The drive between the panhandle of Florida and the east coast of Florida is something akin to watching CSPAN - you know something could eventually happen - but after about thirty minutes, you are pretty sure you have seen what is going to happen - for the next five hours. I dropped my clutch about four months ago in a small town called Lee - and was luckily bailed out of that mess by family - but having seen what exists between here and there (with the exception of course being Tallahassee) in full frontal detail - driving through in five hours beats the alternative of spending ten hours site seeing.
I have not had an original thought or inspiration in the past month. Nothing new to write about - nothing new to get the wheels turning - there has been plenty of sensory excitement - but the past month mainly has been keeping up with things, not falling behind on others, and trying to keep new things to a minimum. These days, most of the new things I run across are bill collectors, cavities, or wierd pains somewhere on my body - and at least these three, I have no choice but to handle - or pleasantly ignore.
I have been on the road for pretty much the past thirty days - some work, some fun, but mostly work, mixed with a little fun here and there - a couple of rendevous with Cadence on slate lined sidewalks and loudly outfitted clubs, but mostly work - there was the week in Orlando - but then there was Toronto, and Omaha, and Toronto, and then Pensacola - I love going over there, and spending the time with my parents and kids - but mostly, we worked, all of us, on our jobs, on the yard, we enjoyed ourselves, and I once again, claimed my position atop the world's best bowler when compared against the pool of candidates who consist of my nine year old daughter and twelve year old son, we swam in the pool, never made it to the beach, and basically, just hung out - in between conference calls and spreadsheets - you know the drill, no need to bitch about that - it puts the food on the table, and keeps me from ending up walking Interstate 10 collecting pennies and aluminum cans.
That's what this blog is supposed to be about - the welcome home that us single divorced middle-aged somewhat balding slightly overweight guys get when we get home - generally, there is little pomp and circumstance, although I have to admit that I do a little dance when I open the fridge and see beer and milk and bread - and that there is still some lettuce that has not turned into a science experiment, and that no one has come and stolen my stolen bottles of hotel water. Welcome home - when folks think of that - they see that picture of the sailor locked in a kiss on Times Square and ticker tape parades and ballons - but 99% of the time, welcome home means seeing the other folks (who don't travel so much) get met by their families at the airport with smiles and grins and happy kids smearing Cinnabon all over their faces. My welcome homes are generally the sort where I get my bag, go to my mailbox, and read through three or four weeks worth of mail, have a beer, and listen to the silence of my house - before I go again - and grab the kids or catch the next flight or start the laundry.
That sounds terribly depressing - does it not? For me, it is inspiring - because that is what it is - I own a 1,600 square foot storage unit that contains things that don't age - second hand leather furniture, a couple of flat screen televisions, a fridge, and most of all, comfort. I like saying goodbye to my kids until the next time - I like them looking forward to the next time - they know it is going to be fun, and I know that I am going to be with them again soon. I like coming home to a place where it is mine and it smells like me and looks like me and sounds like me - I like opening the fridge door and seeing what I left for me in there - and what I can do with it. I like convincing myself that tomorrow, I go to the beach and go for a run, I go to the golf course and hit a bucket of balls, I go to the open mike night and listen. That's a good place to be welcomed home to - my place.
Time to change the CD over, and dig through that box of Coors Light sitting in the icebox - I raise my beer to all of my fellow travelers out there - welcome home folks, I hope you are as comfortable as I.