Monday, March 22, 2010


First thing each morning I check airfares. There’s an early summer trip looming, but the fares have stubbornly not budged from levels beyond what I would call reasonable. Ed’s tolerance is even lower. I shut down the various search engines and walk away without a booking.

What if we use miles? He asks. No, not for this. The taxes are so high that you feel scraped from all sides – goodbye miles, good bye savings.

What if we go this way... we trail off in speculative analysis of how to get from point A (somewhere in the Midwest) to point B (somewhere across the ocean) spending as little as possible.

So many combinations, so many frustrations. I give up yet again. Work pushes thoughts of fares aside.

But not entirely. The what if train keeps spitting out options and ideas and I click on this website and another, following strategies that some would regard as mildly nutty.

So many early hours of the day have been spent in this way! I sometimes wonder if the $100 saved in the end are worth the sheer effort involved. And of course, I’m now just a little more pressed for time as I dash out to catch the bus to campus.

...A bus that I manage to miss by ten seconds.

And so now it’s back to biking, even as I swear winter is nipping at my neck, just to show that it’s not entirely a done deal.

If I thought the lake would be ice free and balmy, I thought wrong.


Late in the afternoon, I push the bike up the hill home. In the condo, I take out the books I need for tomorrow’s classes, but I can’t concentrate. I call my occasional traveling companion. What if we took the cheap flight north, then south... He counters: no, what if we took it north east, then switched airlines...

Okay! I answer.
Just like that...? Okay...?
Yes, let’s just do it!
Let’s think about it.

The train that never stops.