Today I’m thankful for friends.
My best friend is here! They used to live in the same town but moved across the country for work. They have flown back to visit people they miss and they are staying with me! This is this person I can discuss labor history with, especially as it relates to contemporary theater, and just about every other random shit we feel like. It is my turn to visit them next, probably next year. I miss this!
Today I’m thankful for safe travels.
I navigated the skies safely. My trip was fruitful. I didn’t intend for there to be a lapse in posts but I was completely exhausted. I caught an airplane cold. My flights were without incident, and I was actually able to upgrade to first class for the first time in my life. It was an exceptional experience. I will probably continue to be relegated to cattle class, but they can’t take my short taste of leg room.
Still not me, but a little closer.
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Today I’m thankful that I understand how modern aircraft fly.
I do not enjoy flying. I did all right until stuck with my sister on a interminable, turbulent transoceanic flight. She exclaimed “Weeeee!” more than once. I was already unhappy about being crammed in a giant metal cylinder so high in the air that humans would suffocate outside the cabin. She was the final tiny nudge.
I have to fly soon. It’s a personal trip that I didn’t receive much advance notice about. There are no direct flights between the nearest airport and my destination so I’ve got layovers both there and back. I’m not particularly happy to be making the trip. I’ll keep telling myself it’s all about lift.
I love my sister but I don’t travel with her any more than strictly necessary.
This is not me.
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Today I’m thankful for Reykjavik.
I spent four days in Reykjavik in 2014. Icelandair ran a wildly inexpensive promotion. I’d planned to travel on my own but as soon as I told my mother she asked to come along. She is a great traveling companion so I really didn’t mind. She broke her fibula about four weeks before our travel date. The woman is made of stern enough stuff that she still came, fracture and all!
Iceland doesn’t feel entirely real. It’s difficult to describe. There are very few trees. The city of Reykjavik is spotless. Most of the buildings are clad in metal against the climate, but they are painted numerous cheerful colors. I felt like I was in a well designed saga whichever direction I turned. The people were reserved but very helpful. My hair was almost sparkly after being washed because the city water is from actual glaciers and hot springs. Even the snow was picturesque. It was an special trip.
Today I’m thankful for Pasadena, Newfoundland and Labrador.
I’m tickled that this place exists. I’ve been to Pasadena, California. I stayed there while attending a conference in Los Angeles. It’s a beautiful city full of flowers, fantastic old buildings and very tasty food. It’s warm all year long AND the home of the Rose Bowl (if that’s your sort of thing).
I know that Newfoundland is known for being scenic and culturally rich. It isn’t, however, warm year round. Still, the folks who founded the town thought highly enough of their home to name it after a truly lovely place and that is awesome.
Today I’m thankful for opportunities to learn about social media notifications.
This happened about a year ago. I have no excuse beyond low-grade technophobia.
I’d noticed that some of my uni friends were travelling and updating their profiles with all the places they visited. I don’t travel as much as I’d like but I’ve been some interesting places and wanted to share them. I spent a hour updating my history and went to bed.
My sister messaged the next morning because she received almost a hundred notifications, all along the lines of “(I) was here!”. I’d apparently missed unchecking that one small box for which notifications I wanted to send. I immediately apologized to everyone and went dark for a week.
Today I’m thankful for the singular woman who was Margery Kempe.
Margery Kempe is known for producing the first autobiography in the English language. She was also a fearless woman who birthed many kids, went on pilgrimages alone (in the 14th century no less), claimed to be a mystic AND was accused of heresy. Accounts say she had the questionable gift of endless tears. For someone who was basically a medieval housewife Meg got shit done. I’m still trying to figure out my taxes.
Almighty Wikipedia is a good place to start. I’m a fan of the summary by the ladies at Frock Flicks (all of their material is protected by copyright-I’m linking for informational purposes only).
Today I’m thankful for my car.
I abhor road trips. I really can’t drive more than six hours at a time. I get stiff and my knee locks up. I drive fast to get them over and done with. Honestly, probably too fast.
My car is old, but it still runs pretty well and it goes fast. On a trip I settle in, get up to traffic flow speed, and hope that the short in the electrical system won’t make the dash lights flicker more than usual. I’d wager that my car has a history. I’ve had other vehicles with personality – one blew carbon monoxide back into the cabin and the wipers engaged when I turned left. It was a shaking death trap. My mother actually apologize for making me drive it. My current car gets me where I want to go quickly and in relative comfort.
Today I’m thankful for hiking.
I was able to spend a few days hiking in the mountains several months ago. I enjoy hiking. I detest camping. So when I say “spend a few days hiking in the mountains” it means it was more rambling after lunch and sleeping on comfy beds. No tents were harmed by use. We were at least above 2,100 meters (7,000 feet) the entire time. The picture is what I saw each morning.
It was stunning. I grew up in a very flat region. It was heavily glaciated during the last Ice Age. Flat really is flat. I love the mountains and am happiest in them. John Muir got that bit right. I wish I could claim some ancestral link to mountain dwellers, but that’s nonsense, and my folk mostly came from marshy areas. We’re people of the flat and wet.
Today I’m thankful for out-of-town drivers.
Learning the layout of a new place takes me a while. I navigate about as well as a concussed hamster. I try not to be the driver going below the speed limit and looking around so I don’t miss my turning. I pull into a lot and reconnoiter.
I was stuck behind one of them today. I couldn’t pass as a bus was approaching in the opposite direction. I reminded myself that they were probably injecting money into the local economy and satisfied myself with muttering under my breath.
We’ve all been that driver at some point in a new town. Extend the patience you wish someone’d shown you, then rant when you get home. It’s less distracting when you’re not driving.