Friday, February 6, 2009

Home

I originally started this post titling it “3:30am, Part V” but ended up erasing it since it really doesn’t live up to past editions. I feel like a run with Mr. Moon is far overdue but it hasn’t been dealt to me as of yet so it’ll have to wait.

I was talking to Marjie this morning how I hadn’t made an entry on here since Tuesday. I said: “Well, Mr. Moon was out last night but by this morning, he’d tucked himself away. Instead, the stars were bright over Athens, GA and I had perfect 10 miler.” Now, it is midday, coming up on 4pm on Friday and I’m in Seat 22F of AirTran Flight 198 from Atlanta to Akron. Home at last. But wait! Out my window, there “he” is. Mr. Moon! He is almost full and tonight (if Ohio skies are clear, that is), he should illuminate the sky bright. In my conversation with Marjie this morning I also said how “I’m not just inspired unless he shows up. There’s something about him that triggers the need/ability/desire to spill my thoughts on the screen.” Well sure enough, here I am counting down the minutes to embrace Marjie at the airport and out my window hovers inspiration.

The past two weeks have gone by quicker than expected. I was down in Athens, GA (about 75 minutes east of Atlanta) at the U.S. Navy’s Supply Corps School. It’s a tiny postage-stamp-size of a base in a college town. The University of Georgia calls Athens home…and home of the Bulldogs. As a Navy Reservist, I spend at a minimum 2 weeks on active duty per year. For this year, it was spent jumping on the “conveyor belt” as a fellow officer so wisely put it this morning…the “conveyor belt” being the training program. Much like a conveyor belt in any factory where pieces are assembled in order for the finished product to function, so am I in this training process as a Supply Corps Officer. The finished product will be a fully qualified Navy Supply Officer and finally, of some use to the Navy. I originally spent 10 years on active duty in the Navy in the enlisted ranks and they got plenty of use out of me as a nuclear mechanic. I spent hundreds of hours in the bellies of aircraft carriers and submarines taking care of their nuclear reactors. Once a fully qualified SUPPO (Supply Officer), the Navy can use me as they see fit. As a reservist, that most likely will mean being “mobilized” to support the War on Terror in a far off place on the other side of the world. So on the conveyor belt I travel…a 4 day trip in July will serve as the midpoint of training with graduation in March 2010.

I really looked for Mr. Moon over these past 2 weeks and really wanted an early morning run with him. Most days, I’d rise at 4am, brew my typical small cup of espresso, have a banana, and hit the road. It took me a few days to find my way around Athens but I eventually hammered out a solid 8.5 mile loop that took me from the base and out to the campus where I passed completely through then traveled through a high-end neighborhood and back to the base. Athens is a very hilly town and it was rare when I was just running flat. The hills were steep and challenging…but then again, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Flat is just plain boring. So, most days I did that loop and tacked on a few extra to end up around 10 or 11 miles. As you already know, I had a fantastic time in the mountains at my midway point. That was clearly the highlight of my 2 week trip.

So now, the Captain has turned on the “Fasten Seat Belt” sign and has said that all electronic equipment has to be stowed. That means that I need to type fast before that pretty-boy flight steward scolds me! It’s good to be home. I look forward to getting back into my routine, being with family, eating my cottage cheese/kidney beans mixture again, and returning to “civilian” life once again. (the guy who gave me the idea of that cottage cheese combo was there in Athens and I made sure he knew the impact he had on my eating habits!) Home really IS where the heart is. Nothing else really matters at all. Without that, it’s all for nothing. Home…Family…it gives everything else meaning and purpose. I hope you feel the same or are on the way to finding it. Till next time…

Happy Trails!

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