I have thousands of photos on my phone just sitting there taking up space. Every now and again, I look through them and enjoy remembering the time that they came from and what the mood was like. I can’t bring myself to delete even the most inconsequential-seeming photos because one day I might look back and that photo might spark a memory or thought I don’t expect. The photo above is from last October in Omaha. I was walking the dog in the park after work and this hot air balloon kind of just appeared in the sky. Rather, I heard a repeated hissing noise coming from above, looked up, and there it was. After I took the photo, the balloon began to descend slowly and it eventually landed in a grassy area in the park. I had never seen a hot air balloon in the sky, in person. It wasn’t exactly fascinating, or amazing, or mind-blowing, but it was a first. I think what I like about the photo is that it reminds me of something else, not just what was happening right when the photo was taken.

The sky in Nebraska. I have never seen a sky so vast and unending as the one I saw in Nebraska on clear days like that one. Maybe it’s due to the lack of anything else geographically remarkable in that area. It just looked like you could see the same sky they were seeing in California if you looked west, and clear to Massachusetts if you looked east. Still, I’m not sure why anyone would have settled there, being so far away from both of the coasts. Rivers and railroads I suppose. I always felt slightly lonely there, even when I was at my happiest. Not lonely for lack of human interaction, more of a detached lonely. Detached from feelings that were familiar. I believe that was homesickness.

It’s strange to have a feeling you can’t quite identify. Then little by little, clues start amassing and you finally figure out what the feeling was all along, that it has a name, and that you are definitely not the first one to have that feeling. And I thought that maybe homesickness was just a growing pain, a discomfort that was necessary for me to fold into my new surroundings, so I held it in and I let it make me stronger, in a way. I told myself that I could live anywhere and thrive, as long as I had Dana and running. And I don’t think it was just something I told myself to get by. I think it was true then, and I think it’s still true. But, there are some places we are meant to be, and others we aren’t. I have a feeling Florida is not the only place Dana and I are made for, but right now, there is nowhere else we should be.

My run today was just okay. I wanted to run the entire 10 miles with no walk breaks, but I was realistic in my expectations. I made it to 8 miles before I had to walk and I felt okay with that. I walked and felt a little upset about it at the time, but I got over it. It’s hot and I don’t need to overexert myself on the first run of the week. I was actually pleased with how I paced myself during the first 8 miles. I ran 10 minute miles, which is something I can’t usually figure out how to do. I can start out running at that pace, but gradually I speed up. Thing is though, if I would’ve run/walked, my overall pace would have been virtually the same. 10 miles at 11:00 pace.

Tomorrow is 6 miles. Jesse might come along. Stoked.

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