29 December 2007... I hugged Timothy and we exchanged "see ya laters" (we never say goodbye). Then, it was back to Sparks and the engulfing love of the Sherman family. I've been to Sparks five times now (counting round trips) since August. I really love it there. For being so close to Reno, it's such a laid back town. People still smile and say hello to each other. I've yet to meet anyone pretentious there (though I'm sure there are such individuals). Geographically, it's got all the good elements: desert, changing seasons, mountains. It's central to lots of natural beauty types of places, Tahoe only being one. I could easily see myself living there, and may yet do so. Living there would also put me within an easy 3.5 hours of John's family, and, as is evident in previous posts, within a half day's drive of Timothy. Plus, I'd have the whole, vastly extended Sherman clan to hang around with. Oh yeah... I'm a-thinkin'...
I spent another two and a half days at Nancy and Jim's house before heading back to Kirkland. It was filled with lots more conversation and laughter, lots of dog patting (Maxie is such a slut!), and lots of relaxing and hanging around. I feel fortified by it, still.
I spent part of an afternoon at Robin's (and Joe's) new home, checking out her craft stuff and getting acquainted with their dog Booda (an excitable brown cocker spaniel). Robin is such a cool person. I got to know her a little over two years ago, online at first, and then we met up at a crafting convention in Las Vegas (which is how I met Nancy too). I've seen so much great growth in her personal life, as well as in her artistic talent. It's just fun to know her. Sunday evening, Nancy, Jim, Robin, Joe and I went to Olive Garden for dinner. We glutted ourselves on salad and breadsticks. Yum!
I got to spend some more time with Kyia and Pauli. Being with teenagers (18 and 13 respectively) is such an eye-opening experience. In a good way. I was so different from them at that age. I wish I'd been so free, and so able to share my thoughts and feelings. The three of us shared sleeping quarters with Izzy the Rat. I felt... young. (So stop apologizing, Tonto!).
On New Years Eve, we pretty much just lounged around. Pauli and I watched a bunch of Project Runway reruns, and poked fun at the fashion and the silly attitudes of the designers. It was a lot of fun to spend time with her and get to know her better. Sweet kid... I'm anxious to see the fine woman to come. No doubt that fierce spirit underlying the sweetness will mature into something amazing.
Nancy and I rang in the New Year by watching the maniacs and fireworks of Reno on the TV, from the cozy comfort of the sofa. We could hear the fireworks all the way at her house and the dogs went crazy with the sounds. I didn't feel like I missed a thing not being with all the other revelers. And, it was so cool to be able to start this year with one of my best buddies on earth. It meant more to me than I can articulate.
New Year's Day, I loaded up again for the journey "home." I say that in quotes, because, while I'm familiar with my life here, it no longer really feels like home. It's not the place I feel called to. Truly, this is the year I pack it in, pack it up, and head to... somewhere.
The Conclusion, I said? Nay. Merely the beginning...