I used to feel regrets everytime that I left Seattle, mostly that I couldn't stay longer, but yes, also regrets that I no longer lived there. I've become a tourist in my own home town. But in the last several years, I tend more often to feel, as I drive up toward Snoqualmie Pass, relief. Relief that I don't live there anymore, relief that I'm headed home. I'm glad that it's only a long day's drive away. I can go to the city, enjoy the best of it, and then leave it all behind. My list of things I'd like to try and do is always longer than what I can pull off while I'm there, though. Now, my regrets are mostly related to the things I didn't get to do while I was there.
Things I didn't get to do: I didn't get to see any old friends. I'm pretty sure they've given up on me. I didn't get to Uwajimaya's, for the experience of taking the boys there, but also to look at craft books at the bookstore and pick up a set of chopsticks to stuff into C's stocking. I didn't make it to one the most lovely toy stores, Clover, out in Ballard (I can't find a link. I hope it's still there). I didn't get to see most of my cousins or their children. I didn't get to Molbak's to ogle at plants too tender for my planting zone. I didn't get to take the ferry to Bainbridge Island to play on the beach at "Camp" where my grandfather built a cabin when he was young, and go to Churchmouse Yarns and Esther's Fabric, of course. I didn't make it to the Arboretum to see if there were any leaves still on in the japanese maple grove. I didn't make it to Hilltop Yarns or Acorn Street Yarns. I didn't go to Schmancy to see so many people's work in person and get inspiration. I didn't see a good movie in the U. District (Sense and Sensibility was playing). I didn't go to an art museum or gallery. We didn't go to the Seattle Aquarium. We didn't get fish and chips.
Things that I did do: C and I did have the best day together in the city, before leaving for Mexico: we went to a stained glass store, The Re-Store, Bedrock Industries, and then went out for great Thai food in Fremont. We did see my brother, his wife, and played with their son, my 1 year old nephew. We did see one of my cousins and his family. We did see one aunt briefly and spent a good part of a day with another aunt and uncle. I did spend over an hour at Weaving Works. We did go to the Julefest at the Nordic Heritage Museum where my mom volunteers. I did get to drive through downtown with the boys, past the beautiful new Seattle Library building. We did drive slowly past some people doing a dragon dance outside a restaurant near Uwajimaya's. I did see a program on PBS about Chihuly's installation at Kew. We did watch old family movies with the boys from when we were little and my grandparents were still alive. I did make the seemingly requisite trip to IKEA... twice, please don't ask why. I did go to Anthropologie, just to browse and be inspired. I did pick up an Oilily catalog, for inspiration, too. The boys did get to go to two of my favorite childhood parks and the local library with my dad. I did have a headache everyday that I was there, including one near-migraine. I did drink a lot of corporate coffee and had one yummy molasses chew from Starbucks (do I really need to link to that?). We did get to stop out at my
parent's dad's sailboat at Shilshole. We did have Copper River salmon one night for dinner to celebrate my dad's 74th birthday. We did get to go to A Child's Dream Come True's newish retail store in Sandpoint, ID on the way home.
Five things I still regret about not living in Seattle: (1) not living close to my parents and other family. Not being able to grow (2) a japanese maple, (3) a gingko tree, and (4) a wisteria vine in my yard. (5) A paved driveway like the one under the leaves above. It sure would keep the floors cleaner. ;)
But like I said, it's good to be home.