It's not until you go away for an extended period of time that you start to realize how all the little things play a major part in your everyday life. When away, you become accustomed to the way things are in your new place, that when you return home, it's a total readjustment.
Recently, I returned home after spending nearly two months in a different city. You would think it'd be the big changes that throw me off, like the fact that they completely changed a part of the interstate layout that I normally drive, but it wasn't. Okay, that's a minor lie, because it honestly threw me off when traffic was moving a way I wasn't used to anymore, but that was just one thing.
Upon returning home for the first time in months, things felt different. My home had a unique scent that I could actually pick up this time, as opposed to before when I was "nose blind" to it seeing as I was there everyday. I go to the fridge to place a to-go cup I had, and the fridge handles felt weird in my grasps, taking me aback for a moment. Then when I actually opened the refrigerator door, I noticed a light was burnt. When I asked about it, I could tell from the reaction that it wasn't a recent occurrence. It had become normal to them as well, meanwhile it was new to me.
When I got to my bedroom and sat on my bed, the first thing I noticed was the elevation. It was much higher than the bed I had been sleeping on the past two months, and it felt new to me; although nothing about the bed had changed (except new sheets of course).
But another change was my actual family. While I had been gone, my sister hit some sort of growth spurt I'm assuming because she's nearly my height now; she's also ten years younger than me. So to hug her hello and be nearly eye level with her completely baffled me. Granted, I'm rather short but that's beside the point. Another thing, that may seem a little odd, was hair growth. Upon seeing my family, it's one of the first things I noticed. My mother and sister's hair had grown longer. My grandfather... well, he remained the same on that aspect (love you, abuelito). Heck, I even noticed it on my dog. Before I left she had gotten a trim that made her look like a chihuahua, and now she looks like she has a terrier mustache. When you see them everyday, you don't notice it because you're watching as it grows, so incrementally slow that it doesn't surprise you.
However, despite the new differences, some things don't change, because in the end -- home is home. However, as time passes on we change aspects of our lives. For those who live the daily routine of it, it becomes so subliminal it's barely an adjustment; but for someone who temporarily stepped out the equation it comes as a surprise. It's an odd feeling, almost like being a stranger in your own home. But the feeling only lasts for a few days, until you find yourself accustomed once again to your old routine, and you go back to living your life as you normally would.