Friday, March 20, 2020

Botanical Delights and Strains of Solo Travel


It is Thursday, and my brother, my sister-in-law and her granddaughter Tasha are at LOVES truck stop souvenir shopping.  Tasha has promised to bring souvenirs home to her kids. 

My nephew's wife texts me, "Where are you?"

I text her back and with 15 minutes they are there to wisk me off for some sight-seeing.  YEAH!!!

They take me to the Botanical Gardens.  I am excited because I have heard that the desert really blooms after a rain, and it sure has been raining!

They also took me to the hole in the rock which was next door. 

Thank you Tom and Sara, Jack and Mike for taking me along on your tourist adventures!

We then returned to my brother's home and prepare to all go together to dinner.  Some bars and restaurants were already closing due to the COVID-19 virus. We all were still in denial, I think.

Feeling the Fear

It is Friday, 3/13/2020.  I am still in Arizona.  I have moved on from staying at my brother's home to an Airbnb five miles away.  It was in my plan to be here.   The host of the house doesn't live here.  I came in late at night and I don't know if there is anyone else staying here, though I did see a car in the driveway last night.

The owners come in and clean with soap that contains too much perfume.  But it is clean and dry and the window works so I can let fresh air in. 

The evening before was stressful.  We have had too much together time, and my efforts to be helpful came across as intrusive.  Some words were said that hit where I know my personality is faulty.  Though I love being a strong woman, sometimes I plow ahead without consulting others and I step on people's toes. 

I think it got to me even more because I was trying so hard to not be a bother but an asset.  I didn't sleep well, and this morning I feel ... almost sick from the hang-over and stress.

Plus, right now, with the Covid-19 scare growing world-wide, any inkling of illness makes one more afraid than normal.  We all become a little more like a hypochondriac.  It is only natural to wonder.  And then trying to figure out how to fix my personality flaw or if I should even try at the ripe old age of 66 has me missing George so much.

I miss having someone at my side to love me anyway.  Someone to hold my hand, provide a warm hug.  Someone to talk to about the ache in my heart and the funky feeling and the fear.

I want to be home.  My good friend Debra calls me "The General".  She knows about and has experienced my personality quirk and accepts it as just a part of me.  I miss her.

I am sitting on the edge of my bed in the small den/bedroom that is my room for four nights.  I call my sister, feeling very alone and needing to hear her voice.  She doesn't answer, I leave a message.

A few minutes later she calls me back.  She was just going to call me, she said.  She went to the Rhinelander, WI library and there was my book on display,  Alzheimer's Trippin' with George!  She took pictures and sent them to me.

I told her I was thinking I should change my flight because I was afraid they would cancel flights because of the COVID.  I told her I had not planned my trip well.  I was trying to get around by trike but didn't plan any rides or destinations and it was threatening rain all the time.  I told her about the stressful last evening and I started to cry.

She said such wonderful kind words and encouraged me to change my flight and head home early.

Ok,  I am supposed to be a person that travels and enjoys different places.  I see myself as a strong independent woman.  But when I am traveling solo and hit a snag, I am not such a good traveler.  I just want to be home.

I change my flight.  Southwest allows the change without penalty, but inevitably, the new flight costs over $200 more.

Friend From the Past


I had planned on meeting a childhood friend for breakfast on Saturday.  Right after I changed my flight I notified her of my plan changes and she offered to drive me to the airport!   Whoo hoo!  Thank you, Jan!   

I then called my brother and he wanted to join us for breakfast on Saturday, before I left.

In the morning on Saturday I rode the trike the 18 miles back to Bob and Rose's to return it.  I arrived at 8:30 a.m. and I had time to chat with them a while before they headed out for a ride on their trikes.  Rose was packing for a ski trip.  I have yet to call to see if she actually went.

At 9:15 I met my brother at the entrance to their gated community.

Larry drove me to the restaurant where we were to meet Jan and her husband Doug.  I had chose a restaurant by a high-speed train stop thinking I was going to take the train to the airport.

Thank you so much for taking the time and effort, Larry.  I feel loved!  

My only regret is I didn't get a picture of Larry and me together.   

Before we parted ways he took a picture of Me, Doug, and Jan.

Why didn't we think at that point to get a picture of Larry and me?   "Regrets, I have a few..."

When I scooted into the back seat of Jan's car she had my book, Alzheimer's Trippin with George on the seat!  She had just gotten it and she asked me to sign it.

When I got on the plane to Tampa, Florida, I got out my germ-fighting wipes and wiped down the buckle, the table, the arms the window... anything I thought I would touch.   I didn't accept any snacks or beverages on the flight.  I was grateful that the seat next to me was empty.

When I got home I wanted to hug everyone.  I was SOOO glad to be home.  But, no hugging.  We are doing the "Social Distancing" now to greatly reduce the rate of transmission of Covid-19.

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