I began looking at Knoxville, Tennessee. Knoxville was on the opposite side of the same mountains Asheville was next to. Yet...Knoxville was 2 1/2 times larger, 1 1/2 hours closer to my family in Indiana, had a lower cost of living (no state income tax!), warmer weather, and I didn't have to cross the mountains if I wanted to drive home for Christmas in the winter. If I didn't like Knoxville I could always just drive east across the mountains and I'd be in Asheville. Hmmm...
I became popular at work because they found out I could run. I made friends with a few people...a few nice ladies too. For a month I thought I was with them (the guys and the girls) and then I realized I was just the freak who could run circles around them. They were nice but I was enlisted, they were officers. They didn't really like me...just my legs. I ran with them for a month, but I was out of their league and went back to lone training. Why get hurt and weak and fat at the same time? It seems no matter what angle I look at, when it comes to people, I'm better off with a dog.
Gizmo was my constant companion. I'd fall asleep on the couch and I'd wake with this tornado sitting on my lap. He could melt the hardest heart. But he had a temper. One day Smokey, my neighbor Holly's cat (Smokey inspired me to write 'Artist' in 2002) sneaked onto my patio while Gizmo was out running in the yard. Gizmo caught him and went berzerk! Gizmo couldn't get into the house without going past Smokey and Smokey couldn't escape without going through Gizmo. I've always known Gizmo is all bark and no bite. He's very sweet. So I had a show, watching Gizmo through the blinds. I don't think he scared Smokey. Smokey just sat their smoking his Virginia Slims and tossing ash at him.