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  • I had a moment of sublime homesickness today.

    My parents moved to France a couple of months ago. It was an old dream, a love of open space and warm climate and summer and the good life. Me and my sister are happy they are doing what they truly love in their old age, even if that means they now live more than a thousand kilometers (700 miles) away from us.
    We used to live at less than half an hour’s drive from each other’s houses. It’s quite a change. No more stopping by and having a chat or a coffee. No more ‘Mom, will you come with me to check out this pair of shoes I’ve seen?’ Meeting each other now requires plane tickets, ten-hour drives and a lot of organization.
    I’m not complaining. I’m happy because they are and we have the most fabulous holiday resort with a swimming pool and a private bungalow when we visit. And it’s always so wonderful to see each other again because we don’t see each other every week anymore (thank god for Skype). I’m just saying: it’s different, and it takes getting used to.

    They’re visiting us right now, my wonderful mom and dad. They’re enjoying their three-year old grandson and he is loving them back with the fervor only a child can bestow onto people he loves. They fetch him from school and they cook for us by the time we get home from work, tired. They even go grocery shopping and fill our fridge with things we haven’t bought in months.

    So that’s when I got my moment of sublime homesickness. After supper tonight my dad said: ‘There are Magnums in the fridge’. Magnums are a kind of ice cream we all like and that my parents always used to have a supply of in the freezer of my childhood home. Whoever stayed for supper with mom and dad was invited to go and fetch himself desert afterwards.

    I felt like having one so I went to look for the Magnums. My husband and I put all our ice cream in the bottom drawer of the freezer, it’s a habit and the most practical place for it in our freezer. So I went for the bottom drawer. The Magnums weren’t there.
    I immediately knew where to look. They were in the top drawer, on top of the pizzas. Exactly where they used to be in the freezer of my childhood home.

    I got them out, closed the door and just stood there. I felt like crying.
    That’s what coming home always does to you. Wherever you live. Wherever you are.
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