Sunday, March 2, 2014

travel junkie

I'm running away from all that Midwestern winter crap and am presently in San Diego. Yet here we are, my California friends and I, sitting on their couch watching Jon Stewart reruns because we're into a second day of rain. All the really fun things to do in this city are scheduled for outdoors. Susan says it hasn't rained in months and the broadcaster says this much rain hasn't occurred in over three years. I'm not surprised. Bad weather follows me. Years ago when we used to vacation in Las Vegas  I was responsible for several historic rainstorms in the desert. Scientists should study me. I am that remarkable.

All I want to do is travel.  I would join a convent or work at Walmart if they promised me travel opportunities. Oh, I would come home at some point, long enough to take my grand kids to Wild Buffalo Wings and the water park, do the laundry and then repack my bags for the next adventure.  I am a travel junkie.

I am grateful that I have tasted fresh bread in the early morning at a Parisian bakery and felt the spray as my little boat maneuvered around Niagara's falls. And that time I ran away from an alligator swaying his tail in the back yard of my friend's house in Port Charlotte, Florida. I have tasted exquisitely fried walleye pike caught from a deep cold Canadian lake and collected sea shells on a windblown English beach.

And I want to do more, lots more. I can't get enough. I hang on every word of Susan's friend who is traveling to Budapest to follow the Danube's path cutting through the old country. I ask every thing I can think of and it's still not enough. This thirst cannot be slaked.

As a kid our summers were spent on a man-made lake 50 miles from our home. And I loved it. Those days count as some of my fondest memories. Swimming all day in that mud-clogged lake, sitting around a bonfire telling stories under thousands of stars, laughing with my cousins and siblings on a back porch that slept 20 kids.

hello, that's me, swigging from the Pepsi bottle

I was a divorced woman with three kids buying a house with a 29-year-old furnace and an electrical system that caused my power plant-employed brother to ask, "Who did the wiring? Edison?" Talk about living on the edge, pay check to penny pinching pay check. My kids only got new clothes on their birthdays and Christmas and when you come right down to it, that's enough. We went to a family reunion in Wisconsin once and that was our travel log for all those years.

But I met a nice man with lots of money, thus my ability to travel frequently. This is not the reason I married him. He doesn't mind if we go out to breakfast and I want to read the newspaper instead of talking to him. Or the fact that my father comes twice a week for dinner and gives far too much advice on how we should live our lives. And most importantly that I require hours and hours of alone time to feel sane and safe, despite the social creature that he is.


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