I woke up yesterday morning, and had a homemade breakfast. Now, breakfast in the Union isn’t anything to turn your nose up at - if it was, I wouldn’t stand in line for Chris to skillfully prepare my “usual”, a three-egg omelette with sausage, onion, red peppers, and mushrooms - but there’s something about knowing those sausage links have been thawing in the sink since late last night. There’s a tenderness to hearing recollections on your ancestral home and various cousins - all grown now, with children of their own - as you continue to dump sugar into your almost too-strong coffee. I missed things here. More than food, I missed these family photos, these awkward prepubescent grimaces and painful middle school portraits next to senior pictures where I (hopefully) appear poised, confident. It’s easier to sleep, here. Knowing that hugs and comforting words are only the next room over instead of a phone call away lowers the anxiety I’ve grown accustomed to. No more pretending to be handling things flawlessly, no more apologizing for not having returned calls or voicemails. Now there’s just the newspaper, eggs over-easy, and the retelling of old memories. Everything is beautiful - my cramped room, the warped shelves full of books, the pantry that smells like home and preparation... even the icy roads are lovely in their way. The sky was gray all day, and I may have lost my mittens. Haven’t felt this content in ages.