back safe, home again [june 23]

   Row 1:  Parthenon | Greek flag flying | Ionian Sea;  Row 2:  Our hotel | Dinner at the port of Katakolon, Greece | Cal swimming;  Row 3:  Olympia | Cal;  Row 4:  Colosseum | Sorrento | Amalfi Coast;  Row 5:  Positano | Sweet Violet

Row 1: Parthenon | Greek flag flying | Ionian Sea; Row 2: Our hotel | Dinner at the port of Katakolon, Greece | Cal swimming; Row 3: Olympia | Cal; Row 4: Colosseum | Sorrento | Amalfi Coast; Row 5: Positano | Sweet Violet

Well, we made it home. Got in last week and have been in recovery mode ever since. The trip was fabulous, sublime and surreal on so many levels. It was also distracting, exhausting and sad.

As so many of you know by now, we lost our sweet Violet while we were gone, and I can't pretend that her death didn't impact much of the trip for me once we heard the news. Coming home to her absence has been, if anything, bewildering, like getting bad news twice. Cal and I have been recuperating and trying to heal our hearts on a steady diet of The West Wing and Smartpop popcorn (mixing the white cheddar with the kettle corn has turned out to be our best decision all week). He's worried about me, but I'm fine. Just sad, and I'd like the opportunity to simply be so.

So yes, we're home. The trip feels like a beautiful blur, and though I took many photos and will start to dismantle my memory card and share them here soon, I feel like I lost my photography mojo somewhere along the way. It felt like there was little connection to the pictures I've been taking, and now that we're back, I haven't felt inclined to pick up my camera much at all. Hoping that changes soon.

When I come home from a trip, I usually feel energized in my space and anxious to tackle my world with the new-found knowledge our travels have given me. Rejuvenated and ready to start new rituals. This time, for a lot of reasons, I feel exhausted and achy, and, as I said, bewildered. The other dogs are restless and agitated, but seem okay. Still, it's very quiet in the house without her.

And to all of you who reached out to us through messages on Facebook and Instagram, through notes and texts, how can I ever thank you enough? How can I ever tell you what your kind and thoughtful words meant to me. We read them all, each and everyone, reaching across so many miles. Thank you, thank you, and thank you again. I've missed you all, and I'm anxious to "see" you again and to "hear" your voices around me. What's been happening lately? X