Patti is a contributor to the Southern Authors blog A Good Blog is Hard To Find.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Traveling tends to offer me moments of insight and perspective, for which I am grateful.

On Friday I finished a fun signing in Charlotte (see picture below), when I finally got to board a plane (my seventh that week)to head home. I think my heart would have pulled me straight home if I hadn't flown....

Anyway, the plane was delayed an hour. Then it sat on the tarmac for an hour, and then it sat on the tarmac (again) in Atlanta for another hour. So a 45 minute flight turned into 3 1/2 hours. I was frustrated and wanted to cry (I didn't).

Then I finally deplaned and went to baggage claim where Blake Shelton's song, I Want To Go Home, ran through my head like a mantra. I want to go home. I want to go home. I want to go home. (You get it, right?)

Then my bag was taking eons, many eons, to come out of that black chute. I stood next to a young soldier in uniform.

"You coming or going?" I asked him.

"Coming home," he said, grinned.

"From?" I asked.
"Iraq. I've been gone a year."
I started crying. Right there at baggage claim. Like a baby.
My week gone now seemed like the mere bat of an eye. I shook his hand and told him how amazing he was and how glad I was that he was home safely.
My pitiful mantra could not have compared to his over the past year.
I want to go home.
How many more are saying that right now?

Another story about perspective from a traveler.
I am sitting in the Atlanta airport on a Monday morning waiting to go to my twelfth city in my birth state of New Jersey (wouldn't know it from my accent, eh?). Nothing offers more insight into FRANTIC STRIVING like the Atlanta airport on a Monday morning. The guy behind me was in a frantic and immense rush to get through the security line (aren't we all, by the way?). but I guess he assumed he was more important than the rest of us. He finally cut in front of me, rolling his little roller bag over my foot, and then changed lines five times looking for the fastest way through the massive crowd. he did get through security two people ahead of me. Good for him, right?
Then I get to the gate and he is sitting there waiting for the same plane as I am. Shows where FRANTIC STRIVING gets you, right? To the exact same place as everyone else, just a bit more frazzled. My conclusion: steady, calm determination will get you to the exact same gate, boarding the exact same plane.
You apply as you see fit.
And enjoy the pictures below from last week.....more to come later.
This is my friend, Karen Zacharias, who gave me the grand tour of Fairhope, Alabama. We should all be so lucky as to live in a city like Fairhope. Amazing. My college friends, David and Lee Milstead came out, and blessedly, did not tell any college stories about me. Page and Palette is a dream book store to visit in Fairhope....GO!

These four women are the blessed among us -- middle and high school English teachers....what we do without them? They came to Charlotte and made my day as they made me laugh -- and what is better than that?


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