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Roots: The Secret Joy of Staying for Awhile

Last week, our son went to his grandparent's house and we went to California. Chris had a conference in Monterey and I tagged along. I got all kinds of "me" time, time away from Texas's 100-degree fake fall, time to explore wherever I wanted.

On the last day of our trip, I drove the rental car to Carmel-by-the-Sea. I read Jane Austen at a coffee shop and then drove down to the beach, walked in bare feet across the sand, took photos of a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and gazed at the rhythmically crashing surf. On paper, it was the perfect Elizabeth morning. But I stood on that beach, looked around me, and thought, "I know logically that this is gorgeous. So why don't I feel joy?" Something was off. And then a realization dawned.

I think of myself as such an unattached traveler, an independent spirit. But there I was--homesick.

Permanence. It's something we haven't known much of. 2 years, 9 months, and 28 days: That was our previous reco…

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