"And I'm not pretending that it's all OK, Just let me have my coffee before you take away the day."

It's been a nonstop life change since Thursday morning. Nonstop. A huge departure of where I've been and what I've been up to since June. But it was exciting. My interview lasted 20 minutes and I received a job offer 10 minutes later. Then it was a rush to get licensed in Nevada, all before Paul and I left for Sacramento.  I was excited about having a moment, just the smallest bit of pomp and circumstance for the end of a long road back to teaching. Celebration would happen this weekend. We were picking up Paul's best friend from the Bay.

Josh has more energy all day then I do after my 4th cup of coffee. He's funny, charismatic and has been Paul's best friend since 3rd grade. They're so opposite that it's literally cartoonish but they both turn into 12- year-olds when they're around each other. And we were excited to show our first house guest all about Tahoe.

The transition from the highway to the mountains is always killer, but having a first-timer around really points out how great your everyday view is. He took so many pictures, said "Wow" so many times that it reminded me of  my first time in Tahoe. And a year and a half after my first ascension into the Tahoe National Forest, I felt like I was on vacation in my own mountain town, again. Even more so when we floated the Truckee River, shopped for magnets and keychains and ate out almost every meal. And when we headed back to the Bay for the Oakland/Indians showdown at the Coliseum, it felt like the finale activity to a great California vacation.

We sat in front of a pair of very old men. I say that with their confirmation that they were "very old." They talked baseball like pros and Josh couldn't help but lean back and start a conversation. Decked out in Cleveland gear, he explained his position.
"I'm from Ohio."
"That right?"
"Yeah he's been an A's fan forever. Been friends since 3rd grade."
"And you've stayed friends all these years, eh?"

I looked over at those crazy Bedford boys. They were beaming at these old timers stories and matching up baseball events to times in their lives.
"Remember that earthquake during the World Series? We had to get underneath our desks at work."
"No way! I remember watching that on a little black and white TV in my bedroom."
Time had not lapsed between Paul and Josh. They were still in Bedford playing baseball in the streets and laughing at farts. It connected me to my home, my story, and I smiled at their history. I loved Josh even more for loving Paul for so long and so simply, just like when they were kids.

We pulled up to Josh's hotel and as we helped him unload his baggage out of the trunk, I felt extremely strange. Wait, we're staying? We're not all flying back to Toledo, back to our lives and family and jobs? I know it seems insane since I've been here for over two months, but suddenly everything even looked different. The California license plate on the back of my car looked out of place. The flat drive into the mountains felt like we were going the wrong way. And the sleepy dark turn into our parking space wasn't comforting at all. This is home? This is where we live?

I felt something strange in my gut. Something I have not felt, maybe, ever?
I wanted to see my dad.
I wanted to go to the Attic with Tim and Becky and Brandon and Pat.
I wanted Book Club at Landrus' house outside in the sunshine with Mamma Landrus sandwiches.
I wanted to wear a Mudhens hat without feeling like a stranger.
I was officially homesick.

And the mountains deflated. The lake dried up. The forest fell behind a veil of fog and everything felt average. Droopy. Sad. All I wanted was to pack up our life in one anxious rush and go live in my dad's basement and pick tomatoes from my grandmother's garden. Having Josh around highlighted all of the things I love about the Midwest: nonstop baseball games, family reunions, the farm. I desperately craved familiarity, a sense of belonging and a need to feel some sort of direction in my life, where I'm headed, what I'll be, where I'll be, when is it time for dogs and houses and babies? As the dust settled of an incredibly fun and emotionally draining weekend, I sulked on my last day of summer. The sky was cloudy all day, so rare for Tahoe, and it furthered my funk. So I officially started looking for reasons to quit.

But, what would I do? Really. After I hugged my dad and got a little crazy at how tall Felix got since June, what would I do? After I shook out being homesick, where would I go to make it make sense?

See, that stirring in your heart when you see people leave your hometown, when you see their mountain pictures, that mix of jealousy and a lack of understanding why, it just may be the same feeling of missing an old version of yourself. That's how I feel when I see pictures of Erie Orchards, when I see that it's my grandmother's birthday and I can't be there, when I see aunt and nephew standing side by side with silly faces on. That homesickness that people always talk about is just feeling out of place, misplaced, desperately wanting to belong somewhere, where ever that is. And family. Man, it's hard not to be around your family.  I don't feel like I've ever fit in anywhere, and maybe that's just my cross to bear. But it's something to know every turn of a town, every street sign, where the good pizza is, why there's a dip in the road. It feels good to belong. It feels good to have roots.

But nothing stays the same, even in a town that you've been in all your life. And as Tahoe yoga has taught me, being continually thrown out of the nest is to live. Except I'm kind of sick of being thrown out. I'm really wishing that I could stay put for a while, somewhere. Anywhere.

Where ever I land, it's going to take more than two months to make my own history. And in the meantime, living on Lake Tahoe in the mountains with a possible dream job in hand and my hus-friend home every night for dinner isn't a terrible way to spend this next year. Here's to hoping it all makes sense, someday soon.