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It is hard to come home

It is hard to come home

We went away for a few days, and now we are home, back to our old routines. Back to waking up early and writing. Back to seven litter boxes and cat barf on the carpet. I wonder what they ate that made one of the cats sick?

And I feel lost. What should I do first? A load of laundry, or wash the bowl with left over macaroni and cheese in it?

What project should I do first?

I miss routine.

It’s a hard thing to leave any deeply routine life, even if you hate it.
― John Steinbeck, East of Eden

This is my home, but I feel like a stranger.

The stains on the carpet seem darker, the cats seem louder, and I just want to get on another plane, so I don’t have to think about my life and what I am doing.

Life is so much easier being a guest in someone else’s home. You can visit and you don’t have to think about what you are doing with your life.

It is time to think now. But I want a few more hours to not think.

I want a few more hours at my mother-in-laws kitchen hearing her stories. And I want a few more hours with my father-in-law watching Jeopardy.

I fed the cats and made a cup of tea. Now I will clean the litter boxes and take the van in to get its yearly inspection.

Good morning Gilbertsville.

I am home.

Do you find it is hard to come home after going away? Please tell me in the comments. 


About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Tara

    There is always that shock of: this is my home? after some time away. I think the return to humdrum chores (there is no way to make cleaning the cat box fun!) is the hardest thing to return to after having been a guest. But, home is home…and soon the sweetness of it returns. Here’s hoping he next days are better, Pamela!

    • Thank you Tara,

      The days are better now. Cleaning seven litter boxes is never fun, but I wouldn’t trade the four cats we have.

  • djts

    There is nothing like cat barf to welcome you home, unless it is stepping in it when you get up in the middle of the night – now there’s a routine changer! But really, sometimes it is hard to get back into a routine when you were having such fun sharing someone else’s routines. But soon it is like you never left – but I don’t like that either!

    • Thankfully I didn’t step in the cat barf. It is cleaned now, and I am back into a routine.
      I miss seeing my family in Minnesota, but it is so nice to be home!

  • writekimwrite

    I do know what you mean. Home is where all the reality of day to day living resides. It is nice to have a retreat, to escape a bit, to visit loved ones but home IS where we live! Home is special and not always in a building!

    • Hello Kim,
      It was nice to escape, but now I am back to my routine. The cats like to have their seven litter boxes cleaning daily. At least I moved the one by my desk over to the wall.
      So happy to be home.

  • Nancy Hatcher

    Yep, I always find it hard. I hate taking things out of the suitcase because it reminds me that the fun is done. Sometimes I even leave things in and laugh when I find them packing for the next trip. xo

    • Oh Nancy, That is so funny. I am curious to know what you found in your suitcase.
      The night we got back I unpacked my suitcase and put everything away. My new motto is to do it now, not tomorrow. Mind you, I do like to leave the kitchen a mess, so Pamela tomorrow can be mad at Pamela yesterday.

      • Nancy Hatcher

        I usually leave a belt…or some underwear…a sock or two…and a few Advil 🙂

  • La McCoy

    How many peanuts did you get on the way back?

    • Laura, I still have to open the bags and count them. I was served two bags of peanuts on the return flight. How many do you think are in them? The last bag had 15.

  • Christa Sterken

    I feel great joy when I get home, that first few steps in (aside from the musty smell of no one being there for awhile) and I smile. Delighted at the home we’ve created and filled with gratitude at being able to have so much color everywhere. I totally relate to the “where to begin” dismay after a trip though. Being a routine person, it is hard as heck to get back in it once you have been out. One step at a time friend, put a load in, put five items away, read a book and write for awhile. It’ll get done

    • Hello Christa,
      Thank you for the suggestions. I put a load in and then put five items away, and read a book.
      I love my home, as it is, where I live. Friends asked me where is my favorite place to have lived, and I always say where I am now.

      • Christa Sterken

        You make me smile Pamela.

  • For the most part if I’m away I am glad to get home. That safe place to fall, provided there is no cat barf. When we go places I do like it. It’s different, it’s fun, but be it ever so humble…

    I think you just miss the people you were with.

    Liked your post.

    • Hello Anne,
      Yes, I do miss the people I visited. When I come home I start to compare where I was to where I live. And I find it hard to get into the old routine. Just cleaned the cat barf today. I put a garbage can on top of it for a few days so we wouldn’t step in it.

      • I don’t think there is ever a good time to come home to cat barf. Never.

  • So hard, and this is really awful, but I usually feel really irritable and annoyed by my house and whatever mess has accumulated while I was gone. But I’m happy to see my family.

    • Hello Kathleen,
      Yes it is hard to see come home to a mess, but always nice to see family again. Is it possible to be annoyed at the mess but not at the people who made it? I will try that the next time I go away.