Thursday, October 15, 2009

And Now for a Little R&R

Home. It sure is good to be home. I'm in my own house, sleeping in my own bed, being with my wife, playing with my dogs. Life is good.

Had a great welcome-home. When I arrived at the airport, Janis was waiting out in the parking lot with the dogs. The dogs didn't see me until I called out to them. Their two little heads snapped around, there was a split-second hesitation as if they were thinking, "Daddy? Really?" and then they came running at me full-bore, jumping and licking and wagging their whole bodies. Janis's welcome was a bit more subdued since we were in a public parking lot but she made up for it that evening ... (okay, that was TMI; I'll try to restrain myself).

Unlike some of my previous trips home, I don't really feel a culture shock. Rather, I feel a great appreciation for all the little details of home. It's cool here, very green, and the leaves are changing. I'm looking out at my back yard right now, at the trees and juniper and the wet grass. I'm sitting at our kitchen table with a cappuccino that I made from my own little espresso machine. Janis and the dogs aren't up yet, and the house is still and quiet. I feel whole, blessed, and relaxed.

Going out and about in town is quite a change. I can drive my own car without having to check it out from some admin wienie. There aren't any checkpoints on the roads. No armed guards. The roads are in good shape. I'm dodging 18-wheelers, not MRAPs.

We took a road trip on Tuesday over to Pigeon Forge. It's probably the tackiest town in North America, but it's a beautiful drive to get there, and we needed to do a little shopping at the outlet stores. It was so good to get started whenever we were ready, to cruise down the 2-lane highways over the mountains, and see whole hillsides with trees changing colors. What a great day.

Janis put me right to work with a honey-do list. I've knocked off about 2/3 of them and am making progress on the rest. Feels good to putter around the house, y'know? No stress - get 'em done whenever, and if I don't, I don't.

Yesterday, I spent much of the day in my studio. No, I wasn't painting, I was cleaning. The place is, to use a highly technical Navy phrase, a shithole. My studio is in a 110-year-old industrial building, meaning it has it's charms, but it also has industrial-strength dirt, spiders, and bug carcasses. And cobwebs that shame the ones in bad horror flicks: big, heavy, gray, nasty things that drape across all the places you want to walk. I share the studio with another painter, but she hasn't cleaned the place since I've been gone ... and I didn't clean it last time I was home, either ... so it has about a year's worth of accumulated dirt/grime/gunk/cobwebs. So I'm doing a bit of spring cleaning. I don't care - it was just good to spend time banging around the studio again. I'll do some paint-slinging in a few days.

It has been really good to see some old friends. Yesterday, some of them heard that I was around the studio and stopped in to say hello. Janis and I are going to have lunch with some more today. And there are more that I need to at least say hello to.

Now it's time to get moving. Got a lot of stuff to do today. And NONE of it is work!


David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 10/15/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

lorraine said...

Hi: Glad you are safe in the green world. I just checked in to see how you were doing. Loved the C-130 story. My son is an AF pilot of one of those beasts. I have a pic of him flying one. The seats are ductaped together and cushion is upon cushion all taped together as the springs have popped out and the crew has to cover them up. It looks like 50 years of tape. The flight training was slow because of little problems with the training planes. When I expressed concern about the condition of the planes my son said "Mom, the grandfathers of the guys here flew these planes. Not planes like these but these very planes - their names are scratched in the paint." They will retire them soon and get new planes. They won't be as fun to fly - but they will be new and bigger. Anyway, glad to know you are safe and sound. Enjoy every minute of your time home. lorraine