Monday I awoke at the Hojos, already packed for the flight home. It was at 2:30 but if I returned the rental care by 11:30 I didn't have to pay for another day. Frankly, the Cruze was not such a great car that I would pay to drive it another few hours; the sightlines are awful for someone my height, with the mirror support cutting out a big chunk of my two o'clock and occasionally giving the peripheral vision the impression of a vehicle entering on an onramp. The windshield pillars also have an odd design, actually getting wider as the approach the top, so that a noticeable part of the leftside peripheral vision is obscured as well. These effects would not occur if I was so short that my eyes barely cleared the steering wheel, but since my head brushes the ceiling even with the seat lowered all the way, it's something I had to put up with all week, and never again.
I briefly stopped by the Salvation Army Thrift on Boston Road, which I'd passed several times, but its book section was tiny. I picked a couple of possibilities but despite the posted 99 cent price, the price charged was 80% of the original book price, so no sale. They should do something about their signage too.
To complete the Trio Of Grumping, Google Maps was as crazy as ever, leading me right past the airport exit. I got the car back in plenty of time and I must say the return process seemed pretty efficient; the shuttle got me to Delta with no problem and I even had time to stop by the Subway first. On this trip, I've become a Subway fan, something which is contrary to my nature, but it was just too difficult seeking out small local food sources other than the grocer. I did use the grocery for most of my meals: celery and peanut butter make a fine breakfast, yogurt and blueberries can't be beat for lunch, with bananas for snacking. But when I was aware from my room, Subway came through.
The flight from Hartford to Minneapolis was uneventful; my seatmate was a cleancut mechanic with an auto magazine; both of us were not chatty. Minneapolis to Seattle crowded at at first I thought I was in the middle seat of the middle row - this would not have been a big issue but I do prefer an aisle seat since I'm a little bigger than average. However at the last minute, an enormously tiny person came and showed me she had seat "D"; I had either misread my ticket or remembered the "D" from my previous flight. I apologized and found my proper seat, which was actually two seats because the one next to mine was just about the only empty one on the plane. Sometimes things just work out!
Rather than do any useful work, I read a Star Trek novel that I'd found in a pile of free books in Springfield. It's never been my genre, but I see the appeal: it's a quick read with established characters that passes the time. I also worked on my cribbage game via my smartphone; I downloaded it just before I started this trip and am rediscovering the technique of winning.
Back in Seattle I got my bag and headed for public transit; the Metro Trip planner had recommended the 560 which would get me to Westwood Village fairly promptly. However by the time I got to the stop, it was gone and the next Metro-recommended route didn't get me home until after midnight. I sighed, and did my final Vacation Splurge on transport home. The STITA Booth sign advertised $45 to Seattle but when I asked about West Seattle I was quoted $50; this was crazy! I went to the shuttle and got away for "only" $39. I suppose I could have made arrangements with family but I didn't want to impose, which is silly of me.
I got home and Kris' light was still on; we made brief conversation and I went to bed.
On this trip, I experienced a lot of unconditional welcoming. This is a sensation with which I had become unfamiliar; I an used to people wanting something from me, mostly an audience for their stories as they drink or grow old. I was reminded on this trip that I deserve better, and can get better, and like it. That alone was worth the ticket.
Renewing my friendship with Sherry, my law school friends, and even Phil-and-Alyssa gave me this odd feeling like when I watch my plants grow. I suppose it's called happiness. Going up Bare Mountain was as it has always been, a thoroughly fun exercise in spiritual renewal.
This was a worthy use of the check from Mother's life insurance; I think she would approve. Thanks mom!