Friday, August 22, 2008

Traveling Through My Gap

We’re one day into advancing through our goal of discovering (and discussing) the shape, content, and perspective of our gaps. In plain English, right now that means we are in Tennessee, traveling to a small homeschooling conference of like-minded “True Believers.” I’ve been looking forward to this event, not because of what the speakers have in store for their audience, but for what the attendees have in store for each other. I want to network. I need some fellowship.

For anyone logging on to this site for the first time, specifically to join us on this journey, Welcome. Hopefully, the brief notes of the proceedings will help you feel a little closer to “Being There.”

Travel is not my strong suit, nor does our daughter appreciate being away from home. We value our sleep too much. Chris, however, doesn’t act as if he minds; he gave credence last night to the sales pitch, “Pillowtop.” I, on the other hand, spent a wide-awake night, regretting succumbing to copywriting tactics while shopping for the place to stay tonight, and wondering about the gall of businesses which steal proprietary terminology. Calls to mind Madison Avenue’s self-portrait—the classic, award-winning ad campaign, “Where’s the Beef?” (With apologies to bil—I know it’s not really that way.)

The ordeal of travel, this time, honestly wasn’t that bad. In reality, it actually was smoother than most trips. Keep in mind, in my former life as a starving student, flying United signaled the agent to slap a sign on my back the minute I walked away from the check-in counter: “Must lose one bag.” I never made it home on vacation breaks without losing one bag, albeit for only 24 hours. (One time, my dog, Ego, made it to Albuquerque while I ended up in Columbus. Go figure. The cabbie who delivered him to our doorstep at midnight probably didn’t expect his passenger that night to be a tipping customer.) (OK…credit where credit is due: that wasn’t United; it was American that time.)

It got to be a such a family joke that I would show up one bag down, that I found myself on the receiving end of all sorts of euphemisms for players in the airline industry. The predictable “Southworst” was topped by my personal favorite, Don’t Expect your Luggage To Arrive.” Thankfully, my life’s script has never included that story.

I must have outgrown that stage long ago. This time, everything arrived when the passengers did. Everything else went smoothly, too. This trip, the flying honors went to Southwest, whose flight crew for each segment of our itinerary was super, albeit with two sets of cockpit pros who somehow couldn’t rope in their beasts until the second bounce off the runways upon arrival.

Even the TSA agents were cordial. (Aside to Marty: Aloha!) Go figure. It seemed nothing was destined to go wrong on this journey. No, wait. Had to change the light bulb in LA. Down 45 minutes. How many flight technicians does it take to change a light bulb?

Enjoyed a wonderful evening reunion with friends Kevin and Laura, who moved far from our home turf to follow their music (well, that’s Laura, who insists Kevin can’t carry a tune in a bucket; I wasn’t sure I agreed with that, but what do I know? Besides, I’m too prone to encourage.)

Once settling down for the night’s stayover, perhaps I owed the privilege of a riveted night to the anticipation of a good conference. My mind was certainly omnidirectional at warp speed. Perhaps I was vibrating in sync with the high tension wires outside our window. Perhaps I am now glowing in the dark. Or not. My mind, at least, is still bouncing along its runway. It was certainly not ready to be roped in at second bounce, either. Too much anticipation of a good thing makes it hard to keep one tied down.

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