Sunday, March 6, 2011


So I skyped my family today. I feel homesick a good amount of the time, especially when I get to see everyone: Abby, Mom and Dad, Martha and Leo and Maryanne. But I am growing to appreciate my homesickness in a different way. I proud to have a home-base that I can return to. I am beginning to understand that it is a luxury not everyone has.

Working for JRS, and interviewing people, I frequently hear that people can never return to their countries. In order to apply for refugee status, you have to make the case as to why you can never go home.

So I just accepted that. I wrote what they say in my notebook and type a story, almost always including a quote about never going back.

I didn't think too much about this until last night, when I was having dinner with a friend who is applying for refugee status. We were talking about the food her mom used to make and how much I miss Omaha food. She said, "I bet you're pretty homesick here." And I agreed. Then she said, "Yeah, it's a scary thought to realize that I can never go home."

At this point, I'm going to stop taking Omaha for granted. I have something pretty precious back in Nebraska, and even if I''m not ready to lay down roots there just yet, I appreciate knowing it's there waiting for me.

So, yeah, as you all know, I can sometimes make Omaha out to be some sort of Plains Shangri La, but it's not Omaha itself that I love and appreciate so much. It's dad's cinnamon toast and the way he makes hot dogs. It's Mom's Christmas breakfasts. It's Maddy taking up too much space on the couch when I'm trying to watch Twilight Zone. It's having a fire in the fireplace in the middle of summer. It's Abby saying the same joke over and over again and demanding us to tell her how funny she is. It's Dundee. It's 50th Street. It's Ginger Cove and the cockerburls in the sand dunes. It's everyone and everywhere I have a memory.

That's home. And I love it and I miss it. And I appreciate it in whole new way.

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