Monthly Archives: October 2013

Not All Those Who Wander Have Colds (with apologies to JRR Tolkien)

Unfortunately, I am a wanderer with a cold. No longer contagious, I believe since this is now the tenth day, but it matters not because tomorrow at 7AM I board a plane to Dallas and from there to Orlando. I have meds. I have my aloe-infused tissues (because there’s nothing worse than arriving in Florida with a red nose). I have my nasal spray, Vitamin C and B 12, but what I really need is a sign that says “It’s OK. I’m OK. You can sit next to me.” Because we all know just how much room there isn’t on your typical 737 these days.
What makes my “I’m fine” a bit hard to take is that I’m still coughing (Halls, anyone?) and every conceivable free spot in my carry-on has those tissues stashed for easy access. However, I am able to breathe without sounding like Darth Vader on a bad day on Tatooine. This should be reassuring to the person sitting next to me for 2.5 hours and then again for 2.5 more hours after a lengthy layover in Dallas. Right? Nein, nyet, non, no way and nunca! I am as guilty as everyone else who deplores the idea that any sane person would get on a plane…a germ breeding metal tube with recycled air…and subject the rest of us to his or her coughs, sneezes, and snorts. It’s right up there for me with kids who kick the back of my seat or the person in front of me whose seat is so far back I could give him (or her) a scalp massage. So. Here I am on the other side, hoping my fellow travelers will understand.
You see, I have a great reason for braving the flight lanes…my family (small but mighty) is meeting in Florida to commemorate my father’s 100th birthday. We decided to do this shortly after he died and this is the year…October 11, 2013 my father would have hit the century mark. So, we’re meeting at my sister’s new abode, sharing memories and pictures, and going out to dinner at his favorite spot. We don’t get together all that often. Real life and all that. But this is one day I won’t miss. The chance to talk about someone so important in all our lives is a chance not to be missed, even when I’m sniffling from a cold…and some tears.
So maybe I should wear a sign that says….”I’m OK, really. Going to Florida to celebrate the birthday of an awesome man on 10/11. Excuse my cold.” Then I’ll offer a Werther’s Butter Cream…or even better, some spice drops. They were my dad’s favorite. Along with popcorn and cheese and Wheel of Fortune.
Happy Birthday, Dad! We love you.

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