The ride from the farm to the airport was a little mixed.  It was a good three hours with just sister talk.  It's been a while since that's happened.

Although I was bummed that I didn't get to see my folks at all this Christmas (except via Skype), the alternative several days at the farm have been pretty amazing, in a very calm and relaxed sort of way.  When I told Ana we only had one sleep left together last night, she said, "Awwww-wwww..." the way little kids do.  And today she looked very sad as I held my arms out for a big hug.  It's hard to leave my sister's family, as it is always hard to leave my parents every time they drive me to the airport.  I am so far removed from that Minnesota life when I'm in New York, it's hard to even put my finger on all the things I'm missing.  But it doesn't really matter if I can't quantify it.  It's my family, and it's hard to be away.

Maybe it was that knowledge that made me all weepy when natural disaster came up, and I told Joy about a letter I had received this past August from one of Lyra's biggest Vermonter supporters about the devastation following the hurricane.  I couldn't even finish the story without stopping to take a big gulp of air.  And then I had to go and tell her the plot to Madame Butterfly.  I just can't get through the end of it without crying.  I'm not even talking music... I'm talking synopsis.  When my roommate long ago read it to me for the first time, I started sobbing like a baby.  Which led to a memory of seeing La Boheme at the Met with both Akiko and my sister.  At the end, when the lights went up, we were all in tears, feeling "nobody look at me!!"

Ah.  Goodbyes.  They're pretty much the hardest thing ever.  Physically I make myself turn around and walk in the opposite direction, because for the most part, it must be done.  But emotionally, I don't know if I've ever said goodbye to anyone and meant it.

Well, maybe once.  More on that... em... never.

Here we go, Day 138: