The road well-traveled beckoned, and I am once again a traveler.
But not yet on the road. More accurately, in the air. No superhighways, or roads of any kind, yet link the east coast of the U.S. with any European land, so I was forced to board a jet plane. An American Airlines plane, my seat assignment far, far in the back of the plane.
I don’t know how long the plane had been in the air before I was ready to disembark. Unfortunately there were too many hours before my feet landed on terra firma. I could not sleep, the seat too small, too uncomfortable, with not enough leg room. My body contorted into shapes my aging body should not have to experience. Sore bones, tight muscles, itchy skin.
So why am I putting myself through this agony on an aircraft?
To reach a destination on the other side of the pond – Scotland. Land of whiskey, the Loch Ness monster, kilts, Celts, clans and bagpipes. None of which I am particularly interested in, but nevertheless...
First meal in Scotland at the Alexander Graham Bell pub, Edinburgh
|Scottish seagulls. Same as east coast US seagulls. Only bigger.|
I will be attending a writer’s conference.
But first I had to endure the trip overseas.
For a time rough weather threatened, or so my imagination made me believe. I thought I would have a shortened trip and forego participation in the conference. I feared the wind would whisk me and the plane off to the netherworld.
But the weather moderated and my heart stopped pounding, and only mildly thumped. Loudly. Hands numb? Or just cold. I couldn’t tell.
“...once through the clouds, you will be able to see land...” the pilot’s voice broke through my imaginings.
I rolled up the window blind, ever so tentatively, and peered out. Between the clouds, white and billowy and so innocent-looking now, I sight terra firma.
I sighed, sat back, and smiled. My Scotland adventure was about to begin.
the North Sea