Shedding flip flops

It’s been nearly four weeks since I was last at home.

Four weeks since I last took a shower sans flip flops.

Four weeks since my puppies have kissed me, my kitties meowed at me.

Four weeks since I’ve heard my grandma’s voice (sorry I haven’t called you…I’m afraid I’ll get too sad).

Four weeks since I’ve watched the regular TV programming I fall into the habit of doing when I am at home.

Four weeks since I’ve cooked a meal and loaded a dish washer.

This is the longest amount of time I’ve ever spent away from home. In the fall, it was convenient to go home after several cross country meets, plus my birthday weekend in early November was spent at home. Before this, it was three weeks. Now I’m up to four.

I haven’t seen JuneBug, Reggie, Oliver, Weezie or Ruby since the Sunday I left to come back to Bonaventure. The other morning, I woke up and swore I felt Reggie on my bed next to me (I woke up picturing his funny feet, with the sprazzy hairs poking in-between the worn pads on his toes).

I can shut my eyes and pretend the road outside and the sounds emitted are from the hill near my house and Route 62 just below it. The bass from the third floor is Adam down the hall, driving me nuts as I try to read a book. My friends are my moms, and I don’t seem to have a dad.

Here I lack a dad, older brothers and five funny pets (plus one more for Grady). But I make up for the missing pieces with friends, relationships with my teachers and upperclassmen who seem to believe in me. Oh, and the wall I’ve dedicated to those five pets – plus one Grady – might help a little bit.

A week from today, I will be able to shed my flip flops, kiss my puppies and kitties, talk to my brothers and be reunited with my two best friends: my mom and dad.

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