Slippers, Snow, and 283 days

The Albuquerque, New Mexico International Ball...

Albuquerque Internat'l Balloon Fiesta

In the Albuquerque airport, having a beer and waiting for my flight. Nothing big to say, but there are always thoughts to share, and the last 3 weeks have been amazing in a way I didn’t expect.

I arrived in Albuquerque on Dec. 16th in cutoffs, a t-shirt, and slippers (aka flip-flops). It proceeded to rain, then hail, then snow 2-3 inches. I was slushing around in my slippers, determined to not switch over. I spent the rest of my visit in “regular” shoes. I was frustrated with the cost of Hawaii and the course of my residency thus far, but I was pretty determined to consider staying in Hawaii or at least look at other states when I am done this October. It didn’t take long, though, to realize how much I miss my friends, my family, Nick. I stayed inside for the first week, not really doing anything but working and relaxing. I intended to run, but the couple of times I went out, the cold air and my lungs battled it out, and the cold won. I finally texted my buddies Dave and Mario and met them for a beer. They were game as usual, and it was so nice to reconnect. It had only been two months, and it almost felt like I had never left. I got to meet Mario’s fiance Elisa, who is a doll. I was skeptical at first, because the engagement was so sudden, but the magic between them is obvious, as is Mario’s ease and happiness. It’s great to see my buddies happy.

For the holidays, I spent Christmas Eve with my family, and I was happy to have Nick make it after work, and I got to hang out with Nick’s “family” on Christmas Day. I was lucky enough to have a night at Pho Linh with some of my Nob Hill buddies, a night at Anodyne with friends (which ended with a Grinder….a drink too yummy to ever have again..whew!), New Year’s Eve with friends, and a great time last night at Sushi and Sake, then Scalo’s, with several friends. The turnout was bigger than my going away night at Sushi and Sake!

I have enough friends in Albuquerque to have occupied every day I was here, if I had been more on the ball. I have yet to make a friend other than my co-resident in Hawaii. Thankfully, she is AWESOME! Still, it would be nice to have my buddies. that takes time though, and it didn’t take long for me to decide I need to get home to New Mexico when I am done. I need to at least get to the mainland, but close to family and friends is preferable.

So, I have 283 days, give or take, left in my residency (I have a countdown widget on my phone). I plan to make the most of it, and then get my butt back home. My daughter needs to be with family, and I finally realize I am not the loner I thought I was. Well, not when I have a man I am deeply in love with at home that I miss every day. I could be fine if it weren’t for that.

So, headed back to Hawaii, not knowing when I will return to New Mexico, not knowing when I will see Nick again, and hoping for the best. At least I have something to look forward to. Home is where the HEART is, and my heart is in New Mexico.

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