A year ago on this date, Dean and I arrived home after five and a half months away. We walked in the door carrying backpacks and the weariness earned driving a U-Haul truck 3,000 miles. Yesterday, we drove a 30-foot RV up the driveway after 2,000 miles of touring the Pacific coast. It was a coincidence, and it felt appropriate.
It was all just similar enough to transport me back to that homecoming a year ago, and to appreciate how much living we’ve done in the past year. It’s been a good one. But nevermind this whole year, the last week was a good one.
Dean’s parents came out to visit and we rented an RV and drove down the coast of Oregon and Northern California.
It was a strange mix of the new and the familiar. Getting to appreciate places I have come to love through the awe of someone seeing them for the first time. Introducing them to RV life while stumbling upon a lode of family travel memories.
My parents bought a little motorhome when I was 5 and we spent a lot of time in it over the years. Whether it was one of the countless weekends at the lake or an annual summer vacation, the motorhome was one of my happy places. They sold that one when I was in my twenties but when it came time to pack the rental, I realized that I still knew how every drawer and cupboard was arranged. The sounds of everything vibrating and rattling just a little, the feel of the road moving under you while sitting at the table or lying on the couch. Time compressed or spiraling or however we describe those moments when it’s more layers than lines.
It wasn’t all nostalgia, but I struggle to write here about shared experiences, to find the line between telling my story and telling someone else’s. My story this week feels like one of revisiting old memories and creating new ones.
Tall trees, crashing surf, blue sky blending into blue sea at a distant horizon. Spades and sourdough and sleeping on the top bunk.