, grocery shopping, and tried to get ready for the week.

Tomorrow, it’s back to school and routine. *sigh* Sometimes there’s pros and cons of being “home.”

Do you ever find yourself calling two (or more!) different places “home”?

What other names did your parents consider for you?



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  1. Emily says:

    The home that God’s given us here on this earth is SUCH a gift. I love my family, and I’m so thankful that God so graciously, through the Lord Jesus, gave me the precious gift of being able to live with my family for a long time. Being with family is always soo wonderful. AND I LOVE the spring colors. Praise the Lord for new life!

  2. What a lovely weekend you had. Spending some time with family, rekindling with old friends and being outside a lot – that’s my idea of a good one.
    How long will your dad be in Germany? You should visit him there ;). Also, your parents look like very kind people.
    Oh and I can definitely relate to calling two places home. It used to be the same for me when I was in university.

    1. Joyce says:

      I would love to visit Germany! I can’t, unfortunately, while Dad is there because of school and work. I know I’ll find a way to get there; it just may not be for another year or so, sadly.

  3. Cora says:

    Yesss. I absolutely hear you. I still don’t know what to call home after almost 10 years living away from my parents. After years of trying to figure it out, I’ve just accepted that I do what you did – call them both home. They are different, but still my two homes. Of course, my home with my parents will always be the ultimate home home.
    So Kansas looks incredibly cool? Those flowers are gorgeous. What a lovely thing to do with your mom.
    Its always hard coming back, but you’ll be back into your groove before you know it.

  4. Whenever I go back to Buffalo to visit my family, I call it home. I grew up there, spent 18 years of my life there and even though I’ve been in Cleveland for 20 now, it will always be home too.

    The sculpture garden is beautiful. I love this time of year seeing all the flowers pop up all over. I’m glad you had a great week with family and got to spend some time with your cousin and her baby. What a cool zoo, Ms. Almost Dorothy from Kansas. Ha, that would have been funny.

    Happy Monday and thanks for linking up.

  5. Ellie says:

    I stopped calling my parent’s house home, and then I finally felt like an adult 😉 My mom wanted to name me Sophie after her grandmother. That would have been pretty. My grandma was a wonderful lady. Have a great week!

    1. Joyce says:

      Sophie is lovely, but Ellie is too. I was named after my grandma, so it’s really meaningful.

  6. Lianna says:

    I also feel the torn-between two places – I talk about going home to my apartment, but I really need to go home to KS soon. It’s interesting to hear about your teaching experience in CO – my experience here has been a little different. Luckily, freshman chem students have online homework so we only have to grade 20-25 group lab reports per week. I usually block out 2-3 hours for that, since the labs are standardized and we are supplied with keys. However, we pay for it in face time with our students – about 12 h/week with lectures, discussions, labs, and office hours total for 2 sections.

    1. Joyce says:

      It’s so great to hear from you, Lianna! I didn’t know that you were teaching, as well. I can imagine you’d be a really wonderful GTA! It’s hard work no matter the discipline. Hope things are going well for you in Madison!

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