Saturday, June 17, 2006

Ah, Home

Yesterday afternoon I headed home from my week on business in San Francisco. My company’s offices are on the Embarcadero, and I was flying from Oakland. In the past I’ve taken a taxi; they’re expensive (around $60), and the timing is subject to the whims of traffic. This time I took the BART (there’s a station a block from the office) and a shuttle bus from the Oakland Coliseum exit to the airport — just under an hour, from the time I left the office until I hit the security line, and $5.35. I think I’ll be doing that from now on!

I actually left the office an hour or so early, hoping I could catch an earlier flight than I’d booked, but this was not to be. When I got to the airport, I discovered two things: all the air conditioning in the airport was down (and it was a hot day), and every Southwest flight to San Diego was delayed. Not exactly my favorite combination. By the time my original 4:45 departure time rolled around, the Southwest folks had mostly caught up — I ended up leaving just 15 minutes late. Normally I don’t look forward to the airplane seat, but this time, after the stultifying heat of the airport, the airplanes seat was wonderful — it had a fan!

And that plane took me to San Diego, in luxurious air-conditioned comfort, where my lovely bride picked me up at the airport. We had a “catch up” conversation on the way home, sharing some laughs. I missed those. And finally we drove onto the home stretch, into Lawson Valley — painted in the abstract pastels and stark silhouettes of dusk in the desert — and to our little house. Inside, I was welcomed back by three deliriously happy brown dogs, each in their own fashion. Mo’i practically knocked me over, nibbling frantically on my ear, making funny little grunting noises. Lea looked all excited, got low to the ground, and kept running away and returning for some more petting. And little Miki (whom I was worried might have forgotten me) was all over me, squeaking and squirming, and so obviously beside himself with joy that I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. My face was very wet before he was done with me…

It’s funny how little things about home can seem so good after you’ve been away for a while. Our shower, for instance — nothing really remarkable about it, but it does work very well, pouring huge quantities of our well water all over you when you turn it on. Nothing like the feeble squirts from the (perfectly normal) hotel shower. Ah, I enjoyed that shower.

And much else. There really is no place like home…

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