I live a long way from just about everywhere. (When the New York Times claims that they have nationwide home delivery, what they really mean is “nationwide home delivery if you live in a relatively populated place near a coast or major urban area. They do not mean Meeteetse, WY, or even Cody, or, for that matter, most of the state of Iowa. The Cody library usually has the Times about 3-4 days after it comes out, because someone who lives in Cody and gets it by mail, 2 days late, brings it over when he’s finished. I know, I know, you can get it online. And I do. But I still find their advertising offensive.)
But never is it clearer just how far away I am than when I decide to go someplace else, as I did over the holidays. By some string of miracles, I avoided all the bad weather on my drive to Denver, flight to Chicago, drive to Iowa City, train back to Chicago (detouring to Morning Sun, IA to meet up with my friend Sara and her mom and stepdad and then proceding to Burlington, IA to catch the train), flight back to Denver by way of St. Louis, and drive back to Meeteetse. I even made a little map on Google, though it’s somewhat deceptive, since some distances were as the crow flies rather than as the car creeps.
Anyway, I mention all of this mostly by way of saying how thankful I am to have had such an easy (if long) trip, and how sorry I am for all the folks who got stuck at Denver International Airport. I hope you are all home and sleeping on comfortable beds by now, and that the holidays are starting to be a good story and ceasing to be such a vividly miserable experience. I mention it also, though, because I think it’s worth remembering, from time to time, that, as I’ve noted before, the world is not flat. We don’t all travel at broadband speeds, and things like the weather often have a greater impact than we imagine. I find that strangely comforting.
I hope that all of you who travelled over the holidays did so safely, and that the days were merry and bright, even if the nights were long. Happy New Year!