I go home tomorrow, but the solitary drives back and forth have grounded me in a way that I didn't even know I needed. Things here change - like the new Super Wal-Mart, or the new sign at the high school, but the important things don't. Candles still glow in windows (lots of them, but the Guard company is back with everyone they left with, thank God!), the people at Wal-Mart are still the same types of folks you had around all the time in the other stores, and the sign at the high school still says the same things the old one did. The river still flows in, and sometimes out of, its banks, bird nests still show like dark masses in the bare trees, and roadkill still is the province of carrion eaters and the occasional family dog instead of CALTRANS.
Life is good here, and I almost can't wait to move. Three years and some change. (And that brings up another thought. Whoever gets elected this year is going to be the President who signs my retirement letter. Hope it's someone I can respect.)