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10:42 a.m. - July 23, 2005
Sweet Home, Indiana? Well, It Does Fit
It’s good to be home!

After a fun, yet stressful week in Cedar Rapids, I was welcomed back with open arms yesterday about noon.

Oh, I had fun with the crew – dinners were great except for the big fly in my salad on Tuesday. (I like protein, but not THAT much) and my general feelings of insecurity around that group – I had a good time. I have so much confidence everywhere else but when I’m around them – I feel that I’m second or third rate and that’s not good for the soul. But I know I’m good enough otherwise they would not have chosen me to speak at the conference. Ah, well, the tricks the mind plays.

I was just looking at an email I sent to AJ – saying that I would just have a few quick drinks and then back to bed. Well, that didn’t work. Like I said, I had one of the quotes of the conference (“I should have left when you did!”) but really didn’t catch much up on sleep – mainly because no matter what I tried I was up at 5:30 or so anyway and then my naps that I tried to take were mainly nappus interruptus because I kept waking up afraid I was going to miss my next session. That’s not good.

Yes, I did lock my keys in the car like a dumbass - they were sitting on the front seat. In fact, I went out to the car on Monday to get something OUT of the car, saw the car was unlocked and locked it without checking to see if my keys were in my room or on my person. Sigh. But at least I learned how they can open car locks in a Honda now, which is always good to know.

I was rather embarrassed at dinner on Wednesday, as Katie woke up screaming and I had to calm her down. She was afraid that I wouldn’t find my way home. Don’t worry! I did!

Driving home was rather blah – as I deviated from my plan of meandering to make sure I got home sooner for Katie’s sake. It did reinforce the reasons why I hate interstates – especially in the summer. Trucks and construction, ad nauseum.

I can deal with trucks on two-lane highways because they’re not crowding me, per se. Oh, they may be holding me up but they’re not next to me and I feel like they want to drag race with me at times, especially when they’re going up and down a hill. It’s like you can’t shake them unless there’s another truck ahead, and depending on what lane you’re in you either have to zoom way ahead or slow down to about 45 to let the truck pass. It’s just not fun at all.

The boredom of an interstate, especially in the interstate, is also stultifying. Endless concrete, traffic, and nothingness. Sartre would have a field day. You’re too far away from the farm fields to enjoy even that scenery – you don’t have any small towns or local character to break the boredom of the road, and you always seem in a rush to go even when you really don’t have to travel at breakneck speed.

Construction is also mind-boggling. Again, they close 10 miles of a lane when they’re only working on one ¼ mile section, it seems. But again, I’m not an engineer so I don’t know exactly why they do that. They just do it.

When I got home, though, all was better in my brain! Katie, of course, ran up to me and gave me a big hug on the leg and wouldn’t let go. And she’s strong enough now you have to almost get a crowbar to have her let go. Liz was quite happy to see me – for one because she’s married to me, and for another because there was another adult involved to handle Kristin duties.

Kristin has grown up so much in that week I was gone. She can actually coo and smile! I got some messages that had her coos in them. It made me feel so alive.

It was nice to get back into the swing of home life. I caught up on the week’s newspapers and mail. Cedar Rapids as a large town hit home when the cover story of one of the local papers on Friday was “Queen Dethroned” – talking about the Fountain County (one county over) 4-H Fair Queen controversy, which is now on and ABC news. I’m sure everyone is just so proud!

So it was quiet here yesterday – I fell asleep on the couch holding Kristin, put her to bed, got up again and finally was in bed for good at 2:00 (though it was about a 3 hour stint on the couch so there was some good sleep going on) and with the window air conditioner the house is a refuge from the insane humidity that’s going on right now. But today, I play golf, and that ought to be worthy of a Pulitzer if I do as well as I think I will.


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