I had to fly to Spokane, WA for business. It was a good trip, and even the traveling was uneventful and pleasant enough. The four hour flight from Chicago (glimpse of O'hare out our plane's window before we pulled back from the gate - being in Chicago made me think of MathMan and DCup) was the hardest part. I hate to sit still that long, and I'm uncomfortable with so many people in close quarters, but I read, did Sudoku puzzles, sipped tomato juice, and daydreamed about the silly things I might do with the items in the Skymall catalogue. I got to Spokane at 1:00 in the morning, my time, but 10:00 local time - so I had a good night's sleep.
Out hotel was right down on the Spokane river, and I walked the paved walkway to Riverfront Park as often as I could get outside. I'll let the photos speak for themselves - it was a beautiful area, and much of this part of the city, with the many bridges, is made for walking, jogging, and biking, with separate lanes laid out for "wheels" and "walking." Click on the images to view larger. The long photos are panorama's my camera assembles from three separate shots. I like that trick.
I liked Spokane - it felt like a real place, like many of the mid sized and small towns in the middle of our country. Things aren't for show, but they show well. Everything neat and clean. People friendly and serious at once.
The security staff at the airport, for instance, were cordial, but I had the strong impression that they caught more and did their jobs better than any similar group I'd seen at larger airports back east. I also felt that you wouldn't want to mess with them. But they would smile while they put you on the floor and cuffed your wrists, and they would look you right in the eye. No coastal lack of commitment or less than good manners here.
On each of the flights back I had a nose bleed, happily unnoticed by my seat mates on either side, who were asleep. The drier air out west set me up. I flew back through Minneapolis/St Paul, which turned out to be a good move, since I heard that O'hare was shut down for over two hours mid day due to a storm system. I'd have been delayed or worse if I'd gone back through Chicago.
A week later, and I'm still recovering my equilibrium from the three day trip.
>>>> Appendix de Grenouille #36 <<<< We adults prefer not to make a fuss of ourselves where others might see. We speak of guilty pleasures and self indulgences, preferring to keep them secret from all but a few friends or family. We are serious how we clothe ourselves. We work hard not to stand out or rise above. We claim to love liberte and fraternite, but above all, egalite.
Well I say there are times when we should pipi on sameness and fitting. My inner polywog craves foolishness and pampering. I wish to stand out and be crazy. Peel a grape pour moi! Vive le Roi Grenouille! I want to sit on a grande pomme d'amour in the bright sun du jour and reign with laughter and pomp over all I survey. Build me a palace!
This is not to say we should neglect our duties. Noblesse oblige! But we should sing out and raise our voices above the clamor, and not fear sounding selfish or silly. Steve speaks above of work and duty, but what he recalls most of this trip to Washington is how much he laughed with the new friends he made there, and how much he enjoyed making them laugh, too, watching the laugh lines around their blue Western eyes. Oui, that same sound of laughing, with elan vital, is how his cherie first heard him.
So, voila, here am I living my harmless tomato throne craving. What petite inconsequential things do YOU wish? How can you DO them?