Scenes from a Visit 5

After a ten day visit with my folks at The Saturdays, which is what my cousin calls the old folks’ retirement community, I’m wrestling with the idea of home. What is it? How does one make one? If the home you remember is no longer a home you visit, is the place you return still home? In other words, going to see my parents in Florida rather than The City of Champions (which is apparently taking a hiatus from that role this year, ahem) feels weird. And not homey. But that’s where they are, and I want to see them. How do you wrestle with or settle these kinds of changes?


Dad, in the chapeau, was likened to Truman Capote by a kind aviatrix at the flight museum. He was not amused. He’d have preferred Steinbeck or Hemingway.


I have always harbored dreams of being That Family. You know. The one that manages to take a gorgeous and coordinated beach photo for the Christmas card. But. I never think that far ahead, I don’t do Christmas cards, and this is what I’m working with. We are not That Family. We are the other That Family.


I was captivated, as is my wont, by the display of women pilots, and I got to meet the mythical Rosie the Riveter. I’ll thank you to keep your glass-shoed princesses. I got a thrill out of this kind of hero. When I start to feel disappointed that women are STILL not paid equal wages, I can remember those women who carved out a space for us.


Some people I love are cray. See my loved ones up there? See how I took the photo from the ground? Who’s the smart one?

The long drive back was…long. One image that sticks in my head like the sound of my dad singing Puff the Magic Dragon and strumming his banjo is this. The reflector lights that line the highway shone like the spine of an eternally long dragon, on whose back we glided through the night. I’ll keep working on that one.

What did you see or do last week that you want to remember?

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5 thoughts on “Scenes from a Visit

  • Laureen

    Golly girl, I do love your writing. Inspires me to do mine own. Love you buckets. Even with the reminder of this year’s sports debacle. And your family? Perfection.

  • kt_writes

    I’m so glad you’re back! That was a long time to be away from the place you now call home, and I can imagine your visit was full of mixed feelings. For now, my parents still live in the house we bought when I was five, so I don’t know exactly how you’re feeling but I know I will one day struggle with the same set of emotions. Thanks for letting us know where you’re at physically and emotionally now. xo

    • Jennifer Luitwieler

      I have been missing you like crazy. I can’t imagine what it must be like to return to the house of your childhood. We moved when I was in second grade, then when I had my first baby, my parents sold that house. So, this is their fourth since my existence. I still remember the first one, but I guess it’s Pittsburgh that really feels like “returning home.” Thankful I still have family there. And thankful for you.