Traveling Mercies

 I am a little wiggy, preparing to be away for three weeks on a book tour. As most of you know, I get homesick in Juneau. And now I have Fireman Al, the safety guy, talking on the radio about the hazards of travel. Today? Why?  Well, there are more hazards for the bumbling traveler than you'd think. Al said the gate could change on your flight and you may have to go to a different terminal and miss your plane. You could accidentally have a pocket knife in your backpack and be searched and seized and end up at Guantanamo Bay. (He didn't say that, I did. Not the knife and search part, the prison part.) But Al did warn of the dangers of driving down south. He just said, "There are a lot of people out there that want to rearrange the back end of your rental vehicle." Does he know I'm driving a rental car from Seattle to Portland? Now he's saying, "Sometimes, you pick up the rental car, and you say, wow, I don't even know where I am going... on some of those highways people are really not happy with someone looking at a road map going 20 mph." How does he know that's what I do? Is he reading my mind? (I am not making this up, I swear.) It is not just driving I have to worry about. Al is warning us that walking in cities is dangerous, too. (I'll be in a few, from Denver to San Francisco.) "In a lot of places out there, walking on busy streets and whatnot, people bump into you, and.. the next thing you know you are wallet-less." Oh God. I love Fireman Al, he saved my life when I was hit by that truck. But I have to turn off the radio now before I get the hives and have a mini-stroke. Also, Eliza's second graders are coming for the class picnic today and it is raining. And I have to pack, and I have to finish getting the garden planted. I mean, my book is called Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs, it is really bad karma to abandon the garden just because I won't be here for a while, right? Dear Lord, bring me safely to my journey's end, as the Book of Common Prayer says. (That would be Haines, AK on June 13, in case God's secretary needs to put that on his calendar. )

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