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There are certain things a person misses being away from home. The greyed chocolate lab walking with his sad owner. John, the corner store guy, asking me to marry him for the fortieth time. A new shop going in, and a favorite gone. The adage of there’s nothing like home always seems to ring true.

I’ve come home to wilted plants, copious stacks of mail, and things I realize I’ve neglected–my books, my writing, my curriculum. Friendships change, for better and for worse.

I’ve had a sick baby brother, and the opportunity to take care of his two kids, my nephews that I don’t ever get to spend enough time with.

I experienced the amazing opportunity called Squaw Valley Writer’s workshop and the realization that I need to dedicate much more time to my writing if I’m going to be serious about publishing this novel.

I’ve met at least five new people who could very well end up changing my life, monetarily, personally, and professionally.

I worked with kids who might not make it to high school.

I watched the joy of my nephew and niece seeing their first ball game, making many of my nephews, niece, goddaughter, and friends’ kids belly-laugh, and realize that life does (thanks, John Lennon) indeed happen when we make other plans.

I’ve seen my parents grow older and make new life changes, for the better.

And I realize after spending time with all of these people, learning all these lessons that I could never learn myself, I am humbled. But I still saw the stars over Tahoe and made wishes on a few that fell–one for me, and a few for those I love–and oddly, my life remains the same.

Thank God for that.

I start a new endeavor in the world of special ed tomorrow, and I realize that I will never know all the answers, nor do I want to. My life is what I have created, and it makes me happy–the joyous, the heartbreaking, and the humbling. And the simple watching of the stars.
All Around the World or the Myth of Fingerprints–Paul Simon
All Down the Line–The Rolling Stones
Clementine–The Decemberists
Dust Bowl Dance–Mumford and Sons
Get to Know You–Mayer Hawthorn
Thick and Thin–The Black Crowes
I Feel Better–Gotye