> jumping into life.

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The clear, cold sun against the sidewalks of Asheville, North Carolina reminds me strangely of somewhere else, somewhere I know far better than this town in which I've spent perhaps six days over the course of five years. Philadelphia? Prescott? Burlington? Perhaps it's the black man shuffling past with his hood up over his ears, hands in coat pockets. Perhaps it's something about the smell of the bus grumbling as it passes. Maybe just the feel of barely-iced cement slipping slightly under my feet. I don't know what it is, but it makes me feel content, somehow.

Yesterday, after a week on the road again, J finally got sick. This is the worst part of traveling, for us: one or both of us nearly always gets sick. I think because we are blessed to eat so well most of the time, the transition into road-food - ramen and Subway and cheap fish and chips in dingy truck-stop restaurants, bags of chips and packages of candy and soda that we occasionally can't resist, coffee for breakfast five mornings out of six - our bodies revolt. So far I only feel sluggish and greasy, but J was up all night with a sour stomach, even though last night we had good fish and chips for dinner, at one of our favorite pubs.

It's a small tradition of ours, the day-long layover in Asheville. Slightly out of our way, strictly speaking, but it seems to be worthwhile. Both of us nearly went to Warren Wilson instead of Prescott College (I half-joked last night that I only made the decision as I did because he had already done so and fate left me no choice. In fact, I had been planning to go to Warren Wilson, visited both schools almost perfunctorily, having thought I'd made up my mind, and continued thinking my mind made up in favor of WW until almost the moment I signed the papers saying I'd go to Prescott.) and we both have a quiet and almost completely unexplored love of the Smoky Mountains. Or perhaps only I do; at any rate, something draws us here and something comforts us when we arrive. Despite the late-night saga of J's stomach, I think we both feel more rested this morning than in many past.

And despite even that, we are weary. Last night he moaned to me, hands on his belly, "I want to go home." And I nodded and did not say what we both knew: that we have no home to return to, for now. It is time and past time for us to go home, to cook for ourselves again, to sleep on our own pillows. But for now, we are resigned to the comforts of a lovely town and a bottle of extra-strength Tums, and the knowledge that we will make a home, somewhere, soon.

Oh. Hugs.

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