Two weeks ago, I arrived in northern Wisconsin with my two younger boys. I was homesick in a way before I even arrived, especially after learning that my oldest son was sick about two hours before our trip northwards was complete. Nothing like a scare at home to make you want to be back again, eh? And honestly, while it’s nice to be in a place that’s safer and to see my extended family again, I miss home so, so much. This is why I’ll never move away from San Antonio again, despite disliking the weather and politics in TX. I didn’t realize how attached I’d become when we decided to relocate for a better job opportunity back in 2014, and the lesson has been reinforced over and over since then.
I miss hiking and my local parks. I went hiking here once. The area was overgrown, damp, and excruciatingly humid, and I got chased by a persistent insect for a mile. It was not fun, not a workout, not a place I’d go again in the current season. (I’ve been there in autumn before, and it was nice then, though still not a “hike.”) My hiking group leadership is planning a few small hikes and get-togethers, 2-3 people each, and I ache to be out there with them. Here, there are hardly any hills to walk much less hike. There really aren’t places to go out walking or running except in neighborhoods, watching out for cars and dogs the whole time.
I miss being near my library. Yeah, it’s not open except for curbside, but right now Jason is getting my hold books and mailing them to me, and I have to mail them back to turn in again before they’re due. It’s silly and annoying, especially when I’m finally getting the urge to read again. Plus, even if I can’t go inside, my library is a place of comfort for me. Just seeing it when I’m out at my favorite park (attached to the library) provides that comfort. Also, I miss my personal library at home, where I can go back and reread books from my shelves (something I’ve wanted to do with multiple books over the last few weeks).
I miss my chiropractor. Long drives make my sciatica flare up badly, and I’m in a lot of pain right now, trying to see if I can get in to see my old chiropractor here. It’s still not as good as my chiropractor at home, though. I always miss him when I’m away!
I miss Dunkin Donuts. DD isn’t even open for carry out right now. If I want their iced coffee, I have to do an order through the app and wait for them to bring it outside. But they extended their free iced coffee Wednesdays all through July, and I’m missing it because the closest DD to us here is 40 miles away. Every time I see the app icon on my phone, I get a little pang of homesickness. Before quarantine, I’d meet up with friends at that little store and just drink an iced coffee and chat for hours.
I miss HEB. I’ve been to Aldi and Marketplace and even Walmart here (because in a small town, you have limited resources, and you make do with Walmart if you don’t have any other choice!) None if it compares to HEB. This is another irony homesickness, because I literally haven’t stepped foot in an HEB since March 16th. But still.
I miss my scale. I didn’t bring it with me, and for someone who has been a daily weigh-in person for her entire adult life, this is weird and anxiety-inducing. Probably good for me, but it’s just another thing I miss from normal life.
I miss HPWU. To be honest, over the last two months I’ve gotten really bored with Harry Potter Wizards Unite. They haven’t released anything new to the storyline since the initial game release. No new mysteries, no new SOS assignments, no higher-level lesson plans, etc. But when I just want to give my brain a break, I can open up the app, grab a few foundables, and feel a bit of a mental reset. Here, there’s nothing around. No foundables, almost no inns, greenhouses, or fortresses. I can pretty much do nothing but go out on the Knight Bus to the Hogwarts fortress, and that’s even duller than having a few options!
I miss routine. Routine was already sorely lacking since quarantine began, but it’s even worse now. We are guests, or semi-guests, and my in-laws live in a way that is more fluid than I’m used to. Jason and I came from opposite spectrums when it comes to day to day life – his was unstructured and a bit chaotic, mine was rigidly structured. We’ve managed to put together a happy in-between that allows routine for me, but fluidity for him. Now, I never know when things will happen, when we’ll eat dinner, when the laundry will be free for me to use, when guests will arrive at the house, when I’ll suddenly need to run an errand mid-week…it’s hard for me to cope with, honestly. Like some people feel like they need a vacation from their vacation when they get home? That’s now for me.
I miss my wardrobe. When I packed, I brought about four day’s worth of exercise clothes and a week’s worth of regular outfits. My dresses and a couple shirts are hanging in the closet, while the rest of my clothes remain folded in my suitcase because I have no dresser to put them in. Both the lack of options and the suitcase situation makes me feel like I’m living out of a hotel sometimes, and I miss having a wider variety of things to choose from. Particularly because I expected the weather to be a bit cooler here like it usually is, so some of the options I brought are inappropriate for the current weather. Sigh.
I miss my neighborhood, my house, my room, my bathroom. The other night, I dreamed that I was living in some unknown-to-me house with lots of problems and that I was so sick of dealing with it and wanted to move. I woke up feeling really depressed, because somehow my brain had forgotten that we’d moved house in December, and I thought I was still living in my old house. It took me a bit to remember what my new house looked like, and as soon as I did, I was hit with a wave of homesickness. I love that house so much. I love my room so much. I miss having my own bathroom, and a bathtub, and known walking routes around my neighborhood, and checking the mail down the street, and having enough space in my room to exercise properly, etc etc etc.
I miss my friends and family and kitties. It doesn’t matter that I could hardly ever see anyone. There were lawn meetups, and Stephanie and I were doing careful physically-distanced hang-outs, and I was hanging out with my dad, stepmom, and sister in their backyard, etc. And of course, there are my five cats, my babies, who I’ve been seeing through facetime every night (and who respond to my voice, looking around to find me), and it’s not enough. I have Wally here, been petting him a lot to get in my kitty-fix, but I miss Jason and Morrigan and the cats so much it hurts.
I miss physical contact. Last week, when I found out about the 17-year-old kid who passed from covid, I couldn’t stop crying. I wanted Jason nearby so I could hug him and hold him and generally be comforted. I miss the pre-bedtime ritual of talking with Jason and having his hand in my hair or on my back. I crave physical contact. I feel so alone.
There are more things than this, and I’m aware that this is a very self-indulgent post. I’m privileged to have a place to go to feel safe from the virus, and to have family up here, and to have many of the things I have right now. But homesickness is real, and I have to acknowledge that. I want to go home. It’s only been two weeks, but I desperately want to go home.