It’s 1:45 in the afternoon and here I sit, in the Dallas Fort Worth Airport, American Airlines Terminal B, to be specific. Back in the days when I was a regular business traveler, I was a member of the Admirals Club, a private lounge for American Airlines travelers willing to pay a hefty fee … in dollars or miles. The Club has comfortable seating, private working areas, and snacks … plus sandwiches and drinks for a price. If I was stuck with a three hour layover … like I have today … it was better than sitting at the gate. Quieter, for one, at least until business travelers starting bringing their kids along. Today, I am sitting at a counter with USB ports in the Gate B5 waiting area. I have no special attachment to gate B5 but there are no flight scheduled for the next several hours so it is relatively quiet. For about ten minutes, the alarm on an employees-only door kept going off, a high pitched squeal that leaves my teeth vibrating. Desperate for power for my laptop, I waited it out. A speaker on the ceiling over my head is prattling on about the madhouse that has become our national government. It is only slightly less annoying than the alarm. Terminal B mostly serves American Airlines secondary routes … like those to Huntsville, where I’m headed, so in front of me passengers trickle by in ones and twos, hunting for their departure gates or talking quietly. Even with occasional gate change announcements, it’s not a bad place to write, especially when there’s nothing else to do. It’s not the Admirals Club, for sure, but it’s better than the madhouse in terminal A, where I arrived from Socal.
Posted tagged ‘travel’
The refrigerator is empty. So are the closets. The cable and internet will turn off Sunday. Our personal items and a few decorator items we’ll keep are boxed and waiting to be loaded into the car. Our realtor, Kay, stopped by yesterday to tell us that based on the inspection report, the buyer has accepted the house as is … and the closing has been moved up to may 31. Without the personal items and with our grandkids in Utah, the house doesn’t really feel like the place we called our Little House in the Desert. Tomorrow, we will be Leaving Arizona. (more…)
For years, I was an engineer that wanted to be a writer, which means … wishing I was a writer instead. This in spite of the fact that one of the skills my employers always valued was my ability to write about the complex systems we were developing. So, I bought books on writing. I took classes and got a certificate in creative writing. I published a short story. I wrote an (unpublished) novel. I started this and several other blogs. But I didn’t become a writer in my own mind until I said, I am a writer. I still sometimes feel that I have to say it’s my avocation, not my vocation. Old habits die hard.
I have a similar issue with being an artist and in particular with Being (or Not Being) a Photographer. I have a nephew, Bryan, who has studied photography and posts beautiful pictures on Facebook, as well as on his website. He is trying to make a go of it as a professional photographer. He probably knows more about cameras, composition and things like depth of field than I will ever know. I use a camera that makes most decisions for me and my work depends on eye for interesting scenes and what I believe is a natural sense of composition. So, am I a photographer? Am I a photographer if I say it’s an avocation?**
On Tuesdays, at least for the time being, I am since I post one of my photos. This one was taken a the Piazza del Duomo in Pisa, Italy, home of the famous leaning tower. Not being a traveler or a history buff, I expected the tower to stand alone in the middle of a large square, not be part of a magnificent cathedral and baptistery. I snapped this shot of the cathedral and tower against the bright blue sky filled with cumulus clouds. It is one of my favorite pictures from the trip.
** If you struggle with calling yourself an artist, there is no better place to address it than Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.
My wife, Muri, and I are in the midst of a two city coast-to-coast trip to visit our families. We both come from small families that don’t maintain much contact with cousins, so at our age, visiting family means siblings, siblings-in-law, and their offspring. Oh, yeah, and at our age, their offspring’s offspring. Most of Muri’s family is concentrated within driving distance of Boston, so that was our first stop. We spent last weekend there. Monday, we flew to Cleveland, where my tribe lives these days. We are the outliers, having lived in California for 44 years, and while there have been a few West Coast visitors, for the most part if we wanted to see family, we flew East. Both Muri and I have a brother and a sister and in both cases, the middle child is the brother. Muri is the youngest of her siblings and I am the oldest. In an odd bit of symmetry, my kid sister and Muri’s older sister are both dealing with significant dementia, which was one of the reasons we decided to visit at this time. (more…)