It was a pleasant beginning to a 4-tier flight – a good friend drove me to the 2/3rds point of the Phoenix International Airport. We had a pleasant dinner in the city which we seldom do because it is an hour away – especially in the late July afternoon heat. A shuttle picked me up and took me the rest of the way.
A tiny tot in the first stages of negotiating new legs, intermittently cried desperately for Mom and Dad to see his point of view, and chased his older brother around the waiting area. Imagine my delight when one parent and one child shared my seat assignment and the other parent and baby were seated behind me. Excedrin headache #456…actually, they were better than anticipated.
A long night, but I awoke once and looked out the window to see a perfect big dipper level and waiting to be filled. It accompanied me through all the RV years and many trips through the skies…this time to land in Newark, NJ.
My flight to Dulles Airport in Washington, DC, had no boarding gate listed so I must have looked more than puzzled because “Flo” asked if I needed help. Of course I did. She found my flight, noted the gate, and said, “Climb aboard.” She was driving one of those 10-people carts. We whizzed along for what seemed like miles and when anyone got in the way, she said, rather softly, “Beep, Beep.” She was amazing. Later, when I was intermittently snoozing and watching the board, I felt someone touch my shoulder. It was Flo. “Your flight is about to take off!” I had been watching it closer than that and it still had a half hour to go but I thought it was neat that she was keeping tabs as she buzzed by on her way to taking passengers to other gates.
Finally, the three-hour delayed flight to Charlottesville, VA, left Dulles and it was bigger than a butterfly – four seats across. My seatmate was a computing expert who looked to be in his 20s and turned out to be 53! He wanted to retire soon and see the country. Of course, I recommended RVing. He needed to wait until his second daughter graduated college as a lawyer much as his first daughter had done. I said he really had it made with two lawyers in his family. With a twinkle in his eye, he said, “They are already threatening to sue me!”
At last I landed and it was worth the wait when I was gathered into the arms of my youngest and her onliest, my almost 16-year-old, 6’ tall grandson.
Everything was SOOO green and they had lakes and streams with real water in them! I didn’t see a cactus anywhere. Of course there was the accompanying heat and humidity, but it wasn’t much worse than the 105 degrees during monsoon season I had just left in Arizona. An hour and a half ride home to their mountaintop home outside Lynchburg took us to son-in-law, Tom, and a major greeting by Rex, the Grand Dog, the inspiration for “Shannon” in my novel, Winter in the Wilderness. God Bless until next week.
Winter in the Wilderness, the first e-book novel published by Minshall, is offered through Amazon and most Internet book sites. A print edition may be obtained from Amazon or you can order an autographed copy from the author at Box 1040, Congress, AZ for $7.95 plus $3.50 for postage and handling. The fourth edition of RVing Alaska and Canada is available through Amazon.com.
At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”