Kentucky is home.

Don’t get me wrong…I truly love Ohio.  The fertile farmland, expansive sky, the beauty and excitement of the skyline when approaching Columbus at night…and my parish…Holy Family Catholic Church.  It has been an exciting place to live for the past 3.5 years and it feels like home…98% of the time.  It feels like home until we cross that bridge in Cincinnati and read “Welcome to Kentucky…the Bluegrass State!”

We’re greeted by rolling hills, thoroughbred horses and family.  And we’re home…taking the back roads, sharing memories with the children and hurrying to Grandma’s house for the hugs and kisses that await us.

Our Thanksgiving dinner is comfortingly traditional and the menu seldom varies.  Yum Yum Sweet Potatoes, Corn Pudding, Giblet Gravy and Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli Casserole, Parkerhouse Rolls, homemade stuffing and, of course, a slow-roasted fresh turkey.  A few traditional menu items were missing this year…Grandma Beckie’s 24 hour Salad and Aunt Sallie’s Chocolate Chess Pie.

But that’s not all that was missing…

Much of the family were unable to join us…cousins, aunts and uncles are scattered from Kentucky to China.  We miss them.  The raucous laughter, the fun and games, the memories…we hold them close to our heart and hope that the future will bring us all back together, eventually.  Though significantly smaller than past years, our celebration was intimate and precious, nonetheless.

My mother-in-law and I have shared many delightful conversations over the past week and I’ve had time for knitting and have completed several projects that have been lurking in my project bag for months.  I can’t wait to send these lovely gifts to my “grandgirls.”  Two matching capes, a hooded scarf and a poncho, all in coordinating fibers, deliciously soft and so beautifully feminine.  They’ll look like little angels…and of course, they are!

I’ve had time to visit with my dear girl, Elizabeth and sweet baby Ben.  He’s growing so very fast and is nothing but smiles and laughter…a bouncing baby boy!

Such an adorable pair!

Auntie Em loves little Ben!

His first meeting with the Grands was positively priceless…look at these faces:

Perhaps I’ve cast a rosy glow on the place we used to call home.  Good memories make for good company, and it’s so easy to fall in love (again!) with the place that holds so many memories and is home to many of our loved ones.

Goodbyes are painful and inevitable.  Leaving this state which is home to my parents, my darling mother-in-law, my husband’s sister and her children, our two daughters and five grandchildren, and my grandmother…it seems too much…and yet, we must.

Where we are is where God has called us to be.  Who knows where He’ll call us next.  For now, we must remain content in the place where we are, which is, in many ways, a little slice of heaven, at least to us.  I’ve spent a couple of years indifferent towards the state we left behind when we moved to Ohio.  Holding on to painful memories clouded many of the good ones.  It seems those clouds are clearing now…and I’m thankful.

Tomorrow we say goodbye to Kentucky.  But not forever.   As long as gas prices remain as low as they are now, I foresee a few more trips in our future.  Hopefully soon.  I miss my “grandgirls” and would love to visit them…