Happy Place/Sad Place

Bil Keane drew a Family Circus cartoon a long time ago which showed the mother and the children driving past a hospital.  One of the kids asked, “Mommy, is the hospital a happy place or a sad place?”  “Both,” she said.  On the one hand, she was remembering the birth of all four of her children, and on the other was the memory of her and Daddy at the bedside of a dying relative.

I am blogging from MCO, Orlando International Airport, waiting for my flight home to Columbus via Atlanta.  I am seeing friends and family reuniting, and some tears as people see off their beloved friends and family on outgoing flights.  I am feeling sad right now because my time with Susie (and Steph and Mike–and I say that without qualifying it at all) has ended.  They are back in Merritt Island, and I am in the limbo between visiting here and resuming my workaday life in Columbus.

The four of us sat around the house like deflated balloons following the return from Jungle Adventures.  Susie and I stayed on our laptops, while Steph and Mike made an early night of it.  Susie walked Rex the Jack Russell terrier, and I tagged along so I could go to Cumberland Farms on the corner and buy caffeine and sugar which did not affect me.

This morning and afternoon was almost traditional.  We went to the 11 a.m. worship service at First Unitarian in Orlando, after which we celebrated Sunday dinner by eating like Romans at the Mellow Mushroom in Winter Park.    (I am no restaurant critic, and I do like this restaurant, although I warn the reader that their appetizers are big enough to be meals in their own right.)

We spent much of the afternoon in Winter Park, at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum on the campus of Rollins College (alma mater of Fred Rogers, of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood fame).  I enjoyed the artwork on display, and was especially happy to see an original tintype of an 1861 Lincoln portrait by Mathew Brady.


An 1861 portrait of Abraham Lincoln by Mathew Brady, exhibited at the Cornell Art Museum at Rollins College.

As much as I would like to linger here to spend more time with Susie, and to be free of the responsibilities of awakening in the morning at sunrise and making my way to my pod downtown, at the moment I am also impatient to be aboard the plane and headed toward Atlanta, and from there to Columbus.

Very seldom do I say that a period of time–even a 24-hour one–is perfect or idyllic, but I would say that about this trip (omitting the long layover in the Atlanta Greyhound station, which is an honorary circle of hell).  During the bus trip, I made quite a bit of progress reading Reclaiming History, which is the late Vincent Bugliosi’s magnum opus about the JFK assassination.  I read it on my Nook.  (As much as I extol the virtues of paper and ink books, the Nook came in handy when I want to carry a book as thick as Reclaiming History, along with A. Conan Doyle’s complete Sherlock Holmes canon (all four novels and 56 short stories.))

Boarding will begin soon.  The monitor above my gate entrance says that Atlanta temperature is 70 degrees and cloudy.  Per The Weather Channel, it is raining and 39 in Columbus.

And so to Columbus.


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