For reasons unknown to me, my flight from San Francisco to Kansas City took me through St. Louis. I did not have to disembark. As we cruised into the airport, I located St. Peters, where my sister lives; and contemplated the ice floes in the Missouri River. Too late, I saw an old train trestle that I would have liked to capture for two of my photographer friends. They each have a fascination with rust.
As the plane lifted, I mused about my son and our sunrise / sunset cell phone pictures competition. All through his college years, we would send each other “top this” shots. He holds the record so far with a picture of a sunrise over the Colorado Rockies. I fumbled for for my phone and snapped away. The young man in the aisle seat smiled and shifted in the confines of his navy blue suit. Probably a lawyer, I thought, and went back to watching the sky.
Now I’m in Kansas City at my friend Rick’s house. The government has shut down, at least partially, which proves that it is possible for a nation to be as great as ours has always been and still make a laughingstock of itself on the global stage. In a little while, I will sort through and wrap the gifts for this evening’s gathering. I’ll get my rental car and swing by the little women’s march organized at the last minute. I brought the pink pussy hat that my son gave me for Christmas. I’ll wear it, even if I just stand on the side lines and applaud the marchers.
I don’t feel as though I’m home. I never lived in the northeast section of this town, where my friend lives. That could be part of my confusion. But neither do I feel like a stranger. A wistful sentiment has settled around me. I stretch my weakened muscles and remind myself that I need to refill prescriptions while I’m here. Tonight I gather with the Usual Suspects for a late Christmas party. Tomorrow we’re meeting Dr. Karr and her mysterious spouse for coffee. Next week, I’ll make two court appearances; see a few clients; have dinner with some cherished friends; and then, fly back to California. The rigorous schedule leaves no time for tears.
It’s the twentieth day of the forty-ninth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.