I’ve been inside for most of the day. I don’t really have any excuse, as the rain was pouring down several hours ago, but then the sun came shining down once more. Catching up on the latest episode of The Voice Australia was part of my goal, and the rest of the time, I’ve been reading a delightful book, Charlotte Collins, by Jennifer Becton. But you can only stay inside for so long, read for so long, and sit down for so long. Even if it’s just getting out of the house to go and eat out.
And then I found myself struck by such a wave of homesickness for Emerald and the places that became so familiar over the last year. The place that really did become home. Because I was looking for a place to go and eat, to get comfortable, and relax… and my usual haunts just aren’t here. Oh, sure, McDonald’s is here, but our Maccas probably doesn’t have an outright McCafe, like it does in Emerald. And even if they did, could I order a “mock-uh”, and be understood?
My favorite place to hang out in the evening, when I wasn’t with friends, of course, was at Bogey’s, by the Emerald Twin Cinemas. And not only does Clemson not have its own theater since the ‘Stro closed several years ago, it never had a little cafe attached to it. No matter how hard I look, I’m not going to find a place where I can hang my hat, while scenes from Casablanca look down on me from the walls. Where the spelling mistake that remains on the dinner/movie deal, listed on the wall, remains there year round.
You might find it jarring or just odd, but I was even accustomed to the fact that the Humphrey Bogart decor was usually accompanied by the soundtracks of all three Twilight movies, playing on the stereo. Oh, yes, I’m familiar enough with them to recognize them, you know. Like them, too. But the whole place was comfortable. Familiar. Relaxing.
I already knew that I’d never find potato wedges with sweet chilli sauce and sour cream over here, but it’s really just the familiarity that you search for. Like settling into an armchair that your family had before you were even born (yes, we have one of those). You know it so well, you just let out a sigh of relief, and all your muscles loosen up.
So, as much as I love Zaxby’s and enjoy the fact that they play a Christian radio station at the Clemson location, it wasn’t what I really wanted. I came home wishing for something that I can’t have. And then nearly brought myself to tears before writing this, listening to Rachael Leahcar sing “Someone to Watch Over Me” and Brittany Cairns sing “Different Worlds” on YouTube.
While I was looking for pictures of Bogey’s, for this post, I also came across some last day pictures that I had forgotten about. My girls insisted that I needed to get a picture of Bub in her “caterpillar” outfit, the morning that I left Emerald. Bub was not thrilled to see me with my camera, but I’m glad that I brought it down. The girls had written a final message for me, on the dry erase board, and it makes my heart ache, now, to look at it.
There are many other people and things that I miss about Australia, but I just thought I’d share a few of them. If I dig too deep, looking for other things to miss and be sad about, I’ll just make myself miserable. And I learned, when I was over there, that there are times that you just can’t concentrate on those things, no matter how much you miss your friends and loved ones. I’ll see them all again, someday, Lord willing. I’m just thankful for the time that I had there.