Monday, September 28, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane

"My heart is warm with the friends I make,
And better friends I'll not be knowing;
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take
No matter where it's going."
"Travel" by Edna St.Vincent Millay

This Thursday I'm leaving for two weeks in Spain.

I've always loved to travel. Ralph and I took many memorable trips together. We chuckled at the antics of penguins in Antarctica, stood on the plaza at Monte Alban in Oaxaca, Mexico during an eclipse of the sun, rode in a hot air baloon in Utah, strolled along the Seine, the Thames, the Mississippi.

Even though he's no longer with me, I still love traveling, whether it's fifty miles from home or across the world. Traveling brings me joy. It gives me something to look forward to. Planning a trip is almost as much fun as the trip itself. And then there are the photos, the souvenirs to take out and laugh over for years to come.

I'm traveling to Spain with my sister. We share a remarkably poor sense of direction and have gotten lost together in several states and a number of countries. This trip probably won't be any different.

"If God had really intended men to fly,
He'd make it easier to get to the airport."
George Winters

I have an ambivalent relationship with airports. On the one hand, I am fascainted by all the people coming and going. On the other, I really don't trust the air transit system. If they can make you late, they will.

I've had some bizarre experiences in airports, especially in Paris Charles De Gaulle airport is my nemesis. Once I was strolling happily along, wheeling my suitcase behind me and then I stepped up on the bus, caught the suitcase on the step, fell forward flat on my face...and broke my nose. How many people can boast that they broke their nose in Paris?

But that was only the beginning. As my friend and I followed the lady from Air France through the airport (Did it ever occur to her to get me a wheelchair? Nope.) we decided to get a cart for our luggage. We pushed it onto the moving sidewalk and at the very end, the cart caught on the sidewalk and fell over, my friend fell on the cart, I fell on her, and the people behind me fell on me. My elbow still shows the scars. We continued on--miles and miles, it seemed like--De Gaulle is a laaarge airpport and finally arrived at the medical office. By that time my face was black and blue and my arm was dripping blood. The lady at the desk gave us a blank stare. "Did you want to see a doctor?" she asked. Duh!

The next time I flew through Paris the terminal had to be evacuated because someone left an unattended suitcase. Long story short, I missed my plane. "You should have gotten here earlier," the gate attendant snapped. Another woman and I trudged to the Air France counter and finally managed to persuade them to book us on the next available flight. (I cried.) Then we decided to have lunch. "I guess we should introduce ourselves," my compansion said. "I'm Louise."

"I'm Thelma."

At least we made it home without driving off a cliff.

I'll leave you with another quote and my hope that you, too, will travel, across the International Date Line or around the block. Adventure awaits. See you when I get back.

"When you set out for Ithaka,
Hope your road will be a long one,
Full of adventure, full of discovery..."
from "Ithaka" by C.V. Cavafy


PITA208 said... [Reply to comment]

Hi Thelma,

This is a wonderful site, I need to tall my
childrens stepmother Sally about it. She is having
a hard time.

I will always be your friend and of course, your secretary. Love Gayle


Template by: Bright Sunshine Designs by Mary - Affordable Custom Blog Design © 2011