Saturday, October 17, 2009

"getting short"

The time is nearing for me to leave Homer and my excitement is increasing daily. I just got back from playing tennis and now, after a shower and the drive back to my chilly cabin, I'm wondering just how long it will take my hands to warm up. I've just turned the heater to high and eventually it'll get cozy in here. It's been another beautiful day, a gift really considering the lateness of the date, and I enjoyed it fully. And it appears that my goal of getting out of here without putting the studs on my car will be realized. As long as it doesn't snow next week I'll make it. Stay tuned...

Doug and I have been walking to lunch almost every day now that my time at Alaska Boats & Permits is getting short. I got a nasty surprise from my tax man a few days ago. I had to shell out an additional $3500 to cover my income taxes for last year. This after I'd already sent the IRS a check for $3000 this spring after realizing that last year had been a very good year, income-wise at least. I made more money in 2008, working part-time, than in any other year of my life. Nice. But because of that there are some nasty tax consequences to deal with. Anyway, because of the hit to my little travel nest egg I decided to work right up until the time I leave Homer. So it appears that I'll be walking to lunch with Doug all next week as well. We'll hit Maura's and Fat Olive's, The Mermaid, Latitude 59, and the Cosmic Kitchen, all great places to eat in a town chock full of cooking talent. We know the people who own the restaurants and wait the tables: Maura, and Jelena & Angie, Sean, and Wendell, Andy & Sally and Mike. And I'll soon be missing the best coffee in the world out at Michael's K-Bay Caffee. But mostly I'll miss the people who make the lattes and dopios at K-Bay, and the "cups of love" -- Andrea and Remy, Michael and Jared, Caressa and Andrea.

Okay, let's see now. I've got all this stuff laying around the cabin: my various power adapters and chargers, the wires and cables no geek can be without, chargers, batteries, extra memory chips for my camera and GPS, a supply of contact lenses, my GPS and the Europe Street Maps, my music collection loaded on the netbook, my Canon G10 camera, my headlamps, my clothing, books to read. I've decided to take my tennis racquet so I've got to somehow wedge that into my new "convertible" wheeler suitcase, a suitcase that can easily be turned into a backpack, my auto insurance is suspended, my satellite TV on hold, etc. Oh yeah, and I've got to get a package of summer stuff in the mail to Tuli in Oregon so that I don't have to carry summer AND winter clothes from the outset. When I head to Thailand I won't need all those layers of wool and polyester, or jackets, or long underwear.

And I guess today I'll have to admit to feeling a little bit blue as well. I have many friends in Homer. Good friends. Due to the length of time I'll be gone I know I'm going to miss people. While 2008 was a good year for Alaska Boats & Permits it was a bad year in other respects. Lora and I split up last fall after 10 years of marriage. It was a hard winter and a difficult Christmas season for both of us. I'm happy to say we're talking again and now that the separation is behind us, we seem to be working on rebuilding the friendship that began almost 30 years ago. She's been laid up with a knee injury and so I've been bringing her coffee every morning for the past week or so. We've been enjoying chatting and gossiping about our friends and life in Homer, sort of like we did in the old days. And it's been feeling really good. I'm thankful we can be friends again.

One of the questions facing me as I turn over in my mind the decision about whether to commit to writing this blog, and I'm sure it's a question faced by other bloggers, is exactly how truthful I want to be in the telling of what is, on the surface at least, only a travel story. I mean, should I reveal my fantasies, or for that matter, my insecurities and worries? I seem to have a need to talk to my friends about my life -- I typically reveal everything, almost. So, is this the way my blog should be? Maybe I should I try to keep it less personal but full of interesting snippets about Paris and Berlin? Or should it be more like a "slice-o-life" narrative, in particular, a slice of my own life? How real should I make it? Good question that.