Wednesday, June 04, 2014

The Nostalgia Trip Begins

Dan drove me to the airport Wednesday evening for a flight to Springfield by way of Bradley. Leaving at 12:45 am Thursday morning, the flight was completely full. I had taken Dan's advice to put all my stuff in a carryon backpack, plus my laptop case, but as it happened the flight was so full that they asked for volunteers to check their carryons. I wasn't really in such a big hurry, so I put mine in.
At SeaTac Airport
You Might See Anything!
I had anticipated sleeping most of the way. This took some doing since the person in the seat next to me wasted both our times by evangelizing me. She was a middle-aged unhappy woman with a beige Bible who was unable to take a hint. She asked me something about how much or how often I'd read the bible, and I foolishly thought I could end the conversation by saying truthfully that I had spent four years in seminary and had enough knowledge; she instead either took this to mean that I wanted to discuss the subject or that somehow her study had made her such an expert that she could change my entire view of the matter through conversation. It was truly an odd conversation but I could see that she was reeling off one rote phrase after another, ostensibly seeking to change my mind but in reality reaffirming her feelings. Ultimately she showed me her Bible and said, "This is my god". I said, "That is a book". I suppose I could have tried the whole "A finger pointing at the moon is not the moon" but I didn't think of it; instead, when she asked me what I believe, I said that I believed she was a very unhappy person but I couldn't do anything about it. She said that she was a very happy person, but I don't know whether it persuaded anyone. Anyway, she stopped bugging  me.
In the Minneapolis Airport, I got onto a much smaller plan - it felt like it was smaller than a Greyhound bus, but it got me where I was going with no events - except that it was raining in Hartford (while sunny in Seattle).
I had heard that renting cars at the airport was extra expensive, which was borne out by my internet research, so I planned on getting to Springfield and renting there. I remembered taking the bus home from Bradley once, long ago. When I checked it out at the airport, it was a long and involved process. I tried calling all the rental agencies on the handily located phones, and found one that said it was $35  day - that was fine. Of course, when I picked up the car, the price was nearly doubt, between gas and taxes and add-ons. My only consolation was hoping that the other agencies would have been worse - that they hadn't included add-ons in the price either.
The car was a late-model that I'd test driven before. It is perfectly designed not to work well for tall people since the island holding the rearview mirror takes a big chunk out of my 1 o'clock sight line. When I'm driving on the freeway next to an onramp, there is the illusion of something entering from that side. The windshield posts are also stupidly designed to be very wide at the top, cutting out more of the 11 o'clock sightline. The power windows are idiotic and generally speaking it just has far more doo-dads than anyone really needs, but it got me where I was going and that's that.
The motel was fine; not fancy but I have no complaints.
385 Worthington
I asked the clerk about a grocer and he told me of one about two blocks away. I got solid simple far: top quality peanut butter, celery, yogurt, blueberries, and a box of pop-tarts because I was on vacation. It turns out pop-tarts are even worse than I remember but the other stuff was ideal vacation food, reasonably tasty, easy to eat, and very budget conscious.
During the day I alternated resting up with working on some phone calls I needed to do for work. I also drove around to get picture of the places I'd lived in downtown Springfield. The brick apartment building was much the same; it even had the same kids running around speaking in Spanish (...although, considering the decades, it was probably their children ...).
My condo on Worthington was, as I had anticipated, recovering from the gas blast a few months back It's strange to think that if I had stayed, I would have just about paid the mortgage in time to be enected from the thing!
 That evening I drove to Lisa Kling's Aqua-Zoomba class, which was a lot of fun.

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