The #1 granddaughter is getting equipped for her new status as a Conscious Traveller later this summer. You see her above, getting into the skin of the role. I hope travel is as much fun for her as it has been for her Grandma.
Just home yesterday in the small hours from a cross-country jaunt to a major ecumenical conversation. A new venue that I hadn't visited before, a style of hospitality I already knew very well. And we had a very fine time altogether.
I have a suspicion that when the time finally comes for Shady Pines, I am going to have a very fine time there also. Ecclesial gatherings often mean we are assigned rather small, spartan, sparsely-furnished rooms for our sleeping and ablutions -- and invariably I am as happy as a clam therein. Maybe because a dorm-room was the first space I thought of as MINE? who knows. But it's quite funny, I think.
This was an especially challenging jaunt in some ways because of various symptoms that appeared about 24 hours before departure...despite the lapse of 64 years since the chicken-pox, and the Zoster vaccine a couple of years ago -- SHINGLES. So the day of departure along with a haircut and a midday church meeting I found myself speed-dating both my own physician and an optometrist (shingles being particularly bothersome around one EYE, where complications can be serious).
And then picked up a prescription for formidable big blue pills, finished packing, hired the little boy next door as cat-feeder,and off down the highway to the airport.
The plane was full and I had a centre-seat, between two genial types returning home to Newfoundland, so conversation was very brisk until they worked out "who they were" with reference to each other, and just exactly how crazy HE had been over HER youngest aunt, and like that. Then they went to sleep, and I tried to, and by about 2 a.m. I was thinking if someone would just open a door maybe I would try walking home--but the cabin attendant brought me some water and I got my little air-blower turned on cool, and managed a little bit of shuteye with some comfort...
Then a limo to the conference centre, and a rendez-vous with a friend of fifty years' standing, and breakfast, and a bit of a nap, and we were into our ecumenical deliberations. Part of the work at this session was making videos of each of us reading our essays on very basic questions. Challenging! I hadn't worked with a teleprompter before -- and of course this was scheduled on the day that the shingles were most conspicuously LEPROUS. But I had a little sit-down with myself on the topic of Vanity~~and the lovely young woman directing our videos was equipped with face powder and a big brush~~so that went off all right too.
A very special group of people -- theology nerds, to start with, but there are also aspects of "book club," and "writing group" and heaps of benevolentia mutua animorum as the poet Petrarch called it.
The shingles are (is?) improving. Feeling quite pleased with myself that I thought of taking my good old-fashioned icebag with me--our hosts showed me where the big icemaker stood in their back kitchen, and on the way home a kindly bartender filled the icebag one final time,so that I could keep everything happily numb throughout the four-hour flight. I had a row to myself this time, so could stretch my legs and wriggle about as I pleased.
Now emptying bags and working at re-organizing the permanent "go kit" in each of them, and then it's time for the post-trip paperwork...and, in due course, back to the rhubarb fields!