From this...

to this:

I'm home. I mean, I'm almost home.  I'm sitting in my old house right now, on Haight St, in San Francisco.  I knew I would feel sad if I came back here, but I wasn't prepared to start crying on the bus, with everyone watching. It's funny, how coming to a place that was home and now isn't my home makes me tear up. Part of it is that this is a famous street, a place that has people coming from all over the world to photograph it.  This place is a little stuck up from all the attention, maybe part of why I feel sad is because I see that my old home doesn't recognize me. I barely made a dent.

I'm waiting for my husband and kids to come and pick me up. I almost can't stand it, I miss them so much and can't wait to see them, and at the same time I am aware of diving back into the realm of need, of touching everyone all the time. It is a great privilege; they are my true home.

I've been thinking a lot. Since I got on the plane yesterday I've been alone a lot, and being alone makes me think. Sometimes these thoughts are about buildings and houses, and whose hands put the boards on these houses, and money and layers, and some thoughts are about why on earth I was sick the whole time I was away and only today feel better. It's like the time I had the canker sore in L.A. What's up with that? I had some kind of food poisoning, from where I can only imagine (that Chinese restaurant I mentioned?) and for three days my stomach sounded like a dishwasher. On one of the days, I couldn't move more than 20 feet away from the toilet. My poor hosts watched me run in and out of their bathroom fifty-five times in one day, trying their best not to think about what was going on in there. I've only felt like that once before. In Nepal, after I drank a full glass of tap water. (I still swear that someone told me the water was okay to drink in Nepal, but everyone denies it.) That was worse, I was actually sitting right beside the toilet, leaning my head on it, like an old friend, for three days.

I feel better now. So I came here, to my old house, because I know the people who live here and needed a place to sit and wait for my family. One thing I've been thinking about is meditation. I want to be more meditative in the things I do, rather than frantic. More on this to come.

Here's a picture of our old back stairs, the stairs I almost broke my back hauling a double stroller up and down every day.

And here is our old phone box, a tangle of wires that Chinua was lucky enough to have to work on several times. Because, you know, the phone guy was as clueless as we were. Colorful, isn't it?