In the last week of September I made a trip that included six airports in Tennessee, Georgia, Colorado, Nebraska, Ohio and Massachusetts. It was necessary to arise early in the morning—including once at 3:00 and once at 3:15—and that’s a lot harder now than it was a few decades ago.
When planning this latest trip my initial goal was to make a speech in Kearney in west Nebraska, a smallish town that most people have never heard of, but in which I have now made two speeches. It takes three—count ‘em, three—airplane flights to get to Kearney, so the airline ticket is high. However, a quick check showed I could come back by way of Boston, stay a few days and return here, for little more than it cost just to fly round-trip to Kearney.
This put a whole new light on the subject. Gail and I have a grandson in Boston! I called my speech customer and we made a quick deal on travel expenses. He saved a bundle on my flight to Kearney and I got a bargain trip to Boston.
Gail met me in Boston—we bought her ticket with frequent-flyer miles—and we had a great time. Grandson Rowan is five, and a totally wonderful, handsome and brilliant young lad—yes, his mother and father (our son, Kevin and our daughter-in-law, Shirley) were there, and we enjoyed them, but Rowan is something special.
We went whale watching. Rowan wore out three adults as we constantly took him from one end of the boat to the other, upstairs and down, port to starboard, over and over. He loved the boat, the sea, the waves, wake, the engine noise and, well, just everything. We didn’t see a single whale, but Rowan had a wonderful time. The company—to our amazement—gave everybody on board a voucher for a free trip in the future, so now we have a good excuse to go back (as if we needed one). Rowan was so happy with the wonders of the boat that we got our money’s worth anyway.
The highlight for us, though, was the day/night son Kevin and daughter-in-law Shirley went out on the town, leaving Rowan with us. We picked him up at kindergarten and had him all to ourselves until his bedtime. Lawd, Lawd, we enjoyed that. If they’d done that two nights in a row we coulda had that boy saying y’all and eating grits!
We also helped Rowan put together two extremely complex Lego sets. Well, actually we sat there in dumb amazement as he put them together himself.
(Gotta say here that Kevin and Shirley are pretty special themselves. He’s a computer wizard, she a physician assistant. She also has a little business in her home. She makes colorful hats for scrub nurses and cancer patients and ships them all over much of the world.)
All in all, it was a good trip. We will, of course, go back.