Saturday, September 13, 2014

In the Wee Hours

I drove back to the cabin from Santa Fe in the wee hours last night. At first, I was feeling sorry for myself that my plane had been delayed by weather, and my near-two-hour solo drive began at midnight (1am Texas time) instead of 10pm. I bought a giant coffee at a 24hr McDonald's. The young man who was working the window was cheerful, and wished me a wonderful morning. That was the beginning of the turning. Then, I saw the cutest fox on the side of the Santa Fe bypass road. He wasn't running. He was sitting there, waiting for traffic (me, actually) to pass. I drove within a couple yards of him, and he smiled at me. Well, maybe he just broke into that toothy animal grin that means he was gulping extra air in anticipation of his jog across the road. But what I saw was a smile. Coming on the heels of the cheerful greeting from Coffee Man, it was enough. Enough to get my mind into a better frame. One that didn't waste the time in the car inaudibly moaning about my bad luck.

I tried several radio stations and finally settled on one that played classical music. It was perfect for that nighttime journey. I was grateful that I could find a strong signal that stayed with me almost to the cabin. I met very few other cars, so I was able to let my high beams carve the canyon, and that sweeping music made it a dance. Here I was, in a really nice Ford Flex (we call it Flex Luther, who as you know, rubbed elbows with Superman), driving in gorgeous country, listening to beautiful music. Even my coffee began to taste more like Starbucks and less like Mickey D's.

What a great, great blessing it is to travel today. I was very grateful to be in Austin for Harry Doss' funeral. It would not have been possible without modern conveniences.I flew through the air with the greatest of ease on the way there. And, all things considered, the extra wait at the airport on the way back would have seemed like a mere nano second to the people who crossed this country on foot. I was thinking about all the grumbling that occurred when we had to deplane in Dallas so mechanics could secure a loose carpet edge in our little jet.  Sure, everyone was tired. Tired people grumble if they aren't careful. The captain who called in the carpet caper was very sorry and apologized at every opportunity. The poor gate agent who kept having to announce delays and gate changes was brought to tears by demanding flyers. I loved one customer who saw the girl in tears and said to her, loudly, "How dare you make lightening strike nearby? How dare you keep the ground crew inside and safe from dying when they could be out there making our plane taxi to the gate!!!"  At first the girl heard only the loud voice. Then she heard the words and sunshine broke through her tears.

We landed safely in Santa Fe. My suitcase arrived with me. Flex Luther was waiting right where I left him. Coffee Man smiled. The fox smiled. The deserted canyon held tightly to the boulders that sometimes cavort down the cliffs and into the road. The radio station played strong and true. The cabin stood waiting on the side of the hill. What a nice way to spend the wee hours of the night.

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