This whole process of unpacking and moving back into our house feels like being Dorothy in slow motion: There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home… Every box I open, every item that goes back on the shelf or into the closet is one more step towards being home. And every step feels better and better. It’s shocking to me just how good it feels to be here — I guess I had forgotten it was possible to feel this grounded.

On Saturday, I finished unpacking the kitchen while Gabe put away the tools and camping gear into the hall closets. Yesterday we focused on the bedroom, sorting through old clothing and putting away some of what we’d brought back from Lisbon. Along with a huge food shop at the gigantic new Safeway down the street, that made the house finally livable. We celebrated by setting up our outdoor furniture and sitting outside on the patio with a friend of mine who came by — and we were even able to feed her! What a concept.

And then, last night, we slept in our own bed, on our lovely foam mattress, for the first time in a year. It was wonderful, and even more so to wake up in the quiet of our house, tiptoe out to the kitchen, and have my breakfast all on my own, on my favorite seat on the couch. The only thing missing is our cat, whom we had to give away when we moved. But all in all, it feels really good.

Like I said — there really is no place like it.