I had my first Thanksgiving home after being gone the last two during the mission. It was a lot of things I remembered--the family, the noise, the delicious food--and a few things I didn't want to remember. The tension, the arguing, the general lack of familial spirit. Or, perhaps, the prevailing one. Jamie and I ditched out early to head to Nephi where we spent the rest of the holiday weekend.
I mostly hung out with Natasha and the kids--went to the craft fair, met Santa (for Isaac's first time), watched "Horton Hears a Who" more times than I care to recollect (but the proof is in the pudding, I actually still like the movie!), and was able to go to the Manti Temple with Natasha for my first time. That part was truly memorable and very neat.
Jamie and I drove home late Sunday afternoon. I was shocked by the constant stream of northbound traffic. It was incessant. At some points we could tell the cars weren't even driving the speed limit because they couldn't for lack of space.
During our stay in Casa de Dansie in Nephi we received communique that we would be putting up the Christmas tree Monday night. I was surprised and, surprisingly, not happy about the news. But I tried today to change my attitude, and was even looking forward to the meat rolls, the Christmas music blaring, the assembling of the fake tree, stringing of the lights, etc.
I think the part that people leave out about the "absence makes the heart grow fonder" is that absence also alters the fondness of memories, dismisses the bad, hyperbolizes the good, and works best when one is still absent.
Lately I just get the feeling that everyone keeps saying they're so glad I'm back or here, but I don't feel wanted here. Not that I blame anyone, I don't think I'm making myself the most affable company. So now it's on to the next step, still figuring out what to do with my life.