Thursday, March 23, 2006

I must admit, the smell of Oregon has appealed to me. It's been raining here and from the moment I got off the plane it was like visiting a city nestled into the forest. A damp pine forest. I mean, they make air fresheners that smell like this. And what's this? I can *smell it*. I normally can't smell shit. It's a pretty nice place to visit.

This visit for me is bittersweet. Once again, it's another in an long line of short contracts that involves me leaving home for a full week. My weekend, lasted only a little more than 24 hours. Baltimore, my family, it all seems like eons ago I saw them. But it hasn't even been a week. Thanks to my trouble with travel agents, I am about to embark Oregon into Airline hell. From Portland, I will be flying out to San Diego. I'm sure it's nice this time of year. Although, the airport terminal is where I will be -and it's probably 70 degrees year round.

I'll be in San Diego overnight. I'll arrive around midnight. And I will be "hanging loose" until around 7:30 in the morning. I'll then board a plane and fly to ... Vega. VIVA! LAS VEGAS! Yeah, that's right. The city of sin. But I'll only be there an hour or so (in the airport again). At that point I will board a plane and head on out to Columbus Ohio. My home. And when I arrive there, I will be committing another act of time travel. Flying forward through time, I will loose roughly three hours, arriving sometime in the afternoon.

And what do I have to look forward to next week, Maryland again?

I seem to remember looking at people in suits wandering around downtown like mindless sheep. I remember thinking to myself "that will never be me". I will never take some shitty job where you have to "dress up" to go to work. Yet here I am ... bouncing through flights trying to get home ... and stuffing my necktie into my backpack.

Just before I left town, my wife's grandfather was checked into the hospital for heart trouble. We rushed to the hospital as soon as we heard and found him sitting up in a bed chowing down on some hospital food like you wouldn't believe. For me, it was great to see him. He was a little tired from being probed and moved around for the past day and a half, but was otherwise looking good. I was glad we came. But he did that awkward thing that people of his age do: he reminisced. I understand it. And I hope that I will someday be able to look back and reminisce about a wonderful life with my grandkids. Yet, at the same time, it was very, very, saddening. This was his way to letting us know that "he's all right". A tender way of letting you know that he is happy with the life he's had, and he doesn't fear what's next even if that means passing on.

His biggest concern was of course for Grandma. He worries sick about her, as she has not been in the best of health either. Although, he looked good! How bad could the news be about these tests that they were performing. Pretty bad, it seems. The day after I arrived in Oregon I called my wife to learn that he was going to need an assortment of surgeries (immediately) or he had no chance of survival. The operation is planned for tomorrow of all days. So my wife will be stuck with my kids (they're off school) and most likely at the hospital to support poor Grandma where everyone will be praying for the best. And here I will be, sleeping in a terminal in San Diego. I should be home. Home needs me.

If anything good came out of this trip, it was my visit to the University of Oregons Library. It's an amazing collection of books that spans six stories, includes group study facilities on every floor, and several "quiet areas" that seat a hundred or more students each. Having nothing to do, and dreading "hotel living" I spent most of my free time there (before class, after class, lunches, etc). There was a vast collection of Buddhist books, some of which were copied from overseas and reprinted as "photo-stats". One book inparticular really impressed me, and I read the better part of it on my trip. I was so impressed, I went on Amazon this morning and bought it. It seems it's been reprinted several times since it was originally printed in 1960.

Well, I am off. Perhaps I will post more later. When I am trapped in San Diego.

Historic Comments mission_id=57

Hey Ray. I saw this and thought you would get a big kick out of it.


EvilRich | 05.09.06 - 8:03 am | #

Ray can u sexor my body?

Cerberus | Homepage | 05.13.06 - 9:44 pm | #

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