Back at Keys

Good day, fellows.

I am back at the blogging bit after a brief vacation with my beautiful wife in southern Florida.

I’ve gotten a little tanned (or “sunburned” as we call it here in the Midwest) and have had a number of days of reading, loafing, and general laziness. I haven’t touched a computer in four days, friends.

You might not know this, friends, but it’s always summer in Florida. Whereas Missouri is about to start into spring, with buds and flowers springing forth after the brown and infrequent white of winter, the palms are always green in south Florida. Every time we visit, I remark that I cannot imagine what living without seasons must do to the psyche of Floridians, or what it would be like to grow up without the physical representations of the passage of time or the school year. Cannot do it.

And if you must know, if your personal commentator (me) has a single flaw, it must be a fear discomfort with air travel. I don’t know where this discomfort began; as you might guess, as a poor young man, I had few opportunities to fly when I was young. I flew took two trips via air in my first twenty-seven years of life. I took my third and fourth trips in 1999, but somewhere between there and 2002 I grew very leary of air travel. I don’t attribute it directly to the 2001 attacks. However, I did become very aware of how little control I have over the situation, and how few people survive mishaps.

To put it bluntly, Heather and I passed a car turned on its side on I-95 just north of Fort Lauderdale this morning on our way to the airport. She missed the physical manifestation of the accident (except the lane closures); I reported the car on its side and the people sitting beside it, on the median wall, looking sheepish that their parents might find out that they were driving their high-school-graduation present at unlawful speeds after a couple tablets and a couple drinks; in air travel, there are no sheepish survivors ashamed at their choice of transit or response times.

So laugh at me, or mock me, but every time those wheels chunk into their housings on takeoff or the engines change to idle to begin the descent, I notice and begin to sweat. Some people simply trust the professionalism and competence of untold score of personnel involved in the construction, maintenance, and operation of air travel equipment, and some of us can only (however actively) hope that those professionals handle their jobs more competently than some of us handle our household maintenance.

The quality of the library should not be judged by the gaudy nature of its bookends, though, and I had a wonderful time.

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