- Getting the chance to visit with family. It's just me and Mom and Dad this time around, but that'll be nice; I needed a chill day after the busy-ness of the past month, and they haven't gotten to come up my way since July because of their travel and my work.
- The greatest group of friends anyone could ever want; they're family as well. (I've always said that you have two families: The one you're born into, and the one you choose.) Also, the chance to hang with the two who live out-of-town (both having returned this morning) before starting my own trip, and the chance to do so again when I get back.
- Gas prices below two bucks a gallon (even the national average matches this number now). It's hard to believe that, not quite six months ago, I saw $4.14 gas in Vermont, and it flirted with the four-buck mark at home for a week or two.
- Good health. When everyone and their dog was getting sick about two weeks ago, I managed to have only a few days of the "crud," and I actually felt better after attending an outdoor event for a few hours in 40-degree temperatures. (Also, when I strained a leg muscle on the Corpus trip, I managed to rehab it in about 24 hours, with a combination of walking on sand at the beach and doing some unusual "scisssors" exercises that would have never crossed my mind had I not been sleeping on couches that weekend.)
- Having a job that I really love, that hardly ever seems like work, and that has the opportunity to really make a difference in people's lives.
- Music. Not only is it the source of the non-work job mentioned above, but it is a great form of expression for the writer/performer and a great form of enjoyment for the listener.
- The freedom to worship God in any way we see fit, without government interference (I think we take this for granted sometimes, but it's certainly not a given in many other parts of the world).
- And finally, being able to live in the greatest nation that the world has ever known. Sure, it's not perfect, but where else would you even think about wanting to live?
Retrograde Travel Advisory: Oh yeah--so if you haven't figured it out already, I'm in Sugar Land for a few days. Normally, I would do a Travel Advisory post when I was on my way out, but the multiple activities before I left today means that...umm, I forgot. (And I'd normally do a Sugar Land "dateline" at the top of the post, a la newspapers, but it would have messed with my whole "ellipsis" thing in the title.)
If you went somewhere in the past 24 hours, I hope your travels were safe and enjoyable (and the same in a future tense if your trip hasn't started yet). Oh, and someone please explain to me why the only bad traffic I encountered on the entire trip was heading into downtown Dallas. That's pretty backwards, in a "petting the cat from the tail forward" kind of way.