Homesick.

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Over the past two days I’ve had three different conversations about my life in Scotland. By the time I got in my car to drive home, I was deeply homesick for it, mostly the friends and coworkers I miss, but also mundane bits like Christmas Eve in Waitrose, random herds of curious horses, learning how to ride the bus in a foreign land, and frost-covered moss. I was thinking of that moss when I encountered the frost-dusted leaf in this photo.

Homesickness is generally expressed as a one person, one place phenomenon, but I have experienced waves of homesickness for every place I’ve ever lived. I even yearn for Alabama from time to time, especially the late afternoon summer thunderstorms that shake the magnolia trees, all slick green and heavy cream. Does it make me feel fickle sometimes? Sure. Someone once excoriated my use of the word “favorite” because, in his words, “They can’t all be favorites.”

Can’t they?

Writing from: a quiet study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: “Trains” by Poppy Ackroyd.

Day 296 of Project 365: Cheechaw the spider.

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This is Cheechaw, our house spider. She sits serenely above us all and eats all of the nasty bugs that come around. I love her. I had to get up on a step-stool to take this photo and even then I had to lift my arms way above my head.

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I named her “Cheechaw” for no particular reason at all except that I call most wee sweet creatures “Cheechaw”. It’s a generic term of endearment which probably originated from Lindsay Bluth’s chicken dance.

Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: FunkyPlaid listen to NFL people talk about NFL things.

Day 295 of Project 365: Today’s smile.

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Today’s smile started when I picked FunkyPlaid up from the airport this morning and it hasn’t been far from my face since.

FunkyPlaid even managed to decorate a little for Halloween! I’m so glad he’s home. Work and exhaustion are solid distractions from my loneliness, but life is so much better when he’s around.

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Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: FunkyPlaid turn the pages of the book he’s reading. ❤

Day 266 of Project 365: Guest room.

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Tomorrow a dear friend arrives for a weekend visit and I am so excited! My study is also the guest-room, so the daybed also serves as the auxiliary clothing surface where I toss outfits that don’t pass bleary-eyed muster each workday morning. Now the daybed is cleared off, freshly laundered, and (since Zen doesn’t jump up there anymore) fur-free.

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Writing from: a cozy guest-room in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: Spotify’s Autumn Acoustics playlist.

Day 247 of Project 365: Missing Scotland.

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The heatwave dissipated quickly, leaving behind the merest hint of autumn in the air. A few rainy days in a row were enough to wrangle me into heartier outerwear, and as I attempted to shove a wee bag of blueberries into one of my jacket pockets, my fingers caught on a couple of pieces of paper.

I drew them out and smiled. Two tickets from Lothian Buses, dated last December.

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In this endless and perhaps ill-conceived push to move ever forward, I had not allowed myself anything more than the briefest of glimpses in the rear-view mirror at the landscape — that stark, lush, unforgiving and breathtaking landscape — that had just been left behind.

This is home, and that was home too. The heart bounces between the two like a pinball made of feathers. Things fracture and spin off. That’s okay too.

Writing from: my study in Portland, sort of. Listening to: “Low Hymnal” by Told Slant.