(That’s “jiggety jig” in the “home again, home again” sense, not any sort of newfangled rap reference. If you were confused.)
We’ve been home since Saturday afternoon, but the last day and a half was spent laying around in a post-vacation daze. Home seems particularly small and cluttered after six days at Auntie Pep’s spacious abode, but also comforting and familiar. The minute we got into Portland I felt a bizarre sense of calm that couldn’t simply be ascribed to a break in my PMS. I guess that means Santa Cruz isn’t home anymore. Which is okay with me.
When I moved away from California the first time, everything I saw went through the Santa Cruz comparison filter. Sure, this cafe is nice, but it’s no ERC. Lovely view, but it’s no Seabright. I like this bookshop, but – okay, actually, Henderson’s bookstore in Bellingham left Bookshop Santa Cruz in the dust, but that’s about the only thing.
Portland was the first place I’d been that came out on top comparison-wise, so of course we had to move here. Even so, there were things. Salsa, for example. How could any salsa ever be as good as the salsa fresca from Planet Fresh? I’ve spent the last six months craving the salsa from Planet Fresh. The tomatoes, the green onions, the cilantro I always picked out and left in a careful pile at the side of my tray…my mouth watered just thinking about it. I had some on Monday, and it was…not as good as I remembered. I actually wished we’d gone to Baja Fresh. How depressing is that?
My grandiose plans to write thousands of delicious words while other people wrangled my baby were, unsurprisingly, never realized, although I did get to spend some time in the place I always think of when I’m picturing myself writing in a coffee shop: the back porch at Lulu Carpenter’s (which used to be ERC but isn’t, anymore). Ever since I was about 15, I’ve wanted to sit back there with a laptop (or “pen and paper,” as we called it in those days) and churn out pages of novel-related angst. Instead I sat there with my sister-in-law and niece and husband and baby and watched them playing together while Not So and I passed the camera back and forth. Which is like writing, you know, only not. There’s a lot of only not in my world right now. I might need to get that printed on a shirt.
Now we have Christmas shopping and sleep training and laundry and school and holiday parties and birthdays and doctor’s appointments and website building and business wrangling. And that’s just in the next two weeks! I’m glad we went, and I’m glad we’re home. Portland is my hometown now. And I only miss my old hometown a little bit.
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