Excuses, excuses. I know. But really, there's a lot more going on here than when I was living in the village in Samoa.
First, Christmas. I flew to Boston to spend Christmas with friends who have been like family for years. It was a perfect combination of togetherness and parties and downtime. I did my friend a "favor" by baking a cake for Christmas dinner dessert. She is a master baker but had to work Christmas Eve so I volunteered. Yup, throw me into the briar patch, Br're Fox! Make me spend a relaxed day doing something I love.
I had her kitchen to myself as I baked. I made a chocolate fudge layer cake with butter cream frosting and a chocolate ganache glaze. Just part of the reason I've gained ten pounds since coming home.
We had just enough snow on Christmas to make it festive without making driving a problem. It was really wonderful to spend time with old friends. I especially enjoyed the "kids" who grew up so much while I was gone. The last time I saw two of them, they were freshmen in high school. Now they're seniors and we were discussing university plans.
And the babies? Grown up little girls now who were funny and friendly and a pleasure to be with.
Back home I prepared to move back into my own home. Moving day was officially New Year's Eve. Between then and now I've been unpacking and getting settled. Thankfully, friends have been helping enormously.
It's great to be home and in some ways feels as if I never left. But then a second later I'll realize something that is so different from Samoa. I love sleeping in my own bed. I LOVE the luxury of my over-sized shower that comes with lots of hot water. Washing clothes is a treat. Preparing meals in a fully equipped kitchen is fabulous.
That doesn't mean I don't miss Samoa, though. My home in Faga doesn't compare to the luxury I have in Florida. But it was my home. On Christmas, I thought about the church service I was missing. I constantly think about the kids. I miss their smiles, laughter and hugs.
My friends will be getting ready for the new school year soon. I wish I was there. But I want to be here. Brings to mind that saying about having your cake and eating it, too.