I LOVE to travel.  I think this bug was placed in me at an early age.  I ‘drove’ to Washington D. C. with my father doing the actual driving and sister in April 1960.  I took the bus between my hometown and my aunt’s new home four hours away in my early teens.  My first plane ride was when I was a junior in high school and flew from Bangor, Maine to WashingtonD.C. for a National Youth Forum.  I was one of two representative of our State Pilgrim Fellowship youth group.  First train ride was in 1968 from Boston to Utica, NY.  So I completed the ‘planes, train and automobiles’ in another pattern.

Last weekend Houston was the destination.  I actually have not flown much in the last few years.  Last July to Texas was my last flight and before that it had been a couple of years.  Mostly as it really is more fun for me to travel by car if I have the time and partially as a protest to the body screeners which I discovered still are in use in Houston and not Philly.

My husband used to travel about half the year.  This went on for a dozen +/- years.  He racked up a bunch of frequent flier miles so I got to travel with him some for free.  Those trips to England and France were great when he had to work over there.   I miss the free travel and then again the points did not go as far as they once did in the end of his traveling.  Instead of 25,000 points to go anywhere more and more it was 50,000.  I have no idea what it is now we used them all up when we saw the changes coming.

I am a people watcher as well and plane terminals and train stations are filled with all sorts of different people.  Today even more than when I was younger as international travel is so common.  I am fascinated with the international dress and fabrics and colors of the saris of the Indian women or other indigenous clothing.  Then you have the array of individuals who dress well let’s say individually.

Last weekend I was intrigued by a young woman with a head full of dreadlocks.  They were all about 12-18 inches long which I guessed meant that her hair was even longer as it was so wound up in the locks.  Some of them she had covered with colored string and ribbon.  I wondered first of all how she washed the whole mess. Then I wondered if each color on the individual braid meant something or if the particular braid that had the ribbon was different than another.  She was with another young girl and a guy.  They all were on laptops or pads.  If I had to guess an age I would say early 20s and in college.  They all also were cleanly dressed in jeans and shirts.  I think that is why the dreadlocks stood out so – they seemed off with the whole picture.  I will never know.  Should have posed as a reporter and asked!!!

One of my favorite poets Rod McKuen wrote a poem in the 60s in his book “Listen to the Warm” published in 1967 about trains.  The full text can be found at:

It starts out with the words, “People riding trains are nice…”  I find that people traveling in general can be as well.  There are the exceptions and we had one on Thursday!

Going through security at the airport takes planning if you have a number of bags. Amazingly for two people going away for three nights and days we had one small duffle on wheels with a briefcase on wheels and my large tote that I was carrying as a handbag.

My husband as I mentioned traveled tons and knows the drill.  He almost lost a laptop by someone grabbing the wrong tray!  In order for this not to happen he went ahead with the small briefcase and set that on the belt to go then the tray with the laptop then I was putting up the duffle and a tray with my shoes and another with the tote.  That was the plan so the laptop was sandwiched between only our stuff.

At the last second as I was reaching for a tray for my shoes which were already off a man stepped in front of me and started grabbing trays and disrobing.  He took off his jacket.  He took off his belt.  He put his luggage on the table and held up the whole line as he did not start anything on the belt.  The TSA lady asked him to move forward and he pushed his things along still holding up the line as he got all his pockets emptied.  I gave my husband a “HOW RUDE” look and forged forward.  The TSA lady gave me a glance as if to say “sorry” and we kept going.  He was asked to take off his shoes and said he did not have to as he was 75.  Had no idea that was a rule and they let him go with a comment that he did not look 75.  By the time he was redressing on the other side – not moving away from the scan area I had my tray gone around him and had my shoes back on and was ready to move down to our gate.  Some people riding planes are not so nice.

The plane was full on the return and we were on the two end seats of a three seat row.  Did not put our belts on as we knew the seat would be filled.  At the end of the line came this cute young girl who indicated she was at the window.  We got up and I said “we were waiting for you”.  We chatted a bit about the book she was reading and fell into a quiet comfortable silence of traveling companions who do not know each other.   As we were landing she asked if I was from New England to which I answered my usual, “Yes, I do pahk my cah in the yahd. I was born and raised in Maine.”  She smiled and we chatted as she loved Maine.  Her grandparents have a place at Goose Rocks.  Having lived for many years in southern Maine we had much to continue talking about as the wheels touched the ground.

I noticed her engagement ring and asked if the person that gave her that was going to meet her to which she answered a no her mother would be there instead.  She had a longing expectant expression as she said she had not seen him in a week and would the next day.   Off we went our separate ways.

People traveling can be nice…..




One comment on “TRAVEL

  1. If you are going this way—-they have the full body scan in Portland and Atlanta. If you are 75 you can leave your shoes on and if you are wearing a light jacket you can leave that on also. If not you still have to take off your jacket, shoes, empty all your pockets, take off the belt, yah,da,yah,da. Bruce still beeped last time and we figured it was the stent!! Not quite 75 yet but I passed with no problem and not sure I like that!!

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