Books

Ami McKay’s book tour diary: Homesick

I've been on the road almost non-stop since Oct. 25. In the larger scheme of things, it's a fairly insignificant amount of time, but as the days roll along, I can feel homesickness creeping in bit by bit.

Stern Cookies

Homesick cure: Bonnie Stern’s Ginger Crackle Cookies

I’ve been on the road almost non-stop since Oct. 25. In the larger scheme of things, it’s a fairly insignificant amount of time, but as the days roll along, I can feel homesickness creeping in bit by bit. The flight home has been scheduled, and my 10-year-old son’s voice tugs at my heart all the harder each time I talk to him on the phone.

I spent Remembrance Day in Montreal, and thought of the fallen and of my father at 11-11-11. I grew up in the States where Nov. 11 is Veterans Day. My dad served in the Korean War and he loved to tease me about how unfair it was that I should get the day off from school while he (a veteran) had to go to work. Years later, first when I’d gone off to university, and later when I had a family of my own, I’d phone him on that day to thank him for his service. It was always a special conversation filled with memories of his youth and how proud he’d been to serve his country.

This year marked my first Nov. 11 without him…and as I look over my calendar for the coming week, I see the last day of my tour is the day we would have celebrated his 80th birthday.

When I talk to my husband each night before bed, I feel like life at home has been clipping along at an absurdly fast pace. So much has happened while I’ve been away — the dog got loose, requiring an hour-long search; the boy had a terrible head cold requiring hot baths and much tea and TLC; a fierce wind and rainstorm blew through the province; the Occupy Nova Scotia protesters were forced out in Halifax, and my eldest son found his voice while helping to lead the ongoing charge to “Save NSCAD” (The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design).

I’m now settled in Toronto for the next few days, in a room with a kitchenette and small washer and dryer. I have to admit, I felt a strange sense of happiness to discover these trappings of home, and this morning I found myself humming a tune as I washed a load of tired author’s attire and fixed myself toast and tea.

Home…I miss every bit of it, even the laundry.

What do you miss when you’re away from home?

Ami