"Turn and face the strain - changes"

Trip Start Oct 31, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Friday, August 26, 2011

It matters not that it was 50 degrees with infinite shades of green and cool misty skies when I left Anchorage, I arrived in a spectrum of browns with scorching temperatures hovering around the 110 degree mark.  The bottom line is, I am home.  As Tim McGraw sings,  "Ohhhhh, God bless Texas." I enjoyed my time in Alaska, but there's no place like home.   Walking off of the plane into the searing heat of Texas was a shock to my system in spite of prior knowledge, preparation, and experience. 

The lesson I am learning is how quickly change occurs and how impactful it can be even when it's expected.  Since coming home, I've experienced this not only with the change in temperature, but  in the courage of tough, time-tested men as they confront the unexpected struggle of readjustment to coming home after being away for so long,  and in the tightly-knit closeness and faith of a family as they help each other cope with the change of losing their loved one.  There are other experiences as well that have given me pause to reconsider.  I have prided myself in the ability to be flexible and quickly adjust to change as it takes place, but I'm realizing now that there may be times when moving forward expediently is wise, but there are other times when change,both positive and negative, is best experienced fully with all of the senses, as it occurs, in order for a deeper meaning to be gained. 

Since last we met, I spent some time in Killeen, TX and now I have returned home.  Initially, it felt like I had been away for years, however now it just feels like home.  I've had a chance to reunite with family, visit with old friends, and enjoy life in Texas.  I had an interesting encounter with a fox one evening while  parked outside of a store.  The fox was an interesting combination of caution, and assertiveness.  Luckily, I had my camera in the car and was able to take a few shots of the intriguing creature.  In all of its splendor, it was the eyes that really captured me.  Perhaps you'll see why in the photos.  My son tried to explain to me in anatomical terms why the eyes glowed, but I chose just to accept the fox as unique.


Watching my Texas Rangers in the MLB playoffs, attending the wedding of my good friend's daughter in California, and maybe just maybe, purchasing and learning how to use a new camera I've had my eye on are a few of the things I plan on doing during this down time.  I don't have many new photos to share since my return from Alaska, so I have included a montage of "leftovers" for your perusal until next time.  The program in which I work is going through its own changes, so I'm not sure what the future has in store.  I will be at home for a while with my next trip scheduled in mid-December.  With contract changes and a changing work environment, a new chapter may be opening soon.  We'll just have to wait and see.  I will follow the advice of David Bowie when he sings, "Turn and face the strain - changes."   Take care y'all until next time.


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Cryogaijin on

Glad to see you surviving back home, down in the little state of Texas. I have tried to export you some of the rain from up here, but Continental wants to charge exhorbitant fees. So. . . drought for you.

Ben Gallegos on

Nice pictures Jeff. The legend Nolan Ryan

gymwhite on

Go Tigers!

Meg Grierson on

MISS YOU DADDY! And I miss Texas... Can't wait for that "back home" feeling... though it'll be a few months (God willing).

Great to know you're home!!!

Kipper on

How about those Rangers. Against my better judgement I am routing for them. My Texan mon and grandparents are turning in their graves. God bless America. I hope Tom had a good wedding. We had great fun in Spain and I will send pictures if I ever figure out how.

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