Many Miles To Home

December 18, 2005

This weekend I made my first solo road trip in almost nine years. Michele and I were good partners in the car and we enjoyed time spent traveling, whether listening to audio books, playing Twenty Questions, or just sharing the passing scenery.

It was strange to drive so far alone. I talked out loud to her quite a bit, but the silence at times was overpowering. I found myself becoming more and more manic in an effort to keep from facing the empty seat along side of me. Michele frequently wanted to stop at rest areas; in fact I often kidded her that she should write a book, Rest Areas I Have Known. In our trips to the east coast and back we often stopped at the same points along the way. Friday, and again this morning, I didn't stop at any of the rest areas. But I was acutely aware of them nonetheless.

Returning to the apartment and seeing my cats was good. I've always believed that home is where the heart is, and since October I have not really considered this apartment home as my heart is with Michele. However, a part of my heart is with my two wonderful feline companions. Not seeing them for a couple of days was hard, and, just like when Michele and I traveled, starting off for "home" added a poignancy for little Taz and Nekko. As I write this, seated in the oversized chair, they are both on the chair with me, sleeping. I still feel homeless in a sense, but I had a good homecoming after my journey this weekend.

Every journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The journey towards my future took a step this weekend.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.