Monday was spent visiting friends: down to pick up Mirage in Apollo Beach, to lunch with friends and ex-coworkers from NetPoodles, back to Mirage's place on a meandering path and then to Verizon to meet JadedFox, Dusty and Kiarrh. Dinner with them at the Tampa Bay Brewing Company and coffee afterward at Sacred Grounds, then back home just after midnight.
Well, home, after a fashion. I've called Tugrik's place home, too, and yet I realized that I still think of Brandon as home. I almost stopped by my old apartment complex to say hi and see if development is underway in the cow field across the street.
So would I move back? The question came up more than once. The honest answer is, "Yes, but I don't plan to."
I bristled 18 months ago whn people suggested, in so many words, that moving to California was a phase I was going through. I still bristle at it. Am I just out there to prove something? Not to anyone else, certainly. To myself? Maybe. I don't think so, though.
It occurs to me, not for the first time, that it might well be easier for me to start a consulting business here than in Silicon Valley, where out-of-work designers are as common as Gilroy garlic bulbs. I could try to relocate to somewhere more remote, south of Big Sur or up in Healdsburg or Ukiah, but I don't have the resources to move and don't want to go nomadic again quite yet anyway. Also, what little contacts I have are around the South Bay area. If my mythical press starts to exist and starts to generate a noticeable income, I could move then. On the, what, third or fourth hand by now, though, I don't know that I'd want to be that remote from people I know.
The roads in Florida seem very straight and flat now, without much character. They are not interesting in themselves to drive. Yet I still know many of them by heart. Lumsden and Lithia Pinecrest in Brandon are as familiar as Camden and Blossom Hill in west San Jose. More so: it's been over a year since I lived there, but I was there over five years.
Yesterday I bought extra RAM for my mother's first generation iBook. I intended to put OS X 10.3 on it, but it seems the CDs I have are upgrade-only, so she is stuck with OS 9.1. Perhaps if she visits me out there I'll get her to bring the machine with her and we'll try again. It's amazing how much the Mac world has changed in four years.
As I wait for Mozilla 1.2 (the last OS 9 release) to download over a 26400 bps modem link, I'm walking through my mom's neighborhood. I suspect to her it's changed a lot in the 15 years or so she's been here; I don't see the changes much. Still very rural. I'd love to get to Orlando while I'm here but I doubt that will happen; nine days is a shorter trip than I'd realized.
I don't know that I'll get down to Tampa again before Friday and a party there. Saturday afternoon on I expect to spend with Josh. Saturday morning, maybe even Friday evening, I might go randomly exploring old places. See what's changed--and what hasn't.
I don't think the old question should be can you ever go home again. I think the real question is: what makes home home for you?