February 25, 2012

The Seven-Dollar Suitcase

I'm a budget junkie:
I enjoy trolling the aisles
at Goodwill, Salvation Army
and the numerous resale shops
in and around Santa Fe,
and love to search out great deals
when I travel.

After attending classes in San Diego
and visiting there about every two months,
I've come to be a bit of an expert.
But ask where the fine
are located,
and I have no clue.
Conversely; ask me
for the best deals?
In Hillcrest:
I know the four resale clothing stores,
the hidden restaurants with owners
who recognize me (every two months!),
greet me and offer
breakfast or lunch under $10,
and the quirky neighborhoods
where simple, lovely homes and yards are located;
all within walking distance to my school.

Almost five years ago
I scored a great deal:
A carry-on suitcase
at Target ("Tar-jey")
for $7 on clearance!

It is bright orange - now faded
and grease-stained from
the numerous airports and dusty car trunks
it has traveled through.

It has been to San Diego,
(and through various airports on the way there),
eight times!
To Illinois twice.
I remember the airports
the suitcase
"has enjoyed":
I love flying over Balboa Park into San Diego Airport -
and what feels like landing on an island!
Moline (Illinois) "International" Airport -
the only place I recognize the view of
ant-sized towns, rivers and landmarks
hundreds of miles from landing...
Phoenix Airport - with the cool-est plane-themed carpet.
Salt Lake City Airport - best fine art on the walls,
and the location where I almost
had to perform CPR on an elderly woman
before paramedics arrived....
Houston Airport - where I always
consider buying a very large cowboy hat.
Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport- city-sized mall with airport addition?
Los Angeles Airport - my least favorite;
a drab camper-sized pod to wait for a plane.
San Francisco Airport - too foggy to see anything...
Denver Airport - mountains almost as beautiful as the ones here.
Atlanta Airport - where I was happy to meet a friend who lives there
for a quick lunch at the airport- Harriet; you rock!
And my favorite: Albuquerque Airport -
the only time I request a window seat!

My little orange suitcase was happy to tag along:
Hard plastic wheels making a racket on airport tiles,
while other travelers rolled pass - silently.
It gets tipsy; no matter how I pack it.
I loved it over thousands of miles in the air,
easy to spot among the black, red and navy blues
scattered on carts as I exit the plane,
or tiny and easy to fit and easy to grab
from cramped overhead bins.
And once I hiked
holding tight to the cheap plastic handle
from San Diego Airport
up a very rough and steep sidewalk
to the Hillcrest Neighborhood and Balboa Park;
about five miles uphill most of the way.

But the plastic "feet" opposite the hard wheels
are starting to give out;
and I don't think it is safe to roll any further.

So I will retire my little side-kick and offer my thanks
for some wonderful travels.

I was unable to find another $7 deal;
and had to buy a sturdy
somewhat boring
black carry-on,
with plans of attaching
a large Jolly Roger pirate patch,
some other colorful patches and ribbons
and complete its "attitude" necessary to travel with me.

I would love to share suitcase/bag stories
and photos if anyone out there
has any to offer.

Happy Trails!

February 11, 2012

"Why Don't (S)he Write?"

"Dances With Wolves"
is the story of Army Lutienant John Dunbar
who is posted at an abandoned small fort
in the Southwest in the 1860's;
and revolves around his meeting
with members of the Sioux Tribe in the area.

There is a great scene where Dunbar
and his wagon driver, Timmons,
on the way to the fort come across
a drying human skeleton on the prairie.
Timmons is this filthy, uncouth rumpled man,
who begins to giggle when he sees the skeleton
and says,
Somebody back East is saying,
"Why don't he write?"

I've been without a computer since November,
and in phone conversations with friends and family
(back East)
there have been queries as to
Why Don't She Write?

I am happy to report we have a new computer
and I am glad to be back.

I had to borrow a computer to post the
Moccassin blog,
but it just wasn't the same.

I've come to truly appreciate what
having a computer means:
When most radio commercials list "check out webpage".
When attempting to renew my medical license
and seeing the paper application only has a website for renewal.
When ordering a computer,
(the one we wanted was out of stock
in Santa Fe and the two locations in Albuquerque),
and they want my email address to contact me when
the computer comes in. (!)
Sorry: I don't have a phone that has email;
so getting a notification might be a bit tough.

The "cyber-fast" probably did me good.
Libraries offer free computer/internet use
you should call ahead to reserve
and only for 15, 30 or 60 minute
Or you'll walk into the library and
ask for computer use and be told,
"the first 15 minute computer is available in 2 hours".

I appreciate that they offer the service
and I enjoyed wandering the stacks,
finding a comfortable chair
and reading a good book for 2 hours
before getting wired.

I'm glad to be back
but I plan to stay off the computer
and continue to see more
away from the screen.
I've found harmony away from the computer, too.

One of the last lines in "Dances With Wolves"
is John Dunbar's description of the tribe:
"They were a people so eager to laugh,
so devoted to family,
so dedicated to each other.
The only word that comes to mind is harmony".