Friday, November 2, 2012

one hundred

when i left on my trip i told my family i would be home for christmas.
but in the back of my head i kind of knew i wanted to come home before that. i wanted to be able to spend the whole month of december at home. be able to make short bread cookies with papa joe.

who once when asked how to make his secret recipe of short bread cookies answered,
"take a pound of butter and add flour till it feels right"

then once i started traveling i chose a page at the back of my journal and formed a list. a list of things i missed from home, and wanted to fit into my stay when i returned. most of the list ended up being food.

the list: 
frenchies with mom (frenchies is an amazing used clothing store)
oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
mom's pancakes
borscht with a dollop of sour cream and fresh chives
long walks with my dog along the bay of fundy
read anna karenina before the movie comes out
hike cape split
nana's spaghetti
nana's sweet and sour chicken
make a photo book of my trip
watch dad coach at some end of season football games
cuddly sunday mornings
pineapple on pizza
make homemade christmas cards
play catan with tippy and alicia
watch ted talks with mom
garlic fingers
bubble baths
go ice fishing
make perogies at ukrainian christmas

after i started adding to the list. and i watched it grow and consume the page, i thought that maybe going home earlier wouldn't hurt. i thought a lot about it. i was worried that if i went home i would instantly regret it. i would get back to wolfville and daydream about how i could still be on a beach in southern thailand. but this time it felt different that when i left new zealand and came back to canada two years ago. this time i felt ready. i felt confident in my decision.
my nana kept pestering me.
"emily anne when are you coming home, where are you going next? you know nanny's 100th birthday is in october, you know you're named after her, it would mean so much to me, everyone is coming to celebrate her birthday, you'll meet so many cousins..."
nana wanted me home bad. which is exactly why i didn't tell her when i booked my flight home. i love a good surprise.
bangkok - seoul - toronto - home
i arrived home, attempted to adjust to the ten hour time difference, enjoyed what i believe was the longest shower i have ever taken, and then drove to cape breton with my mom. the surprised went off without a hitch. my nana was more surprised than my nanny. i guess not too much shocks you after once you turn 100. but my nana made up for it. when i ran up the porch she was just coming out the door, i whipped off the fleece blanket that i had wrapped around me and said BOO!
she stumbled backwards, her mouth was literally gaping open.
"YOU ASSHOLE! you you you little shit!"
those were the first words out of my nana's mouth. lovely little thing she is.
the weekend went by in a blur. i saw many family members and received so many hugs i actually think i developed subtle rib bruising. it was an explosion of irish relatives; the quantity of liquor consumed was a direction correlation.

cousin saki passed out on mom
cooper family
my aunts
skipping stones
more stones on the atlantic
mom and nanny
josiah, jordan, me, jacob
nana and her three children
four generations
emily, annetta, suzanne, emily anne
so for now i am home and it feels right.
i don't regret coming home when i did. i am happy right where i am.

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