A Weekend Home

This past weekend, I went home for the first time this semester. I cannot begin to express the joy of going home. The three and a half hour drive alone does wonders for my mood. Yes, there are trees in Columbia, even a few good hills, but it can’t compare to the beautiful Mark Twain National Forest of Southwest Mo.

Missing home already.

A post shared by Ellise Verheyen (@ellisenichol) on

Fall finally makes its presence known now that the once green leaves are slowly melding into bright reds, rusty oranges, and faded yellows. The twists and turns of the Ozark backroads zoom by. Excitement builds. I’m finally home.

I brought a friend this time. Ellen got her first taste of where I came from. I’m sure she understands why I’m so ridiculous now.

I went home because it was my older brother and father’s birthday weekend. Garrett was born one day before my dad’s birthday. Quite the present.

We got in late Friday night. After hugs and love, we snuggled into the couch for a nice, lazy evening.

On Saturday, after an enormous breakfast of Dutch Baby pancakes, Ellen and I decided to take on Silver Dollar City, a pioneer-themed park in Branson, Mo. It’s the best. We rode roller coasters and ate tater-twists.

Later, nineteen members of my family crowded into my home Saturday night. I’m sure it was mildly overwhelming for my guest. Especially because when my family gets together, conversation usually revolves around poop stories and hunting.

The next day, we went to my home church and I’ve never seen the service have so many people. It was really encouraging. After, we took Ellen on the grand tour of Branson (i.e., drove down the Strip). Then we headed to Cracker Barrel for brunch. The rest of the day was spent perusing Walmart and driving back to CoMo.

This weekend was great, but it left me wanting. I always forget how much I love home. When I come to school, I’m on my own. I’m an independent college student left to rely on herself.

I suck at time management. I spend way too much money on coffee. I have FOMO (fear of missing out). I’m a sub par student. But when I go home, I forget about all of that. I can just lay down on the floor and snuggle my dogs. I can pester my siblings until someone rubs my feet. I can eat a home cooked meal and/or deer meat. I can sit and talk with my daddy and watch Netflix with my mom and sister. I can talk to my older brother about life. I can make fun of my little brother for his tendency to date older women. Life is easier.

I tend to forget.

So this is your friendly reminder to hug a loved one, call a parent, text a sibling, and take a breath.

Note to Parents: I know you read these and think I’m depressed. I’m not. I just miss you. Get over it. (LURV U.)

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