"I love homecoming stories but I've noticed there aren't that many of them from a kid's point of view. So I thought I would share my own story of when my dad came home for Desert Storm. I don't remember much of the war. I was only four or five at the time. I do remember that it felt like dad was gone forever. Mom helped me write a letter to him every week he was gone. It was hard to keep in touch -- this was before Skype -- and twenty-two years later dad still has all the letters I wrote. Even though I don't remember much, I do remember them getting off the plane and I remember breaking free of my mom's arms and running to my dad not knowing I wasn't supposed to do that. By the time I reached him, he had already dropped his duffle bag and was kneeling with his arms opened ready to hug me. I'll never forget that moment."
And here I go - tearing up again, but can't you just see her dad with a smile a mile wide waiting for his little girl to get to him?
But not all homecoming stories are about soldiers. Some are just a brother coming home like Alla's. And now you'll know why that '56 Chevy is up top.
"My oldest brother went to Illinois to work in a canning factory the summer he graduated from high school. None of us heard from him the whole three months he was gone. That wasn't unusual for my brother since he was always a 'loner.' He was the oldest of five children and refused to have very much to do with any of us kids. I think he stayed mad at us all the years he was growing up, because he didn't really want 4 younger siblings. He was more than anxious to leave home at 18 to get away from all of us young 'uns. Anyway, when he came home after those 3 months of working in the canning factory, he just showed up one morning about daybreak after driving all night to get home. When I woke up that morning and went outside, there he was sitting in the porch swing waiting for us to stir. In the driveway was a beautiful gray and white '56 Chevy he had bought with the money he made. He didn't have much to say and just sat there grinning. Of course, I went inside yelling and waking everybody up to come see what was outside.
That's what we should all do - get excited and welcome our loved ones home. Kate was certainly excited for Jay to get home from the war in Love Comes Home. And I'm excited that the book is going home with some of you readers. Remember if you want to throw your name in my giveaway hat, you have to give me a way to contact you, either an e-mail address or by saying I can contact you from my Facebook page if you've "liked" it. I'll be drawing for the winners in less than two weeks.