I’ll start here by giving you my schedule for the past few weeks, and the next few to come.
Saturday, Sept. 24th – departed for Grevenbroich, Germany. I arrived the next day around noon.
Wednesday, Oct. 12th – Left Germany for Louisville, Kentucky for a long weekend with the girl.
Monday, Oct. 17th – Arrived at home for the first time in just over three weeks.
Saturday, Oct. 22nd – Back to Germany at 8:00 in the AM.
Friday, Nov. 11th – My *scheduled* return date from this next trip out there.
According to my admittedly pedestrian calculations, that means I’ll have spent a four-day eye-of-the-hurricane at home during this little forty-seven day work and travel binge. So I should feel great right? I get a chance to relax, sleep in my own bed, drive my own car, and spend what little time I can with friends and family. Well, for some reason I don’t. Maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, and I’m sure it didn’t help that the other side of the bed was markedly unoccupied. Or it’s the fact that I know I’ll be leaving for another three weeks before I have a chance to catch my breath, but for whatever reason, I feel sort of hollow.
For a split second when I walked in the door Monday night I was a little upset with the maid for not coming and cleaning my room. Oh wait, this isn’t the Hotel Montanushof. I was pretty hungry from my flight, and went and opened the fridge to one of the fouler odors I’ve had the pleasure of smelling in a while. I’ve gotten pretty good at voiding my fridge of all perishable foods before these trips, but apparently this time I left a to-go box containing a petri dish formally consisting of chicken wings on the bottom shelf. So I spent twenty minutes cleaning the fridge and taking out the trash, and lit every candle in the house to get the salmonella smell out, and again tried to find something to eat. Frozen pizza and pot pies, pop tarts, and a few cans of soup. Sweet. So I threw in a pizza, plopped down on the couch and starting missing the girl I just left.
It’s time once again to reference ‘Up In the Air.’ There’s a scene in that movie where George Clooney walks into his sparsely-furnished apartment, drops his keys on the counter and looks around with an almost defeated air about him. I can certainly empathize with that, and he does an excellent job of conveying the feeling. When your life is on the road, not at home, the road becomes your home, and your home becomes sort of a mediocre hotel room that’s just another dot on the map. I’ve mentioned before that without even realizing it, I almost always refer to whatever hotel I’m staying at as ‘home.’ I don’t know what that makes actual home, but I don’t really care for the sensation.
I guess home isn’t a place at all really. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Colorado, and I always will, but is my apartment in Denver in which I’ll spend five nights this entire month really more of a home than the hotel in which I just spent almost three weeks? I really don’t think so any more. I guess that means home is where you spend your time… Nope. After six weeks in Germany I can guarantee it still won’t feel like home. I think I felt more at home this weekend spending time with someone special better than 1,000 miles from ‘home’ than I did this morning when I woke up in my bedroom.
So I guess home to me is more about people than anything else. Whatever it is, I don’t really feel at home right now. With any luck, I’ll get a chance to go ‘home’ again before too long….