The push-pull, stay-go life on wheels

  • Me, Nancy, Nate, Mom and Tom at Nate's graduation from Barrett, The Honors College, at Arizona State University.

On the road again, feeling that push-pull, bittersweet emotion of leaving after a month-long stop at “home” in Arizona that was filled with love, celebration, reconnection and inspiration.

We saw son Nate graduate with a degree in finance, with honors, from Arizona State University, celebrated with his equally graduated, smart, cool, and thoughtful roomies, Corbin and Evan, hung out with my wonderful mom Jeannine and talented sister Nancy, attended the launch of My Heart Can’t Even Believe It, an amazing book by my friend Amy Silverman about life with her daughter, Sophie, who has Down syndrome (Buy it here), visited my strong and brave friend Janie, who is battling back from leukemia after having a bone-marrow transplant, sewed and talked and talked with my friend and “business” partner Tami and visited with her mom and sister, yarn-bombed the park along 48th Street with partners-in-crime Jackie and Meredith and a bunch of other crazy bombers (read Karina Bland’s story about it here), read a piece I wrote about the first lie I ever told Nate at the Mothers Day gathering of Mothers Who Write at Changing Hands Bookstore, attended two Bar Flies readings and the Polynesian weekend at the Musical Instrument Museum, as well as binge watched the latest seasons of House of Cards and Silicon Valley and went to the movies whenever possible. Whew!

We have so much fun, it’s hard to imagine why we’d take off again.

But down the blacktop is the pull of new adventures. This time it’s the north rim of the Grand Canyon and the Great Lakes, new spots on the map for us to explore. And a planned two-week jaunt around rural Kansas with my 86-years-young mother to visit the places she lived and meet with relatives to share stories. In the fall, we’ll head up the West Coast for some extended beach time, visits wiht family in Carmel, California, and Longview, Washington, a reunion with Stanford fellows at a beach house in Oregon and a visit to our old haunts in Mendocino and Fort Bragg, California.

Our first day back on the road, we drove through Sedona’s gorgeous red rocks, a fitting start since this is where it all started with our honeymoon more than 30 (OMG) years ago. That stormy November weekend seems like yesterday, brushing snow off our red Volkswagen Rabbit, sipping hot chocolate with Schnapps, listening to the roaring creek just outside. Today, it’s The Epic Van, gluten-free beer and the same sense of new experiences around the next bend.

Just before we left home, I pinned a wall hanging Nancy gave me to the wall of The Epic Van. It says, “Home is where you park it.” Funny but true, for us. We’re feeling at home wherever we are.


  1. Reply
    Kirstin June 6, 2016

    Looking forward to seeing you when we all gather in Kansas! Sedona is so wonderful, I expect Tom and I may end up there in the not-too-distant future …

    • Reply
      Judy Nichols June 8, 2016

      Kristin, We’re excited for Kansas, too. And, yes, Sedona is ahhhhmazing.

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