Tom Flanders World

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My Trip to Toledo
toledo mud hens

My Nephew’s Toledo wedding.

Wednesday

The trip to Toledo starts tomorrow. The plane takes off 24 hours from now. Mixed feelings. Was hoping to see dad but he’s too sick to fly. Don’t expect him to last much longer. It will be nice to see my brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews. Looking forward to meeting the new in-laws.

I’m a bit worried about my mental state. I just discovered that unemployment was affecting me more than I thought. I’ve gotten out of many of my maintenance routines both personal and cycling. Started them back up again but what else has slid?

So, mental state. Worried about Dad, Pat, Tonya and TJ. Worried about drinking too much. Worried about my absence of human contact. Worried about cleaning out and selling the house. Worried about access to Pat’s meds when living on the road.

Thursday

The shuttle from the parking lot to the terminal was hilarious. I got to ride with the band dudes who were off to some gig on Frontier Airlines. They were arguing about how cool or uncool it would be to live in Alameda.

At the terminal I printed out my boarding pass and found that my name was spelled wrong. Thomax instead of Thomas. The TSA guy pointed out the difference but let me through anyway.

I picked a seat at the back of the plane hoping for some extra space. So close. The row across from me had just one person and she got to lay across the seats. I had a guy in my aisle, who looked just like Hermes Conrad, so I had to remain upright.

Also, my plan had several unexpected flaws. Seats in the last row don’t lean back. The wall is in the way. And on just the other side of that wall is the lavatory, so loud flushes every few minutes. Finally, the galley is just past the bathrooms and remained brightly lit to whole flight. Fly and learn.

The head flight attendant was named Cheyenne and had a cute Texas accent. Glad Pat didn’t hear her. She’d be talking southern for a week.

I nodded off a couple times on the flight, but never for more than a few minutes.

Friday

The Dulles airport is hot and humid. I arrived at C19 and leaving from D32. I’m guessing it was close to a mile walk. I got a chocolate frosted donut at Dunkin Donuts. It had the least amount of frosting possible. Ah well.

In the corner of this cluster of gates is a glassed-in smoking lounge with bright orange biohazard warnings all over it. It’s like an exhibit at the destructive behaviour museum.

I don’t care which channel it is. 24 hour news is nothing but an excuse for assholes to make shit up all day long.

Detroit is a nightmare. It’s 9:30 in the morning and everyone is drinking, a lot! All the food places up and down the terminal have signs that read, “Alcohol Served All Day.”

Maybe this is a reaction to all the drinkers, I have never seen so many obese people in my entire life. And they are all wearing shorts.

I had a very good burger and fries at Ruby Tuesdays. The guy next to me drank three beers, two before his food arrived. I’m just not living up to my gluttonous potential.

The sun is out now. Almost tempted to try to busses. No, too tired. In my current state I wouldn’t enjoy it. Time to look for a safe place to take a nap.

Coming off a plane was a group of monks. Their driver met them and directed them to baggage claim. They had to explain that they had no baggage.

I’m not used to riding in cars. My sense of direction is all thrown off.

Patsy and Hank have a great little house by a lake. It was good to see everyone and the ones I hadn’t met yet, but by the end of the night it got to be a bit much.

Saturday

Had a great sleep. The time change is hitting me hard though as everyone else is up and about I was still in bed at 10. (7AM my time.) Even worse I am out of Coke. Must have caffeine.

Feeling like an outsider. My own fault. So used to solitude that finding my social self is proving difficult.

I’m going to lose my pro drinker status. Family members are planning a drinking excursion BEFORE the wedding reception. Just can’t get that into drinking.

Apparently you shouldn’t order the green beans at Big Boy’s. Ann did and was unable to keep a single bite in her mouth.

Downtime watching Harry Potter. Maybe a shower is in order.

Took a shower. Went to put on my suit. Quickly discovered that it was not my suit, but Dad’s. Hope they don’t mind a slightly casual guest.

Conflict over readiness and willingness to conform to the schedule. In a rush I forgot my phone and camera in the room.

The reception was fun. Mike and Melissa’s friends are great people. They had much fun. The two families didn’t mix much. Not sure it would have been good if we did.

After the reception we went to a karaoke place. Many bad singers, and a few really good ones.

On the phone Pat reminded me that I needed to check on jury duty. Fortunately I don’t have to report on Monday, but I do have to check again on Monday evening for a potential Tuesday jury.

Sunday

Kenny was up early again. I decided to get up and get some breakfast. Toast, bacon and a banana. Yum.

Lunch at Applebee’s with Theresa, Jim and Nancy. A quick stop at Mike and Melissa’s house then off to the airport. Now waiting for the flight.

The flight went well. I had the United app working this time and I was able to watch movies the whole time. Made the flight go much faster.

After thoughts

While in Toledo I had this feeling off discomfort. I realize now that it was the wide open spaces. We spent the whole time in the suburbs and mall land. We were never in the “city.” The lack of neighborhoods made it feel artificial. This isn’t a criticism of the places we went. It just goes to show what a creature of habit I am. Or, in this case, creature of habitat.

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