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2:23 p.m. - 2002-10-15

We left the house early on Saturday morning and drove to the airport. I was singled out as a potential terrorist and was pulled out of the line and wanded. Having determined that this slightly plump middle-aged lady was not carrying boxcutters, I was allowed to board. I popped in my Dramamine and prepared myself for three hours of terror. However, weariness overcame me and I mostly slept during the flight. Because of past indignities, I have learned not to eat before a flight, so we were starving when we landed. We picked up the rental car and set out across Texas.

For some reason I began this vacation craving barbecue, so we pulled off the freeway and ate at some Texas chain BBQ place, beginning a week or more of good and bad BBQ sampling. My favorite was the brisket at the County Market in Lulling (or Luling?) which had both juicy beef and lean beef in one fat slice, making it clear to me how the Texas Back Forty does it, they just cut it down the middle.

After visiting one daughter in Texas, we drove across the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama to Georgia, to visit the other daughter. Our trip looked very much like the scenery in the movie, Sweet Home Alabama. It was so hot and muggy that mist came out of the air conditioner vents in the car. I had forgotten the oppression of massive humidity.

Now what effect did this trip across the South have on me, aside from making me miss my daughters more? It made me want to learn to make good chicken fried steak and lovely biscuits like the ones at the bed and breakfast. I tried many new things like crawfish, okra, fried green tomatoes, fried catfish, and cheese grits, but did not find a fried pickle.

All right, I have blathered on long enough, now for the funny stuff. At the airport coming home, I apparently no longer looked like a terrorist, but I was so busy keeping an eye on the wayward wallet, that I forgot other idiocies were possible. He forgot to take his pocket knife out of the carry on and put it in his checked luggage. Let us just say a fuss ensued with him being pulled aside and luggage searched and the knife pulled out. We had a choice of leaving the line and going back outside and mailing the knife home (he has had it for 15 years, he says) or giving it up to security and never seeing it again. He bid it goodbye and we were allowed to board. I refrained from comment except for a pithy "That was stupid" and some pleased comments that now I have another airport story to tell the girls.

I mostly slept through that flight too. When we stepped off the plane, the air was so, well, unweighty is the only word I can think of. Fall has come to the Bay Area, thank goodness. Today I have been having fun. The PG&E man came before noon so I have been puttering around cleaning the living room, sorting mail, going through paperback books, and eating avocados. It is nice to be home.

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