So that’s it. Autumn is here. Oh, we’ll have some more good weather – I trust we will, based on past experience – but summer has definitely kicked its flip flops into the back of the closet and headed for the Southern Hemisphere.
School has started, and we’re all geared up for the bustle of fall, the stresses of winter, and the relief of spring. This is my 60th circuit around the seasons.
Yup, I will turn 60 next May. A couple of my dearest pals, who, all evidence suggests, are complete maniacs, have decided that I should go to
The idea of this adventure has left me gobsmacked, as the British say. In my lifetime I have traveled up and down the West Coast of the
I think about Jane Austen a lot: she lived a rather small life. She didn’t travel far or have exciting adventures, but she studied the people around her and in her spare time sat down and wrote a few of the great classic novels of English literature. Read a Jane Austen novel and you will meet and laugh at people you know and have put up with, although these fictional characters are set 200 years ago in
I do not expect to produce any great literature, but I figure I can write a column every couple of weeks without having to go far from home. I am content.
So I did not dream of traveling around the world. A few weeks ago I decided, with a sigh, that I was never going to make it to
But now, these two friends – did I mention they are maniacs? – are telling me, make your plans and pack your bags. You’re going.
Going to see the Magna Carta, and
Is this really going to happen next spring? Right now the leaves are falling, and this winter when the wind storms come I’ll be studying Trip to Europe 101, what to pack, how to get a Eurail Pass, how to say, “please,” and “thank you,” in several languages, wondering what it will be like, how it will change the way I see the world, and if my friends and I will make it through the trip still friends. You never know.
You never know what will happen in the world between now and next May. A lot can happen in nine months. Ask any mother.
I think I’ll have an early 60th birthday party before we go. You’re all invited. I’ll get back to you with details. Meanwhile, it’s autumn. The war goes on. Winter will come, and then spring, and then, apparently, I’m going to have get on a damn airplane. That’s the plan, anyway.