Out of the Internet’s entire encyclopedic array of acronyms, TIL strikes me as one of the most pleasant: Today I Learned. For example, today I learned construction companies keep blueprints and other documents inside a PVC tube that’s capped at both ends, an object that looks a lot like a pipe bomb when it inadvertently falls off of a truck near a public building. I also learned Bentonville has a bomb squad, one of six in the state. It deploys a fun robot that reminds me of a Mars rover. This minor bomb scare took place today across the street from my office.
Today I learned my office has a pull-down ladder that leads to the roof, which is a challenge to climb with a camera, a notebook and an umbrella. Watch out for the big old cellar spider on the way up.
I walked around the square for a bit after the lunch-time excitement. The all-day rain was crappy, but temperatures in the 50s, 60s and maybe even 70s this week will be worth it. Plants are already reacting to the warmth.
Finally, today I learned the texture of water under rainfall is beautiful and elegant when frozen in a photograph. I learned those little water droplets that plop up from the center of a splash move really fast — they were blurry with a shutter speed of 1/200th of a second.
I hope to say TIL forever. Thanks for looking.
Home, for me, has long been a complicated word. We moved from Springfield, Mo., up to Nebraska before my third grade year. A decade later, I went down the road to the University of Nebraska. A month later, my family moved back to Springfield. As I deepen my roots in yet another state, I realize the day before college was the last time “home” was singular.
This is a time of many returns for me, though. I went up to Springfield this past weekend and remembered something I always forget — how nice it can be to come back to board games and cookouts and three-hour conversation. Life is flowing back with the spring, life I breathe in from each breeze and storm. And in a couple of weeks, I’ll be going back to Nebraska for the first time since August. This a good time for me.
Having three homes is tough. They wrench time from each other. But they amplify each other, too. Nothing helps boost appreciation for something like losing it, even for just a while. In a way, I think, life has been a chain of losses and returns. The loss sure sweetens the taste of returning. Sometimes I think one home would be nicer, but with each loss I value each home with greater intensity.
On a lighter note, the same delight in returning applies to spring. I’m a broken record, but man, I’ve missed it.
However many homes you have, whatever form they take and whatever takes you away, I hope you get to return.
Thanks for looking,