My friend, Mindy, picked me up from the conference yesterday shortly after 1 p.m. I’ve known Mindy since college when she used to have dirty laundry piled waist high in her room. I’d be amazed because Mindy would emerge perfectly coiffed and gorgeous from her haphazard room, like a three-tiered wedding cake popping out of a hurricane.
Mindy drove me to gaze at the ocean and to watch surfers catching those legendary California waves. On a distant rock, we could see the lumpy bodies of sea lions at rest. What a beautiful place.
We spent some time at her house, catching up on news both new and old. Her husband–also a friend of mine from collect–arrived and we laughed and chatted some more. I also met her almost-18 year old daughter (we are getting old, all of us with our children rushing toward adulthood).
Then, we went to In-and-Out Burger, that famous California fast-food restaurant. I give two-thumbs up to the burger, but alas, the fries disappointed me.
Somehow, time slid away from us and suddenly we were frantically checking the clock and I was saying from the back seat, “So, are we close to the airport?” I wasn’t really that worried until Mindy said, “Well, if you can’t check your bag, we can always send it to you.” Until that moment, it hadn’t occurred to me that I might board the flight without my heavy orange-red suitcase.
We arrived without a minute to spare (literally, the woman said, “One more minute and I would have said, “No.”). It was 6 p.m. and my flight left at 6:33 p.m.
I used my fluffy hair as a shield so that my seat-mates wouldn’t think of talking to me. After six days of talking to strangers and vague acquaintances, I dreaded making any more small talk. (I am not talking about the Mt. Hermonistas, my three new BFFs you can see linked on Annie’s blog. Oh, and check out the video she posted. We find it hilarious, but maybe you had to be there? I make a brief appearance, so if you ever wondered what I sound like, now’s your chance! Click here.)
But, my hair only worked for awhile and then a man on the other side of the man next to me said, “MELODEE?” And I said (with a feeble wave), “Yes, it’s me!” before turning back to my book.
So, I’m home. I had to work at 10:00 p.m. until midnight, then my daughter woke up at 6:30 a.m. to curl next to me in bed and talk, talk, talk. She’s such a hoot. I really missed her–and in fact, missed everyone. (Absence makes the heart grow fonder, it’s true. Although I feel no more fond of the cats or the litter box than when I left.)