So last time I said that I was going to try to reproduce (and translate into English) my notebook jottings from Durham. Well, here goes. This isn’t going to be exact, BTW, because I’ll have to expand and explain things. But I will do my best to get the feelin’ of the jottin’s.
Thursday, May 26, 2022
Finally on the plane. Getting to the Austin airport, finding parking, getting Martha from “the Blue Garage” to the terminal, and then getting through TSA was nightmarish. Easily as much fun as rubbing your teeth on the sidewalk, but not so many giggles.
Then, we stood in line to get to the metal detectors for a good 45 minutes. Of course, Martha had chosen not to bring her Walker/Rollator. So, naturally, that meant she had to stand up the whole time. Not good.
Also, another danger for Martha. Austin airport is very, Very, VERY crowded and busy. People are rushing about, pulling suitcases behind them, and not necessarily looking where they are going. Several times, Martha was almost knocked over by hurrying travelers, dashing to get to their planes.
I’m terrified by the fact that there are wheeled suitcases everywhere. Some years ago, Martha had another serious fall...in church, of all places...when she tripped over an oxygen tank that an elderly lady was pulling behind her. I could see a similar (or worse) fall happening with a suitcase all too easily.
I begin to wonder whether we were really wise to come on this particular journey. Should we have waited a few more months? Maybe until Autumn? Don’t know. Too late to worry about it now.
About the picture. This is a photo of David, Emily, and Martha in 2015, just after David’s graduation from the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia. A short time later, David and Emily would be married in Austin. Good and remarkable times.
Why are we going to Durham? Well, because of Vincent. Who is Vincent? He is a dear friend. We’ve known him for years and years and YEARS. Martha met him through other friends way back in 1981. Which is...what? yikes!... 41 years ago.
He’s been in our lives ever since. He was at our wedding. He was at David’s and Emily’s wedding. In between those two events, he would see us and we would see him. He became, in fact, David’s godfather. One of my fonder memories of him is when he taught our son how to bake cookies. We have a photo, somewhere, of a very young David...pre-school, I think...proudly showing us the plate of decorated sugar cookies that he’d done with “Uncle Vincent.”
Some years back, Vincent retired and moved from Boston to Durham, a city he knew fairly well. Again, he has friends everywhere, and some of these were already in Durham. He visited them, and they helped him fall in love with that charming city.
And that is Vincent in a nutshell. More on him to come.
Ah, I hear the sound of the engines revving up. The cabin crew warns us again to put our seats in an upright position. We are taxiing out onto the field.
I stop writing.
About ten minutes later. Well, we’re in the air. We’ve taken off. “...slipped the surly bonds of Earth” etc. Thank you Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee Jr. Though, I wonder, did that poet-pilot ever think that the future of air transport would be flying cattle cars with business class passengers stuffed in ‘em like so many kippered herring. Oh, well.
Anyway...off we go to Durham.
Now all I have to do is explain to folks why we’re going at all. And what “Friend’s Easter” is all about .
But that’s for next time.
More to come.
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