We spent our last night in Alaska in the Bates Motel North. Its magic was putting an abrupt end to our growing love affair with Alaska. While my husband slept, I watched looped episodes of CNN news shows and scrolled through Trip Adviser reviews of our hotel. That, coupled with frequent checks of the bolted, double-bolted steel door, put me into prayer mode that we would live until 4:00 a.m. when we would have to leave for our flight home. I remembered the old adage not to sleep closest to the door. It was, I decided, my husband’s turn to be killed first.
The ice on our driveway has been epic and life-changing. It has made me a cowering, feeble, shuffling old lady. I fell twice this winter, neither time hurting myself but both times immediately flashing nursing home scenes before my eyes. You know, like the last thing you think of before you break your neck is some 19-year old who finished her CNA class last week emptying your bedpan and wiping your ass. Sorry, but aging is a festival of nursing home fears and a lot of them have to do with ICE.
I have a fascination with meals in a box or a bag. My latest love is chopped salads in a bag which I think are wonderful and clever. And so healthy. Which reminds me of a salad we ate at a restaurant in Seward where, when we walked in the door, the owner stopped us and said, “Have you ever been here before?” and when we said no she told us they only serve two things: chopped salads and bacon cheeseburgers. The chopped salad was very kale-forward as we say in the trade but the cheeseburger was not bad. And then, for some inexplicable reason, we were given two Rice Krispie treats.
It’s International Women’s Day. Why do we need a special day? There’s no International Men’s Day. I rest my case.
I still wonder what the man on the plane was doing under his blanket. He was a young guy, dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, very fit, wearing big headphones but wanting to be friendly but not too much. He had the window seat and pulled the shade down which irked us in the middle and aisle seats because we were leaving Alaska at sunrise and we thought that might be worth looking at. It was 6:00 a.m. And then I turned to look and the blanket was over his head. For the rest of the flight, he would be wrestling inside his blanket, so much so I wondered if he’d brought a ferret or other friend on board, and then he would stop, drop the blanket and order another vodka. I just read my book.