img_1298Travel rarely goes as expected. All the pre-planning, list-ticking, and worst-case-scenario pondering can’t foresee the unforeseeable.

Case in point:

Denver had a little weather yesterday. Just a little. Snow flurries and a bit of ice. Air traffic control asked our flight out of Des Moines to sit tight while they took care of that. Subsequently, I had 10 minutes to get from one end of the Denver airport to the other to catch my connection to Albuquerque.

In an understandably heightened state, I thought I heard the flight attendant say all checked baggage would be taken to their planes. I had to check my bag at the gate, so I thought I was safe to bolt and run as fast as my fat little legs could go without causing a heart attack.

I actually pushed people out of my way, and I think I trampled a small child. Think Rogue elephant in a pink sweatshirt.


But I got to the tiny commuter plane, squeezed my ass into a seat clearly built for anorexics, and tried to catch my breath.

Wait a minute. My bag doesn’t have my flight info on it. How will they know where to take it?

So I uncorked from the seat, asked the pimply flight attendant who sent me back to the gatekeeper.

Back over the icy, narrow gangplank, down an slippery ramp, I gaze into the face of “No Fucks Given Here.”

No, my bag won’t be transferred. No, I don’t have time to get it.  Get someone to give a fuck in Albuquerque.

Okay, I thought, squeezing across the rickety gangplank, I’ve managed worse.  I can do this. If all else fails, I show up at the workshop empty-handed and live in the same clothes for five days. No biggie.

To keep my mind from stewing, I started a wonderful book on creativity by Susan Wooldridge called Foolsgold. In it she talks about a time in her life when her father died and her marriage broke up.


By the creek just now, lost and stuck, I feel like dropping everything once again.  What’s the use?  I tell myself.  Why keep trying so hard?

Listening to the water, I watch the creek and drift with it.  I lie back in the grass with my feet in the water.    A seed-laden stem curves over my face…A bird lands above a grapevine…Floating, letting go, “out of my mind'” I begin to notice what’s around me…

Suddenly I can’t remember what’s wrong.  Clearly my life is blessed.

In Albuquerque I found someone who gave quite a few fucks. My bag arrived on the next plane.  At Budget Rental, A Scotsman named Gil drained my weariness by calling me “lassie” and singing the rental agreement with his tumbling “rrrr”s and fat, round vowels.

I drove north out of Albuquerque as dusk turned the mountains into indigo shadows.

“Hello, West,” I said, dipping my mental feet into its current.

Clearly my life is blessed.

24 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. k
    Feb 03, 2017 @ 08:37:22

    i love this so much. i’ve been thinking of you. xoxo


  2. Cate
    Feb 03, 2017 @ 08:53:06

    I loved this. It made me relate, laugh and appreciate your equanimity in giving yourself to that book despite your dire circumstances. (I’m going to read it myself, and forward this post to a road-weary friend who is anxious about an imminent trip to Uganda.) Thank you!


  3. Ally Bean
    Feb 03, 2017 @ 10:02:56

    The happiest of endings here. So happy you and your bag were reunited and that you shared this book. Some things are meant to be.


  4. Leslie
    Feb 03, 2017 @ 13:13:17

    Beautiful. I’m glad that you found someone who cared. And the passage from that book…just lovely.


  5. Maggie Wilson
    Feb 03, 2017 @ 13:34:00

    When I worked at Bell Canada, I used to make up excuses to call the technician at one of the telephone exchanges just to hear his Scottish brogue.

    That and “uncorked” are just two of the takeaways from this lovely post.


  6. Val Boyko
    Feb 03, 2017 @ 15:18:20

    Whew! What a ride. I love when a S or comes to the rescue 😉


  7. pegoleg
    Feb 03, 2017 @ 16:36:00

    Yeah! Way to find the lemonade, my dear.


  8. Elaine GREEN
    Feb 03, 2017 @ 19:35:58

    LOVED this….. despite all the challenges you faced…. it was your SPIRIT that spoke so loudly, and forgivingly and with grace and ease and determination … you are awesome (I think I’ve mentioned that before)

    have a wonderful trip.. sending love.. laney


  9. Lori S-C
    Feb 03, 2017 @ 19:52:47



  10. Littlesundog
    Feb 05, 2017 @ 05:31:49

    OMGosh!! I love this!! I’m so glad you found someone to help you with the f-bomb scenario. A Scotsmen in Albuquerque? That’s magic right there. So many things meant to be, my friend. 😀


  11. donnaanddiablo
    Feb 06, 2017 @ 15:32:04

    You crack me up. Full.Stop.


  12. Linda Noel Schierman
    Feb 11, 2017 @ 18:38:56

    Ooooooo: “…even hard cases break down if the story is real” ! Tellin’ it like it is, Sandy Sue! xoxox


  13. jinjerstanton
    Feb 17, 2017 @ 14:42:37

    Dang! I missed this post. Glad you made it there and back safely!


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