Have I ever told you about the first time I left Georgia?

The Germans call it Heimweh, the French would say I’m nostalgique. What it boils down to is that I’m feeling a little homesick.

This is not entirely unreasonable. Next week will mark my 3rd year of living in Nashville. I spent my first 30 years in Atlanta, so you know – it’s a 1 to 10 ratio. Add to that, I had a fun weekend with Dad, who has recovered so remarkably from his heart surgery that I really can’t even express my surprise and joy.

We drove down Friday night, slept, got up and Dad, Matt, me the two dogs (Maggie and Lola) loaded up and went to the mountains. The weather was perfect – cool, clear, and the company was exceptional. The dogs got along pretty well, we ate, drank and were merry –it was chillaxing in its highest form.

I also got Dad to tell stories, and I told him a few of mine.

So we got home last night, and as I was falling asleep, I got that unmistakable twinge of homesickness that I used to get a lot at the beginning of my move up here, but haven’t felt in a few years. As a kid, I was prone to bouts of it that were legendary – I often got panicky around 10 or 11 PM during sleepovers and ended up calling my parents. I can’t explain it other than to say, I used to feel that as long as I was near my family, nothing bad could happen to them or me.

We now know…that’s not entirely true. But we can't prove it completely untrue either.

In an effort to stave off some of the blues, we went to La Hacienda last night where I had a large bowl of Caldo de Res – beef vegetable soup. It’s like heaven in a bowl. Apparently, my soup levels are dangerously low these days – it’s the one food I crave constantly. I once told Matt that soup helps replenish tears. That’s not strictly true, but it’s not a terrible thought.

That said, having been in Nashville since 8/24/2005, I can tell you that I am happy here. I have a great husband, plenty of fun friends, a nice home with terrific neighbors. There’s always something to do, and traffic is a breeze.

I do have a wish list, though, since you asked:

1. Decent Chinese food. PLEASE. PF Chang’s is great, but it’s not Chinese food. August Moon is OK. I’d give anything for Yu Shang Pork like I can get at China Garden in Roswell, GA. To say nothing of (you guessed it) their Hot and Sour Soup.
2. Crate and Barrel. Don’t you think Nashville is ready for it? We have World Market, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s (coming soon). Macy’s is finally starting to shape up – Crate and Barrel needs Nashville. And we need Crate and Barrel.
3. IKEA – yeah, yeah – I could drive to Georgia, Illinois or Ohio – and yes, thank you very much for the Atlanta store – we love our bookcases. But hear me out you crazy Swedes – if you put one in, let’s just say Murfreesboro – you’d being bringing much needed jobs – the kids going to school at MTSU, UT -Knoxville and Chattanooga (and maybe Martin, Memphis and Tullahoma while we’re at it), Vanderbilt, Belmont, Lipscomb, Fisk, TSU would have cool stuff for their dorms. I know it’s a pipe dream, but if you can open and succeed in Charlotte (really, why?) then you can make it here. Don’t make me beg.

See, that’s not so much to ask.

Tonight – housework and anniversary present shopping.

And maybe some soup.