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All four of my kids are from Ithaca, NY.

That seems weird to say because when we lived there it seemed nobody was from Ithaca. It always seemed like a place where people came for 3 to 5 years to go to school or work before they went on to someplace else. Which meant saying, “Good-bye,” was a regular part of life.

It is even worse than that because, for the first 8 years of marriage, Liz and I were working with college students who were there to get a degree and move on.

I’m thinking about this today because we are planning our upcoming trip to the States. In order to visit some of our friends from Ithaca (and Albany), we are travelling from Chicago to Atlanta to NYC and places in between. We’ll put in a lot of miles and still, we won’t be able to catch up with many of our friends as they live on both coasts, and several states in-between (and that isn’t even counting the ones who live in other countries.

When I first begin planning a trip like this, I have huge plans for all the places we will travel to (and Liz just looks at me with an exhausted look on her face”) But as I start plugging dates into the calendar, and calculating driving times via google maps, reality sets in.

While we want to return to places we visited on our previous HMA (home missions assignment), trying to do that while adding two brand new destinations (Atlanta & Chicago), make that a major challenge (okay, it makes it impossible…but we can try, right?)

So today I am wrestling with reality.

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