mmmm...coffee. this morning as i brewed my coffee, i thought of bee. i like the way she writes about making coffee to get her through the rough spots in a day. i just returned from a walk with anu and, although i feel like my torso has gone through a meat tenderizer from being sick, it felt good to walk. and i was thankful for my relative health, no matter how shoddy it's been of late. the thing is, is that it could be worse. it could be much, much worse. and so i am thankful for all the strength my body possesses and was thankful to take a walk in the cold morning. the first real frost of the season? the roof of every house was covered in shimmery white. but, having moved from northern minnesota, it is strange that it has only now gotten this cold. needless to say, the sound of heat coming through the vents and the feel of a warm mug of coffee in my hands is all the more appreciated. this is why i can't help but love cold weather.
walking anu, she was so happy to be with me, and i with her. seems silly, but we missed each other yesterday. it might just be that she's a creature of habit; it throws her off when i don't walk her in the morning. she was all happiness and dog-smiles and leaps and running back and forth this morning. we stopped twice, side by side, to appreciate the mist hovering above the glassy surface of the lake and the riot of autumn colors flanking its edges...and again to watch 2 bucks and a doe meander slowly across the meadow in "sherwood forest." as i sit here typing, i watch a squirrel hop from rock to rock in the flower garden that has been taken over by a sea of leaves. and i love it here. can you blame me? i live in the middle of the city, skyscrapers not a mile away, and yet i stop to watch deer on our morning walk. there are days that i become afraid that someone will pinch me and i'll wake up. but it's true. i know it is. and all i have to do, really, is remind myself to savor it.
which brings me to the subject of home. i found myself thinking about that last night on my way to bed. i've always defined home as the place that is most comforting to me. and, of course, when you're sick, it is often the time that you need the most comfort. call me strange, but i define home as the place i would want to be if i were sick. looking back, i'm pretty sure that this definition began during my travels in india. while on a camel safari i got an extremely bad case of food poisoning (btw, if you're ever in india, camel safaris are highly over-rated. don't do it!). i spent 3 days riding the slowest, most ungraceful, nastiest belching camel in the world with a fever that had me thinking i was on some twisted game show where i had chosen the wrong door. seriously. needless to say, i have had an earnest dislike for camels ever since. being sick from both ends in the middle of a desert where the days are all white heat and the nights clear cold...well, i suppose it could have been beautiful had my bodily circumstances been different.
luckily, i was traveling with megan, a young, loud-mouthed but matronly nurse from new zealand, who wasted no time in taking care of me with the arsenal of medications that she carried in her backpack. by the time we got back to our guest house, my hallucinating stupor had reached its climax. all i really remember was the quilt that covered the bed and how i dreamed of my grandma. her quilts are the softest i've ever felt, and heavily scented with the rich smell of laundry softener (ask anyone in the family what they'll always remember her for... and they'll most likely say her overabundance of food and soft beds). the tink, tink, tink of a fork hitting the sides of a glass bowl as someone whipped eggs in the outdoor kitchen outside my room made me long for my grandma in a way that i never had before. for two days i dreamed that i was home. i dreamed of my grandma's kitchen and of my mom's kitchen. i dreamed of pancakes and brewing coffee and scrammbled eggs. i dreamed of soft beds and warmth and my family. i dreamed of all the things that i called home, of all the things that brought me comfort.
and ever since, my definition of home has remained the same. last night i dreamed of my old house out in the country. it felt good to be there. i miss that place. but this morning, as i opened my eyes, looked around the room, then snuggled deeper under the covers, i came to the realization that now this is my home. i've loved it here since the beginning. but it feels good to know that, if i were sick, this is exactly where i'd want to be.