Jeanne Hewell-Chambers

& her barefoot heart

Tag: travel (page 1 of 3)

Wheels Up!

Monday, 25 Aug 2014.

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It’s striking how much the sunrise looks like the sunset from this high up. I’d show you a picture to prove my point, except I can’t get my damn camera out of my new pink bag that’s under the seat in front of me in time to snap the sunset because the woman has her seat reclined to the maximum quarter inch allowed. We paid Delta $69 each for 3/4 inch more leg room . . . but we didn’t get it on account of an equipment change. How do I know? I asked the flight attendant. But not until we were in landing mode, knowing that I would spend the entire 8 hours worth of flight time fuming and feeling even more claustrophobic. “Will the extra fare we paid automatically be refunded to our credit card?” I asked.

“No. You’ll have to call a Delta agent at the one-eight-hundred number when we land,” she says.

This is ridiculous, and though it’s true to my experience with Delta, I remain hopeful that it’s untrue. I spent money texting my sister (a Delta gate agent) asking her to check and make sure we’re refunded. It ought to happen automatically, we both agree. Cross your fingers that she remembers to look into it and take care of it if needbe. For Delta’s sake, I hope to see a refund on our credit card statement without me having to spend an additional thirteen hours waiting online to request something we paid for but did not receive.

I am a firm believer in having those who work in the healthcare field being patients at least once a year, and I now suggest that the CEO of Delta who assured us of Delta’s commitment to service and satisfaction in the little video we were all forced to watch sit in the sucks-to-be-you seats at least twice a year. Without anybody knowing who he is, I mean.

The way the air conditioner blows behind me (no amount of readjustment changes it to blow anywhere near my hot self) and the way my light button turns on not my light but the light of my seat mate makes me suspect that Delta once ripped out all the seats in this plane and squished them together upon re-assembly, giving them a full 15 or so rows of tickets they could sell.

Yes, I am cranky. Not sleeping for 3 nights does that to a girl. I doubt even the sleeping pill would’ve induced sleep sitting straight up in a sardine can.

In honor of going to Ireland, I re-read John O’Donohue’s book Beauty. On page 18 I read about stale ways of seeing that block possibility, so I’m determined to find something, well, beautiful. Right here, right now that has to be The Engineer. Bless his heart, his brain is so brilliant, so simple, so exasperating at times. He sits there with his earbuds in, watching some movie on the tiny little screen in front of him and, when asked if he’d like something to drink, he shouts his answer quite loudly to be heard over the voices only he can hear. Yes, laughter is my beautiful, now and always.

To pass the time, I watch 6 episodes of Game of Thrones – episodes skip me seasons ahead of where we are watching at home, but it doesn’t pose much of a problem, really. Costumes that bring on drooling. Flags and banners that make me want to create one specially for us. Men and women who apparently don’t have enough to do tending to their own proverbial backyard, so they go out into the world and try to create a bigger backyard for themselves through conquest. I don’t think I missed all that much.

One of the documentaries is called Mondays in Racine, and it profiles two sisters who open their salon on Mondays to women who are going through the woes of cancer. “We feel beautiful when we are loved, and to evoke an awareness of beauty in another is to give them a precious gift they will never lose. When we say from our heart to someone, ‘You are beautiful,’ it is more than a statement or platitude, it is a recognition and invocation of the dignity, grandeur, and grace of their spirit.” (John O’Donohue, Beauty, page 15) This . . . this is what these sisters do. This . . . this right here is why I spill a few tears at the sight of the sisters holding the hands of women getting their heads shaved. At the sight of the sisters crying with them at the shock and loss and reality of it all. Yes. Beauty.

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I work up a sweat, but I do finally manage to wrench the camera from my bag – just in time to see sunrise over Ireland.

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And ribbons for our landing.

Ah, beauty.

~~~~~~~

Next installment in Another Great Adventure 2014:
Things We Now Know and Things We Still Don’t Know

have studio will travel

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This is my makeshift studio for two weeks. Bless my heart, right?

Speaking of shopping (not that I was, exactly, but it’s never a big leap to shopping), as I dashed through a fabric store recently, I happened to catch a glimpse of stick-on finger protectors. Bought me a package and they work so good, I’m planning to buy ’em in bulk from here on out. Not like I need a bonus, but I figure I’ll make more friends now that I don’t have to walk around with my middle finger stuck up in the air to stop the throbbing.

Here’s the Church and Here’s the Steeple, Open the Doors and . . .

The Short Version:

  • New York is fun.
  • And beautiful.
  • And a bit wacky.

The Longer (Illustrated) Version:
I am in New York City visiting my cousin Stacy and my other cousin (and his wife), Ginger. Being here in their beautiful 3-bedroom apartment on the Episcopal compound (don’t know the official name since I’m not exactly fluent in Episcopal) is like being in the magical world of Hogwart’s . . .

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Yesterday I spent some time roaming the Cathedral of St. John the Divine where I saw some pretty magnificent things . . . like stained glass:

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and likenesses carved into pews:

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and floors that sure look like quilts to me (quilts that were much more captivating when I stood right there on them than when I climbed up high and tried to get a picture of the “quilt” in its entirety):

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On the way back to their apartment, I looked at the cracks in the sidewalks and saw churches and steeples, some caught in the act of being struck by lightning:

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Fortunately the lightning only took half the steeple each time:

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Sometimes lightning only sheered off the point at the top:

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I saw a high rise church built on a mountain (or half a high rise church built on half a mountain for those of you who are more factually inclined:

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And best I can tell, this is 5.25 of the Ten Commandments, undoubtedly put on legs to save them from The Flood:

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Oh, and we rode the subway last night (a first for me on my fourth visit to The Big Apple) to Little Italy for supper, and I want you to know: I hadn’t been on the train a nanosecond when a fella in a red jacket hopped up and offered me his seat. He’s in construction, and I’m a little offended that he didn’t whistle at me as he offered me his seat. I broke all the rules, though, and not only made eye contact with him, but enjoyed talking to him. (Something that would’ve been much easier had he come with subtitles.)

1 stitch, 2 stitch . . . and that’s about the size of it

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sometimes i think a piece will never get finished.

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and then I remember how little I’ve been at home in the templum
since late january

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and i can’t decide whether to be
relieved to have an excuse

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or annoyed that i can’t seem to get
anything done when traveling..

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i like portability.
but just because it will fit in a bag I can sling over my shoulder

doesn’t mean any forward motion will happen.
i have to work on that.

[ ::: ]

today’s post is an excuse
(signed by my mom, of course, because she’s with me at the beach, you know)
(does this little tidbit help you read between the lines of this post?)
explaining why I have nothing
absolutely nothing
to take off the wall
as part of Nina Marie’s Off The Wall Friday.

sigh.

the large and the small of it

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big cloth gives me confidence
small cloth gives me portability.

two sides to every ship

port (left) side of the ship:

 

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starboard (right) side of the same ship:

 

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there are fewer than 2 minutes separating the photos. i’m sure there’s a metaphor hidden in there somewhere, but i’m too tired to recognize it now.

 

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tonight was a night for swapping addresses and phone numbers
and saying good-bye-but-i-promise-i’ll-stay-in-touch
with new friends.
and you know what? i think we really will.

 

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our daughter sang to us in the piano bar tonight.
seems the perfect segue as we transition
out of one week into the next.

 

s . . . s . . . s

Mountains

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i’ve been many places
in the past several weeks,

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traveling for many reasons,
all reasons involving other people.

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some folks are quick to divide people
into two groups:
those who like people
and those who don’t like people.
i continue to bump up against
that categorization,
but i no longer spend time and energy
trying to explain that i, too, like people
just in different doses.
defending and explaining is time and energy better devoted
to what my soul must have
as nourishment:
space,
silence,
solitude.

Solitude

i always said i was gonna’, day 10 (on 11)

i always said i was gonna’ take some little road trips all by myself, and well bless goodness if i didn’t just up and do it yesterday – and i wound up walking on holy ground . . .

~~~
i always said i was gonna’ just pull over and take pictures. i’ll admit to being a teensy bit worried about whether mother’s dainty little sedan could take pulling over on these country roads, but you know that ole’ girl did just fine. i believe she’s got an inner suv that had itself a big ole’ time.

now my boy kipp and i call them story (STOW ree) houses cause they just conjure up the storyteller in us, and we always said that one day we’re gonna’ just stop and take pictures when we see one. well, i started without you, kipp:
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i’d no doubt be telling completely different stories if i’d ever had to pick cotton:
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to prove i was where i said i was:
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“i ‘spect people picked at him on account of the way he dressed,” whispered blondell. “i got a cousin just like that,” i told her. “his mama didn’t have any more sense than to bring him down from new jersey dressed in linen shorts, knee socks, and a little ole’ beanie cap to match. he’s episcopalian now.”
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a chunk of boo radley’s tree. the knot hole’s down in the gift shop. they sell chewing gum out of it.
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a juror’s chair. i tend to believe blondell when she says this is the original seat.
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me. sitting in the witness chair. (yes, of course i took the fifth.)
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the witness spittoon. “can you imagine,” blondell asked me, “spittin’ in public RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF ALL THESE PEOPLE?” i could not.
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the courtroom itself from the public entry:
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and finally, the picture de resistance snapped by me. sitting in the judge’s chair. you knew i’d do it, didn’t you?
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to be

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long, full, adventurous day.
but it’s late,
and i’m tired to the bone,
so
i’ll have to tell you about today tomorrow.

A Month With My Mother, Day 4

today i’m pondering a big ole’ question:

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