May 9, 2005

Weekend Highlight: Travel

Friday evening, just prior to bedtime, the Travel General (me) stood before the Travel Cadets (Wendy and my sister SK) to review the details of the Travel Plan.

"Cadets," said I, "Cadets, be prepared for departure no later than 9:44 am. Have your bags in the car and your bodies in the seats. We'll be rolling down the driveway at 9:45 am. Anyone not strapped in the vehicle by that time will be tongue-lashed unmercifully for non-compliance with the Travel Plan. The complete itinerary for the trip has been neatly typed, a copy thoughtfully provided for your reference."

The General paced back and forth, sipping her evening beer thoughtfully, then continued. "After departure, the traditional Hearty Travel Breakfast will be secured at Checkpoint A, the Golden Arches, at approximately 9:53 am. From there, we will head south on the freeway until our scheduled Potty Break at Checkpoint B, South Hill. Our southward trajectory will be maintained and our path will intersect with those of Our Maternal Unit and The Boy at approximately 3:00 pm. After they recover from their shock and joy at the presence of Cadet SK, we will all enjoy a comraderie-filled meal as we revel in the euphoria of being together as a Family Squadron. Following the meal, The Boy will head back to campus for his 7:00 call. We will adjourn to the hotel to dress for the evening's performance, then hie to the theatre en masse to see The Boy light up the stage."

The Travel Cadets smiled and nodded agreeably. The General pretended not to notice the smirk on the face of Cadet Wendy and the sly wink Cadet SK flashed at her.

I freely acknowledge I am a compulsive planner. There. I said it. It's not always a bad thing, you know. The Plan crafted for this weekend was masterful, oh yes it was. A thing of beauty. Complex and multi-faceted while retaining a modicum of flexibility. Turns out we had to flex it for all it was worth.

The Travel General awoke the next morning with the first beep of the alarm. Before her eyes cracked open, she knew something was dreadfully amiss. The sensation of pointy steely sharp knives attempting to break through her skull was the obvious clue. Her first thought was "Oh no! This is going to royally fuck up the Travel Plan!" She quickly realized such thoughts were increasing her discomfort so she banished them to the netherworld.

A bit of background: for the past year or so, every now and again, I awaken with a debilitating headache. No, not a hangover. I will reluctantly apply the label of migraine, as all the requisite characteristics are present. My head throbs and pounds relentlessly which in turn causes my stomach to roil. So I get up and puke. I go back to bed and lay there in complete and utter abject misery until I get up to puke again. The only effective remedy we've found is for me to stay in bed and doze and puke and puke and doze until eventually my stomach settles enough for me to keep a pill down long enough for it to relieve my headache. Then I spend the rest of the day feeling like a wrung out washrag. Delightful. Indeed.

The Travel General was quite distressed to find herself in such condition. When Travel Cadet Wendy awoke and realized the situation, she rose to the occasion in fine form. She nursed the General, offering medication, an ice pack, soothing words of comfort. There was much scurrying and whispering between the Cadets as travel preparations continued.

The General puked and moaned. She curled up in the fetal position, cradling her head and wishing only for the mattress to swallow her up and end the torment. A grunt was all she could muster in response to Cadet Wendy's periodic inquiries about her status. The clock was the enemy; as the minutes ticked by she sobbed in frustration.

By the time the General recovered enough to travel, the scheduled departure time had long since passed. The Travel Plan was but a shell of its former self. As it turned out, circumstance would shred the plan even further before the traveling trio joined the others in North Carolina. Smooth was not the word of the day, oh no it was not.

So oh well. Shit happens. Even the best laid plans go awry. The travel mattered not in the end. It was the being there that counted. The way The Boy stepped up and entertained his grandmother until we arrived. The joyous disbelief on his face as he caught sight of his aunt then enveloped her in a crushing embrace. My mom's repeated delightful questioning, "Y'all did this for me?" My complete enjoyment in having the group assembled, talking, laughing, sharing.

Those things put my puny little headache and my rigid travel plan in perspective.

What mattered happened anyway.
Gotta love it.



Elizabeth said...

It's called Goddess Time.

Next time you travel...make no plans and see what happens.

weese said...

I too, am a planner.
Nice recovery tho.
(and that Wendy...she's a keeper)

Mel said...

I'm sorry to hear about the headache, but you told the story with such beauty and style . . . you are so good.

Gina said...


Except of course, for the puking and the headache.

Kristina said...

I'm so sorry you were sick, but I'm glad things worked out anyway! Funny how that happens, hmm?