Always Be Prepared for a Revolution

I was discussing the need to be flexible in planning a vacation with Kelly the other day. With so much of the world constantly in upheaval whether it be because of unexpected weather events such as earthquakes, hurricanes, mudslides, or snow in areas unaccustomed to extreme winter conditions, or a terrorist attack or civil unrest, one must always have a back-up plan.

While this is not new and I admit we never had a Plan B, it is nevertheless an excellent idea. Years ago, Dad’s parents planned a magnificent trip to Cyprus, which is a beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea—south of Turkey and west of Syria.

Knowing the geographical location of this island and being the nervous-nelly that I am, I would never consider such a trip, but your grandparents were adventurous back in 1974. So they made their travel arrangements, and while in the air, a revolution broke out on the island. The pilot decided to divert the plane to Cairo, Egypt.

The inflexible, grumpy passengers aboard that airliner chose to remain in the hotel that they were placed in and had an awful vacation, but others, like Dad’s parents, decided to make lemonade from those Egyptian lemons and visited the Great Sphinx of Giza, the pyramids, and a few random temples.

The moral of the story is to always be prepared to bend when the unexpected happens. Like the tiny town of Gander, Newfoundland, which opened their restaurants, hospitals, homes, and hearts to passengers diverted there on September 11, go with the flow and be receptive to detours.


I Love You All…But

I was lying on a table in the doctor’s office this morning, waiting for the doctor to inject his magic pain-relieving potion into my hip. Why is this happening? I thought. As far as I know, Grandpa never had issues with that part of his body. It was his back that bothered him—the reminder of the injury he sustained during his war-time train accident in Georgia. Grandma’s problems have been about falling and breaking various bones, but I never heard her speaking of arthritis in her hip.

I mentioned to the doctor that I will be driving to New Jersey on Friday—a trip of at least twelve hours. I needed reassurance that my orthopedic doctor was not wrong in his assurances that I would be better for the wear after the shot.

“Do you have family there?” he asked as he was preparing his weapon. I chuckled to myself and knew that the question would be different if I were lying on a table in New Jersey days before driving down here to South Carolina. Wouldn’t that Jersey doctor say instead, “How nice? Where are you going—Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, or Charleston?” He wouldn’t assume I was going to visit family.

Look, I love my family and friends up there. We moved back to New Jersey from New York because I missed my home state. But things have changed. I have changed. Why would anyone go to New Jersey intentionally at the end of October unless they had family or a wedding to attend?

It’s cold and it could snow. My friends and family have been informed by me many times that my policy is to avoid the Garden State at almost all costs during the winter. Knowing that a snowstorm tore through the state on Halloween just four years ago, causing widespread power outages, shutting down businesses, schools, and even canceling Halloween made me realize that winter begins much earlier than December 21 in New Jersey.

So we will pack our warm clothing, and hope for the best. There is no doubt that we will have a wonderful visit, but I will be happy to return to my lilies and azaleas still growing in my yard. And to my peeps up North, let me remind them that there is always room at the Hole-Inn-One. The rates are very reasonable!

Autumn Yard
                     Autumn Yard