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This morning I had a song tumbling through my head, Simon and Garfunkel's "Homeward Bound." At last we were on the way back to our own home, our own routine, our own food, our own (large-enough) bed.

It's been a couple of weeks since we were home, after a "world tour" of the northeast coast.

We began in Maine, enjoying the hospitality of commonmass and indulgence of mayim, as well as the company of other kossacks in Portland.

Next we spent four rainy days with Jim's brother and his husband. Before the rain there were vistas of coastline, charming lighthouses, and working harbors with multi-masted sailing ships.

We made a day trip to Lowell, MA, where the industrial revolution began in the U.S., with hydro-powered textile mills.

The Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, RI exhibited a wide variety of animals, a few of which we captured on "film" before our camera crapped out, just in time for the C&J meet-up Wednesday evening.

After that it was on to our daughter's home in Maryland. She, her husband, and five children provided plenty of entertainment (read "chaos"), ball games, and a trip to the Smithsonian National Zoo. The youngest has a wispy cloud of red curls and an impish smile. He was born too early, too little, and too blue. He's still very small for his age, but he does EVERYTHING you'd expect a little guy his age to do.

And all the while I longed for home. I love being home, with its comforts, its security, its predictability, its expansiveness. The countryside here is open, expansive. The east coast, even on the shore, does not feel that way to me.

"Home" may be a state of mind. I can be comfortable wherever I go, but I'm always glad to be back here. No more east coast swings for me anytime soon.

Next year's trip? West again, perhaps Glacier Park in Montana... But when we're done, I'll still be glad to come home.

Originally posted to Melanie in IA on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 06:46 PM PDT.

Also republished by Jim & Melanie in IA and Personal Storytellers.

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