Enrich your life with family and friends who will be there for you in good times and bad. Meb Keflezigh et al., Run to Overcome
I had to fly to Minnesota in October for a 6-hour meeting. Loathsome was the idea of the travel days, yet the silver lining was the opportunity to catch up with Tweep Kat and her husband, Marcus.
Definition Tweetup: When two or more people from Twitter meet up, usually for socializing usually involving the consumption of food or in some rare special occasions, beverages.
In the odd confusing world that is social media, Kat is a tweep most dear. She has a down to earth, joie de vire that just makes her a delight to be around. She also is the author of Tenaciously Yours, a blog which among many other things every Friday features Kat’s latest culinary creations. As much as I detest the practice of defining a person in terms of another person (e.g. Julie is Karen’s mother), Marcus, despite being cool in his own indefinable way, can best be described as the perfect life-mate for Kat.
Air travel these days being like an old, mishandled box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get, but the downside risk exceed the upside. I contemplated all the options to get from Southern California to Minneapolis. The smartest choice was to drive to LAX and fly to Minneapolis directly. There was also an option to fly out of Orange Country airport through Denver. The day would be longer, but there wouldn’t be that annoying drive to LAX, the worst major airport in the civilized world.
Side Note: All travel is about risk mitigation. Carry bags mitigate the risk of a lost luggage. Direct flights mitigate the risk of missed connections. One never wants to have unnecessary legs without a good reason, especially in winter months.
Every major petty decision in life requires a tweet. As I was deciding how to get to Minnesota, another valued Tweep/blogger, Piper Bayard offered to drive out to the airport for a quick tweetup should I decide to fly through Denver. I would also describe Piper as unique. She and I are different on many levels, yet we seem to resonate on the same frequency, if you understand what I mean. I think that’s more a function of her nature than it is of mine. She is a recovering lawyer and now author of two items on my Kindle, the book Firelands and a very imaginative piece in the Risky Brides collection of novels and novellas. Both books are available on Amazon.
I had to think about Piper’s offer for a few days, weighing the unnecessary risks of flight delays and the potential delays related to clearing security in Denver. Having made the commitment with Kat and Marcus upon my arrival in Minneapolis, I wasn’t sure I wanted to risk being late. After I finished over thinking it , I simplified it down to , “someone was willing to come out and see me at the airport, I should be grateful”. And with that, I scheduled two tweetups within 5 hours of each other in two separate states. “Crazy Making” is what my wife refers to this desire to fit as much into as little time as possible.
The flight from Santa Ana to Denver went off without a hitch. I caught up with Piper for tea. We had about an hour to catch up on her recent travels, having teenagers, being children of the 60’s in the modern world. We also talked about an upcoming book that she and her partner Jay Holmes are writing involving a special protagonist. Before we knew it, we were taking the requisite selfies and saying goodbye… for now.
The flight to Minneapolis was also unremarkable and I quickly found the location of our tweetup. I was an hour early so at Kat’s advice I took a walk down to the Mississippi River.
It was a short 10 minute walk toward the river and I marveled at the turning leaves in the neighborhood. It was important to me to see the Mississippi again. In my life have seen or crossed the Mississippi river at ground level in 6 of the 10 states it flows through, Minnesota, Missouri, Tennessee , Iowa, Illinois and Louisiana. I don’t think I will ever forget looking up at the Mississippi river when I was in New Orleans.
I met up with Kat and Marcus at the designated eatery. The place was a clear winner from a food perspective as it had good beer, fried veggies, and cheeseburgers with the cheese contained within the burger (and they think Everything’s up to date in Kansas City!).
I think social media confuses my brain. I hadn’t seen Kat and Marcus in over a year, yet through tweets, Facebook and Instagram, it felt like just a couple of weeks, although that could just be the whole life moving faster thing. We caught up on the things one doesn’t necessarily tweet or post about and shared a meal and a beverage. It was just good to be around them again.
Accomplish something every day and give thanks for the ability to do it. ~ Run to Overcome
After leaving the two coolest people in Minnesota (and possibly all the mid-West), I headed for my Holiday Inn Express in Chanhassen. I checked in a very comfy, clean (sterile) and spacious room. After calling home to check in and putting all the devices to charge, the available options were to check email or watch TV.
There is an emptiness about being in a chilly hotel room when there is nothing left to do in the day, not even eat. It’s what I call a “now what do I do?” moment. The feeling of being alone is magnified ten-fold when there is nothing to get done and there are no travel companions to hang out with. I suspect there is a madness that comes from being in that place for too long.
I sat in the comfy hotel chair with just a single light on in the room and put The Dream Academy’s Life in a Northern Town on repeat (see video below). I thought about the people I was lucky enough to catch up with today, both at home and on the road. I thought about the role some of these dear and other people on Twitter hold in my life. There’s that lady in Scotland, and that guy who just ran his first NY marathon following his multiple hip surgeries. He has a new girlfriend and she’s a Yankee fan! There is that one lady who recovered from cancer and the one training for the marathon in a few days. There’s that doctor in Canada, trying to match up for a residency and that other Canadian lady who after finishing her P.h.D. married and just had a baby. Then there is that certain one in Bahrain and the newlywed who married that special lawyer, FINALLY! These are all real people and their stories and struggles are better than anything television can dream up. In social media as in life, there are opportunities that one lets pass by and those one creates time to share a beverage with.