where are you going, where have you been

I stole the title of Joyce Carol Oates’ beautiful short story to write a little about transition. The past three weeks I have been on a whirlwind of many mini-travels. Which may sound more exciting than the actual relaxing atmosphere they presented. During my trips to Arkansas, back to Texas, Florida, Arkansas again, Texas, then to North Carolina and finally back to Texas, I did some writing and reading, experienced some new places and feelings but neglected to report them here.

The first trip was to Arkansas for one of my youngest brothers’, Daniel, college graduation. I am proud of his journey into adulthood, which is maybe more of a fatherly or grandfatherly thing to say. My brothers and my sisters have all made me proud in their own way. Honestly, no two of them have shared a reason for me to think highly of them. Their uniqueness surely spawns from my unique upbringing, our one-of-a-kind relationships. 

The back to Texas portions of my trip were simply to regroup, repack, and reset in order to set out again. 

The Florida trip was to meet up my mom and step-dad, Flip. For mom’s 60th birthday, she would stop along the way at sewing and quilting shops. She has surely found her niche. The quilts in my living room are regularly enjoyed by roommates and myself. I enjoyed playing three rounds of golf with Flip, including twice at the beautiful yet challenging course at Magnolia Landing. These Florida courses played host to a number of amazing birds and few alligators. 

From Florida we drove, along scenic highways and busy interstates, back up to Arkansas. We made in time for a family Christmas that featured more children than ever. Even though we were missing a couple of the cast, we managed to have a good time catching up and may have begun a new tradition of driving to Haynesville, LA for a Rita or Pina Colada. I look forward to seeing everyone again at the end of January. 

The final portion of my trip, after another reset in Austin of course, was out to Charlotte, NC to spend Christmas with Lindsey and her family. Everyone has their own Holiday traditions, it was good to see Lindsey enjoying hers with her family. One of the things I personally liked best was that everyone put a little something in everyone else’s stocking. A manageable task since there were only 5 of them. 

That is where I have been, exploring without reporting. Where I am going constitutes keeping a better record of such travels as they occur. As I use the turn of the calendar to regroup, repack and reset, I also hope to be better about making sure these people in my life know how much I love them.

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