It was time, but absolutely nobody wanted him to go. "Does he really HAVE to go back to his work?" queried one child, eyes wide.
"Yes, my darling, he does. But wasn't it such great fun having him here?"
She did not reply, but instead sat on his foot in hopes of preventing a departure.
Oh, sad! We are more used to having the rather stunning son in town for perhaps a day or two. In and away he buzzes, bringing with him the sense of adventure that seems to hover around him at any given time. And then, he's gone again.
But this time, there was a real vacation - multiple days of it! There was Christmas. Boxing Day. All of the days of vacation up to and including New Year's. The waves along our California coastline were nonexistent, and this meant we did not even have to share him with the surf. For the SconeLady, this meant hugely long walks where most of the problems of the world were discussed, if not solved. For the children, there were lots of romps and jumping and playful punches upon his arm. For his sister, it meant much camaraderie, and talk, and the hilarious game of Charades. For everyone else there was a good deal of laughter. And fun. And movies!
It was all good, so very good.
Just about everyone must be facing this 'back to normal' feeling that comes with an end of any vacation, and especially a Christmassy one. The need to get to bed earlier for school or work; the inevitable homework that beckons from within the backpack; the schedule that becomes more mundane and less intriguing. Everything settles down, and we all settle with it, in the run-up to summer.
As a last hurrah, he went to 'the mountain' with his dad and the 7 year old. Up the three drove, until they could drive no more. Out they piled, to eat the picnic lunch that Grandma had made. On they walked, up and up, until they were so high that if Mother or Grandma could see them, havoc might have been wreaked.
But boys need to be boys, of course. And they were (I have been firmly assured) perfectly safe. Along the way, many "What if.." discussions were enjoyed, with no clear answers but many interesting possibilities. And then once they returned, the car had to be packed and goodbyes faced. The Ford Explorer made its way down the road, toward Reality.
And so today, the SconeLady's walk was rather a lonely one. But I once again pulled out the BBC; NPR; Audible; This American Life; Instagram; John Piper; and (dare I mention it?) Netflix!
There is just no end of things you can do, if you put your mind to it. And there could be, there just may be, a trip to beloved Cornwall being considered! The SconeLady really must get busy and think out her plans. The land of Scone-isn delights awaits, as always. Maybe, just maybe, I can dig out my boots and get moving again...eastward.
See you along the way!