August 27, 2008

Batteries are Charged

Although only 9 o'clock on Wednesday night, I feel as though I've already made my way through much more of the week.

At 7:37 this morning, with arm outstretched and palm upturned, I handed the keys to my rental car over to the local Enterprise agent. It was checked out exactly 48 hours earlier; to be returned with a considerable amount of soil in the interior (my guess is probably close to a 3-gallon bucket), on odor that lacks appropriate descriptors and 1297 miles on the odometer.

I'm exhausted -- actually exhausted doesn't even begin to describe the degree of fatigue -- but recharged at the same time. For more reasons than one, this is a trip that I needed to take. Not only for business reasons but personal ones as well.

I learned that even though I'm getting older, I can still drive 1000 miles in a single day and get up the next day to hit the road again.

I learned that not all of Oregon is green and lush.

I learned that some collaborators really do want to complete their share of the work.

I learned that the wind can blow so hard, and pick up so much dust that it's impossible to see more than 3 feet in front of your car.

I learned that bug swarms can be so thick across the interstate that it looks like a Michigan blizzard in January.

I learned that some friendships can pick up like they never missed a day. Even after more than 2 years.

I learned that some places can change significantly, yet still feel the very same.

I learned that I am valued as a scientist.

I learned that people will play softball no matter what life throws at them.

I learned that coming around corners will always make you look for someone at a computer, even if you know they're now thousands of miles away in Indiana.

I learned that the paths I've walked will always remain in my thoughts; the memories to collect dust but never completely fade away.

I learned that life carries on when I'm not at home.

I learned that although there are days where I doubt decisions I've made, or question the place I'm in, I don't regret a thing. It may not be where I thought I'd be, but it is a great place to be.

"No, life ain't always beautiful
But I know I'll be fine
Hey, life ain't always beautiful
But its a beautiful ride
What a beautiful ride."

From Idaho into Oregon, back to Idaho and on to Utah, then finally back to Idaho, I learned that it is a beautiful ride, indeed.


Jessica said...

Happy Birthday today! I'm glad that the trip went well, and you feel better about some things :)

Hope you have a great day! Love ya!

Kristin, Rod, and Victoria said...

Happy Birthday, dear friend. Good to know you're home, and it sounds like you're at peace with a great deal of things. I guess lots of time in the car will do that for you ;)

Hope you have a fantastic, relaxing day.

Kristen said...

Welcome home! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

Bryant & Candice said...

Happy birthday again! I'm glad you had such an enlightening experience on your trip! Did you make it to Lehi?