A high-pitched scream startled me from my nap.
"Where am I?" I surveyed my surroundings through squinted eyes.
The face of a dark-haired toddler is looking back at me from several rows ahead on the Frontier jet. She had periodically pierced the air with her outbursts during our flight, letting everyone within earshot know just how bored and frustrated she was.
One of the hazards of living my life between two states, Utah and Illinois, is not ever being sure where I am. I pushed the shade open, and the sun blinded me momentarily. Ah, the Rockies were down below. We would be approaching the Salt Lake valley soon.
Sometimes I wake in the night, unsure where I am. I listen for the soft, steady breath of my husband, and reach toward his side of the bed, relieved to feel his chest beneath my hand, and I know I am in our bed in the west suburbs of Chicago.
Other times, the soft moans from our youngest son's dreams in the night stir me from sleep, and I reach out to discover the pillow beside mine is empty, and I remember I am in the double bed, sleeping alone in our tiny cottage in rural Utah, until I return home to my husband in Illinois.
In a couple weeks, sometime during my flight from Salt Lake to O'Hare, I might wake groggily from another nap, and momentarily wonder where I am. When I look out my window, the sight of Chicago's city lights will make me smile.
"I'm almost home," I will tell myself, where my husband will be waiting for me at the bottom of the escalator in the airport.
I know where I am, and it's exactly where I want to be.