Alex was heading out of town on an assignment for the newspaper he worked for. Actually, he was looking forward to being away from the office and from his hectic family schedule.
The family farewell had not gone very well before he left. Alex's wife, Deanne, was worrying about handling all the family responsibilities while he was away, and Alex was too busy to notice her distress.
In the midst of all the chaos, eight-year-old Matthew asked his father if he would be back to hear his class concert on Thursday evening. Alex replied, "Sorry, I'll be out of town."
He said good-bye quickly and walked out the door. The out-of-town assignment would take Alex and the newspaper photographer to the Columbia Gorge on the Columbia River. As they approached the canyon, Alex noticed all the wind surfers and the sail boarders. It looked like the ideal life. Carefree. Worry-free. Responsibility-free. Alex wondered where he had gone wrong - how had he missed this good life?
As he sat in his motel room the last night of the assignment, Alex had a sense of emptiness, of not belonging. Not at home, not here, not anywhere. Things that had seemed important to him - God, marriage, children, work - were now slipping away from him.
Then, Alex noticed in his suitcase a greeting card tucked beneath some clothes. The card was from Deanne. It said, "I'll love you `til the cows come home." He looked at the card and Deanne's familiar handwriting and melted inside. In that instant, Alex knew exactly where he belonged.
The next day after a long news-feature interview and a rushed trip home, Alex raced to Matthew's concert, arriving just in time. As he rushed into the school auditorium to sit down, Deanne jumped up to greet him in elated surprise, then led him to their seats. She had reserved two seats in the second row, "just in case." When Daniel saw them together as the band marched on stage, he grinned from ear to ear and waved wildly to say hello. Alex acknowledged him, stood up and waved back. Then he turned to Deanne and said, "It sure is good to be home."
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