FRIENDS CAFE: A Summation of the Rest

Well, as it turns out, not a whole lot happens after Sunday. But, that is alright, as I very much needed the unwinding.

Ok, I am certain that I bring drippiness with me on any vacation I take. Just as happened to me last year when I went to Tampa, I really don’t get any sunshine down in Louisiana.

Monday: I wake at about 9, bringing in the day the same way as I had before. Just laying back, listening to 105.9, a soul station in Lafayette that someone has recommended I check out. As I do this, I read yet more of the Armstrong book.

After coffee and biscuits, we basically collapse into the rockers and sofas where we remain parked for nearly all day, listening to a TV country station. Well she doesn’t remain parked, actually. Despite still feeling yucky, she leaves to get the car ready for the return trip to New Orleans and grab us some yummy food. She brings us back a huge plate of chicken strips with fat fries and an unusual dip.

Other than this, I simply revel in the idea of just being, worrying about nothing except inhaling and enjoying the next breath, and of course cool conversation that comes and goes as we please.

On this day, as we had some on the day prior, we talk about the differences between the US and Australia. We conclude that while blind people may generally have more opportunities here, both of these fine countries still have work to do before their citizens with such disabilities really have a shot at the job and life choices they want. He is an advocate in the land down under, and I in many respects have come to see him as a sort of mentor, at least someone to whom I could look up to. I want to be a louder voice in this grand community, but have to get better at getting my voice heard. I think maybe I’ll get there fairly soon, but that remains to be seen.

I also make a silly comment about life down under.

“Everyone in Australia is upside down!”

“Upside down?” he asks.

“Yeah, relative to us. Isn’t that odd?”

This amuses us both. I hadn’t really understood what was meant by the phrase “the earth is round until I was 17 or so, due to someone’s patient explanation of how it is in fact like the globe I’ve felt many times.

On Monday night, we do watch the movie God Is Dead. It is an interesting story about a college professor who attempts to get his philosophy class to declare in writing and by signing their name to it before class starts that God doesn’t actually exist. One student refuses to do this, and is thus thrust into a semester where he must present evidence to the contrary. The movie is fast moving, and yet still thought-provoking.

Early Tuesday: We have initially planned to go to New Orleans’ French Quarter, so I wake by 6:30, not knowing at what time things will get started. But he has had trouble sleeping the night before and she is still dealing with this sickness. We soon learn that it is the flu, of the type that can’t be stopped with this season’s vaccine. I’m amazed I’ve managed to avoid it thus far.

Anyway, because of all these things, we don’t actually leave until nearly 12 PM. They decide that, due to the likely crush of traffic, cold weather, and general lack of time, we will go ahead and head for the airport instead. This is ok, it just means I have to plan another trip down to stop by and thoroughly tour New Orleans, probably when it’s warmer out.

On the way to the airport, we make what turns out to be a crazy trip to a place called Brick Oven Pizza. The GPS first leads us around the block, then up onto an unnecessary road that takes several minutes to traverse. I am surprised she doesn’t just give up.

Finally at the restaurant, I get an Italian personal pizza with sausages, peparoni, mozzarella, and some veggies. I manage to eat half of it, allowing the server to wrap the rest in see-through plastic in the hopes that maybe security won’t throw it away.

Then off to make the somewhat sad trip back to my humble abode. Though I resist it at first, I finally allow these people to put me into a wheelchair and zip me to security that way. That always makes me feel silly.

I check out some generally boring bowl games until it is time to board the flight at 6:20 for a 7:00 departure. The couple beside me, I think the woman is American and the man Mexican, are headed to Miami to visit family. Ah, how I long to go down there and stay for a week or so.

On my next flight, from Atlanta to Raleigh, I meet a woman and her mom who are returning from a wedding in Fort Meyers, Florida. I would go there as well. This kind woman offers to assist me both onto and off of the aircraft, probably getting appreciative nods and smiles from tired agents and flight attendants.

Finally back at Raleigh Durham International Airport, I have the individual who comes to collect e from this woman take me outside where I slide into a waiting airport taxi. When the driver is unable to understand the address I try to give him, I just plug it into my phone and have my GPS issue the directions out loud. This isn’t a bad idea actually, as I can then be reasonably certain that we are taking the expected streets and I’m not getting the runaround. I mercifully get home at 1 AM, message all who care to let them know I’ve made it, and slide under the covers.

And that is the end of my wonderful trip to the state of Louisiana. As I said earlier in this entry, the question isn’t if but when I will return. Heck, maybe I’ll go and find my wife there. Ha, ha. That wrapped 2014, and I am ecstatic to see what kinds of excitement 2015 has in store. Hope your year has gotten off to a good start. More probably quicker than I know.

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