Home Again, Home Again, Jiggidy Jig

  When I was little, this was the rhyme we always said when we drove into the yard of our Wisconsin farm.
  When we moved to the ranch, I said it then too, as soon as we saw the gate with the sign on it.
   Now we're in Bend and yesterday, after a month of being away, we pulled into the garage and that's exactly what came out of my mouth:  "Home again, home again, jiggidy jig."  Safe, secure.
   It is good to be home even with acute bronchitis which was diagnosed at the Immediate Care Center in Redmond, this morning.  Jerry came down with a cold but mine is full blown Yuk.  We visited the farmacias in Cabo and the doctor here said they were good things we found there:  things to numb my throat and to try to break up the congestion.  But antibiotics are called for and so I'm on my way to recovery with heavy duty stuff.
    Which is good since the longest day of the year is always the first day back after a vacation.
    We came home to warm weather for the month of February in Bend -- it was 59 degrees here yesterday.  And we'd left behind one of the coldest weeks on record in Baja Mexico...where it was also in the 50s and 60s. Our friends are rethinking whether they want to travel with us. When we went to Spain several years ago, it was the hottest summer on record; our first trip to Hawaii with them had unseasonal rain and flooding.  Two years ago in Victoria, BC, it was the hottest year they'd ever had and now, in Mexico, the coldest.  It might be us.
    But what I do know is that when you're sick, there is nothing better than being at home.  Nothing more comforting than knowing just where the aspirin can be resupplied or how to make the room warm.  (Hotel rooms in Baja do not have heat in them, only air conditioning), or being reassured that your doctor can understand you when you sound like your nose is stuffed with a sock and your throat is as scratchy as an old sock, too.
    Travel makes me appreciate home.  It also makes me aware of how fortunate I am to be able to travel and to recognize that despite weather and illness, everything worked pretty darn well.  The people we met were gracious and willing to help.  At one farmacia where I asked for Zicam, the owner opened his IPhone, typed in Zicam, looked at the ingredients and then looked at what he had on his shelf.  What he had we already had: drugs the doctor here said good, but I needed antibiotics.
      In Baja, we found a local Gringo News that filled us in on why the fishing was so bad (the water was too cold!) and told us about places to visit we might have otherwise missed.  A two day trip to La Paz, Mexico, for example, netted us a national museum tour that was the highlight of the trip for me.  It was a museum!  Full of history of the region and artifacts and stories.  Our guide spoke excellent English and the price for his services was more than reasonable ($3.00 per person).
     So even though I never could figure out how to blog from Mexico and even though we had to cancel the snorkeling trip because I couldn't breathe, we were able to see fish on the glass bottom boat and while doing that, had the joy of seeing three whales in the bay, plunging and blowing and bringing no end of attention to themselves though I hope all of us in the boats were naught but small flies to them as they made their passage around the peninsula heading to the Pacific.
     Life went on while we read and caught sun and walked to the estuary and back several times.  Friends Sherrie and Dennis Gant got my book storage organized and inventories making much more room in the garage than what was there before we left!  I worked on my latest novel about lilacs and found myself paying much more attention to the hibiscus blooming nearly everywhere in Cabo than I ever had before.  I wrote in my journal into February so that's a good sign. I finished edits for Barcelona Calling coming out in September, helped with word pronunciations for Love to Water My Soul for the Idaho State Library system that is putting it on tape; and had a brief email from the producer of the audio version of The Daughter's Walk who was on the 17th floor of a building in New York watching the snow come down.  She was letting me know production would begin soon.
     While in Cabo, a writer doing a piece for Publisher's Weekly sent emails of questions I responded to about writing and life and stories. She's doing a short piece about me and it's nice recognition from the magazine that is considered THE magazine for all writing/publishing related news. They review books as well but I haven't seen the review of The Daughter's Walk as yet.Fingers crossed!!! Cindy Crosby, the writer, also writes for www.Faithfulreader.com and she endured the Chicago snowstorm working while I emailed my answers to her from Cabo. Ah the joys of the internet.
     I also learned that Pioneer Woman http://thepioneerwoman.com/homeschooling/2011/01/the-daughters-walk/ gave The Daughter's Walk a great review.  I worked on Beachside Writers, the workshop I'm a guest instructor at with Bob Welch( info.bobwelch.net). We still have a few more slots he tells me so if you want to give your sweetheart a valentine's gift, consider bringing them to Yachats on the Oregon Coast Feb 25-27. It's always an inspiring weekend for attendees and instructors alike.
       Finally, it was announced that A Flickering Light is a finalist for the Oregon Book Award!  A great thrill.  We find out results on April 25.  But meanwhile, a new award has been formed called Reader's Choice and everyone can vote for their favorite finalist. You can vote once a day until April 18th!  Voting once would be lovely if you have the time.  Here's the link.The Oregonian + Literary Arts Readers' Choice Award. Your email will not be tracked nor will you get "stuff" as a result of your vote.
    So that's my jiggidy jig. I'm not feeling as encouraging as I hope to be each time I blog but that could be the antibiotics kicking in.  I also couldn't figure out how to add a photo this time either. 
    We picked up Caesar and tomorrow Bo returns so we'll all be under one roof again.
    And I'm hopeful you'll all forgive me for just being happy to be home from my working vacation and appreciating a country that let me back in when I was ready to return.  May you find the same appreciation without ever having to leave your house!  
Warmly, Jane  (I'm not sure why this print got larger and darker...!)  Jane