Wednesday, January 08, 2014


I am on a flight from Detroit to Ft Meyers and I am breathing a deep sigh of relief. There are a thousand reasons why a flight out of the Midwest this week may well have been cancelled, but the biggest reason for my quite possibly not being on this flight had nothing to do with the polar vortex. It had to do with me being just too damn cavalier about travel.

To have you understand how stupid I was about this trip, I'll say this much. At 8 a.m. I considered fitting in an exercise module before heading out to the airport. I began watering plants that only more or less needed water. I asked Ed what he would like for breakfast. And then I glanced at the kitchen clock. 8:02. Wait a minute! Doesn't my flight take off at 9?!

It does. And it did. And I was on it only because Ed knows how to fly down stairs when called upon to do so, and the Ford Escort started despite the -11F reading outside, and I live twenty-seven minutes away from the airport (if I really step on it and no police officer flags me down). Credit should also be given to passengers who let me budge toward the front of the line at security, though honestly, by that time I knew I was safe.

I cannot easily explain my lackadaisical morning. Ed and I were exchanging Internet stories as early as 6 in the morning. I was in no hurry -- I had plenty of time. But somehow in my mind's eye, I fixed the departure time from the farmhouse at 8:30 instead of 7:30 and I simply never altered that image, even as another part of my mind knew that the flight took off at 9. Put it this way: I know how to compartmentalize and sometimes this serves me well. This was not one of those times.

So no photo of breakfast today. I popped a granola bar into my pocket and in Detroit splurged on a Starbucks (it's been years, it seems) and there, too, I was lucky because I had the briefest possible connection time, which this week should have made for a disaster, but I am flying on the first day of the year when there are no flying issues at all and so now here I am on the plane to Ft. Myers.

And as the plane pushes off above the frozen tundra that is the Midwest, the passenger behind me says (in between coughing fits, how pleasant is that!)  -- good bye ice and snow for the year!

There are a lot of seniors on this flight heading south for the season.

And I am one of them, albeit for the briefest possible season of only one day.

Well you might ask -- why go now, why Ft. Myers and why so short?

I hadn't planned on a Florida trip, but my good friend just this week moved with her husband to a new home by the sea (in Venice) and everything about this move spiked my curiosity so here I am, their official first overnight visitor.

How is Florida, you ask?

Well, actually cloudy on the day I arrive, but my God! It's in the sixties! I'm tempted to drive from the airport with the window down, but I'm still fighting the chill of the Midwest and, too, of the Delta flight which, quite unfortunately, had a window that was broken on the plane and that window happened to be by my seat and so I had a nifty breeze coming in from way up high where the temps are EVEN COLDER than down below (if you're wondering why I wasn't sucked out and sent flying down to earth -- well, there was one thin piece of glass still standing between me and the great expanse out there... but it was cold!)

I cannot come to Florida without posting this:


And of course, the sea. (Is the Gulf of Mexico a sea?)


And at dinner, I'm told that grouper is to Florida like whitefish is to Wisconsin. So we go to their local pub and get grouper sandwiches.


And tomorrow I plan on spending most of the day outdoors because you know what? I'm not likely to get frostbite.