The snow of yesterday morning didn't last long in the drizzle that came a little later and stayed all day. Friends up toward Somerset threw their annual New Year's Day soiree, a party to which I always look forward. I usually go late, after putting the kids to bed, but given the nasty weather, I decided to show up at the start and leave in time to get back before dark yesterday. Going to my friends' house is like visiting a gallery: he is a professional photographer and she is a painter and sculptress, and their rooms and walls are filled with their personal objets d'art. There is always a convivial crowd and (living in the wild social whirl as I do) it's such fun to be with people I see just once or twice a year. It was hard to leave just as Bud was serving up his famous chili, but duty called.
The last stretch of Gray Rock Road just before my driveway is, in winter, slick with mud, has potholes filled with water, ruts deep enough to bury small animals, and makes me glad I'm driving a big pickup truck. Even going slowly, I was fishtailing my way and wondering if I'd need the four-wheel drive, and then I turned into my drive. I've never lost the feeling that I had when I first saw this place...it's home. The lights I'd left on beckoned through the gloom, and my animals were waiting to welcome me. Bessie Anne greeted me with wags and wiggles as if I'd been gone a week instead of an hour. The cats made figure eights around my feet. Quickly changing clothes, I went out again to put Poppy and the goats to bed and tuck in the chickens. Feeling very much like Dorothy in Oz, I couldn't help repeating over and over, "There's no place like home. There's no place like home." And I'm home.