Escape from Winter - 2012 travel blog



Every time my 90+ year old mother is hospitalized, she is confronted with this question: “Can you tell me what day it is?” Last time she struggled to answer, I thought to myself, “I’m not sure what day it is either.” When you are retired, every day is pretty much the same. At home we try to plan our activities during the week time that most folks are at the office and stay close to home on the weekends and stay out of the way of working people. But otherwise one day is a lot like another. These days I am kept on track by my smart phone where I log appointments and events and the phone indicates the day and date, as well as the time. If the ER staff lets me peek at my phone I’ll be just fine.

Now that we are free from the responsibilities of work, we migrate toward warm weather and it can be hard to remember that it is February, still winter. My confusion is compounded when we stop at the hardware store which is selling the flowering annuals I usually plant at home in May. We spent the fall in Brazil where it was spring. It was a shock to the system to go from one of the longest days of the year to the shortest, just by getting on a plane. Summer solstice became winter solstice after twelve hours in the air.

Wherever we are we love to listen to National Public Radio. We can find NPR stations all over the country, but they vary greatly. In poor areas of the country perhaps the local stations cannot raise enough funds to pay for the nonstop national programing we enjoy at home. Or perhaps we are in red areas where the “leftist” coverage upsets those who prefer to listen to Rush and the pledge funds just trickle in. In these locations NPR is 90% classical music which must be very economical to program. It has been frustrating to be in the car and know that interesting stories are being aired that we cannot tune in. Recently, Ken has figured out how to wirelessly play his Iphone through the speakers in our car. With an app he can tune in WBEZ the NPR station in Chicago, and we can listen to the programs we are used to enjoying at home the very moment they air. Very cool! The coverage is seamless. As we drove past palm trees, we listened to warnings about snow falling and black ice on the expressways. At the intersection of Jackson and Jackson (can’t they think of any other names down here?) we heard that there were rush hour traffic delays on the Stevenson Expressway. My mind was transported home, while my body remained here in the warmth. No wonder I’m confused!

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