7. Flew across the country by myself.
|Treehugger sighted, Olympic National Forest|
I did feel like a child. I bought stuff—a new suitcase, a spiffy black duffel type with recessed wheels at one end, and a rain jacket that would double as a windbreaker. I asked my friends in Bremerton to pleeze meet me at the Seattle airport.
My solo exploration skills had atrophied—years had passed since I planned an itinerary alone, kept track of the tickets, got myself to the airport on time—but they were retrievable. Now I know how to take the bus from SeaTac to Bremerton. My suitcase and I have been to Italy, Spain, China, Russia, and Japan, where I don’t know anyone. Normal travels, but they're mine; I have a list, and I’ve seen much of what I wanted to see. The rain jacket got shabby with wear and I bought another one.
Only on the China trip did I think that maybe, finally, I had chomped off more than I could chew. My initial flight was cancelled and my suitcase, got on the next flight, without me. I had no one to sit with in the airport and say, what the hell do we do now. I probably made some bad decisions. Dan probably would have come up with something, would have got us to China on schedule. But flying made Dan anxious; we traveled light, with only carry-on bags, and China was not on his agenda. I arrived there alone, a day late and a bag short. I wormed my way to the head of the line of a dozen people whose suitcases were missing. I described my suitcase, which looked like everyone else’s, to a mildly multilingual person. Despite or because of our efforts, the suitcase showed up, intact, a day later.
|White Sands National Monument|
These days, I’m taking walking tours of Hudson and exploring local trails on my snowshoes. New views, new ventures! And I may pack my bag and head west this spring.