Wednesday I bid Florida farewell and returned to
the motherland Texas. It was another full day of travel with 3 layovers. And because the Airline Gods deem it so, one of those stops included flying beyond El Paso all the way to Phoenix. It doesn’t make sense to me either. (Sidenote: Arizona, save for Navajo country, doesn’t do that whole Day Light Savings thing. I didn’t realize you could just opt out. Interesting!)
Though my time in Tampa was short and it wasn’t the greatest of circumstances, it really was a wonderful visit. It had been two years since I last saw my dad or my grandma, so I was overdue. Even though she is sick, my grandma is still very much my grandma. She’s busy worrying about everyone else and trying not to make a big deal out of it. I took her some pictures from my trip to Australia and she asked me lots of questions about traveling.
She even got sassy commenting that Stephen better treat me right or he will have to answer to her. Ha! I told him. He assured me that Grandma Jane has nothing to worry about.
That wasn’t the only little nugget of conversational gold that I got out of the trip. I met Richard, a 92-year-old WW2 veteran and my grandma’s neighbor. He had some pretty good stories to tell. When I asked him the secret to staying healthy for so long (no joke, Richard was spry. He even still drives himself around!), he said it boiled down to two things:
- Genetics. (Not much you can do about that one, folks.)
- Nutrition. He has family members that are very interested in healthy eating and so he mostly ate healthy his whole life.
One of my dad’s neighbors stopped over for a bit and swapped stories with us about how to get those darn armadillos to stop digging in your garden. She tried everything from human hair (pulled out of her hairbrush) to broken glass in the flower bed. Whatever she did, it worked because the armadillo stopped digging in her yard and started digging in my dad’s!
This last one is my favorite:
I got to talking with my row-mate on the flight from Charlotte to Dallas. We were talking about where we had been and what we were up to. He was a South Carolinian on his way to Roswell to help his best friend move. (What a nice guy!) I was tell him how I didn’t like the humidity and that dry heat was more my thing. He disagreed saying that being in the desert gives you, “boogers so sharp they could cut glass.”
Ah, the people you meet when you travel!
Do you talk to strangers when you travel? Made any new friends that way? When Stephen went to Munich for Oktoberfest last year, he became bffs with half the people there. He came home telling me about this guy from Austria and that guy from Idaho and he knew all their names.