Though it hardly need be said, what I miss most back home is my folks and my friends.
The kind letters, packages and emails you’ve sent have brought much joy, and your prayers are always felt. But today (at the risk of sounding like a materialist) I’m thinking of the physical things I wish I didn’t have to live so long without:
Haystacks – It’s no secret that I’ve always loved racing across haystacks, even after the time Ben fell in between two and broke his glasses. But haystacks mean far more than just merriment. To me, seeing a haystack brings back memories of childhood, college road trips, and most of all, Rugby (not the sport, but the lovely place in the mountains of Tennessee). What I’d give to be able to drop my books and drive up to that wondrous little town right now.
Dmitri the Camry – Speaking of driving, I do miss having my own car. This may come as a shock to anyone who’s seen my old car (with its two broken door handles, three broken windows, and a CD player you have to open with a toothpick), but it’s true. I loved my car. It was called Dmitri the Camry, and I’m happy at least to know that now it’s in the good hands of my friend Migo.
Tropicana (with Lots of Pulp) – When someone offers you orange juice here, what you mostly get is an opaque orange liquid that tastes like Tang. In fact, come to think of it, most of the time it is Tang. I know some of you despise pulp, but I’d eat a bowl of it for breakfast if it were socially acceptable (all right, that’s not true… but I do love it in my orange juice).
Bookstores – Those of you who can spend a Saturday afternoon eating a bread-bowl full of Broccoli Cheddar Soup at Panera and then perusing the local bookstore (especially the spiffy labyrinthine ones run by old women in rocking chairs) should treasure every bit of the experience.
The closest we get to that here is a for-sale posting of twelve books no one’s ever heard of. We do, though, have plenty of rocking chairs and cozy fires to read beside.