Friday, August 07, 2015

couple of trips

i leave here walking at about 7 30. it's the coolest time of the day, but it doesn't take long - by the time i get to work, and it's only about six blocks - it's already hot. i go past some texas sage, and a house where they seem to be trying to get that model neighborhood beautiful-yard prize. their flowers are quite beautiful, and they're out there watering them several times a day.

this one guy has overabundant wildflowers; in may they were bluebonnets, but now they are just about everything else. he has fruit trees and they're dropping apples and such on his yard. the daisies or whatever they are take over the median, the sidewalk, all around the fence so i have to walk in the street, but i don't really mind; it's not a crowded neighborhood. two blocks later i come to the ten-line highway and cross, running. on the other side is the dorms, and i walk through the parking lot to get to work.

i got a parking permit but the spaces were too narrow, so i stopped driving to work; also, i got a ticket one day when i'd gone around looking for a big enough spot and then slipped into one, where i didn't see that it was thirty-minutes only. my complaint was nothing though. this friend of mine complained because they'd written him a two hundred dollar ticket for abusing a handicap spot, when he actually had a handicap sign, then they said it was expired, and it took a whole day of his running around, keep in mind he was actually handicapped. i however just started walking, it's easier.

these days the sun is beating down good & hard by the time i leave for home in the afternoon. ninety-seven or whatever, it's not that unusual, but it's hard on me as a kind of old guy when it's that oppressive. i walk back on the same route i take in the morning. the guy with all the wildflowers comes home with his family but i don't even look at him, i just walk by his house. actually i kind of admire the flowers and the fruit, especially the bluebonnets, but i happen to know he's not a nice guy, in fact he's the only guy in the state who hasn't been, in my experience, so i just keep walking. he has good flowers, though, i have to say. goes to show, if you really dislike a guy, does that make his flowers any different?

lots of pecan trees on this particular route. some of them are fixin to plop. a few of the apples have plopped too. you got this stuff, it's been a wet year, lots growing out there, even the cactus are popping up all over with their purple flowers, and starting more barrels i assume. the purple sage goes through its stages as well.
br> left here to go to dallas to pick up my niece, who was flying in from heathrow, an unaccompanied minor, thirteen, first time away from home. plane was three hours late out of lubbock, so we kind of got off on a bad start. there were problems before we even started, namely me being somehow not on the list, but that was a different story, the utter lack of planes at the airport was the worst sign, i was already late for picking her up when i got there, and the record of which gate it had landed was long gone. i thought maybe i could call over to customs and let them know i was here, but they had no way of knowing how to do that, didn't know if she'd be back over here, for her trip to lubbock with me, or still over at the international gate, going through customs. on the plane the flight attendant had told a story of being locked up in the plane all night, in mexico, some mechanical problem, you don't want to fly a plane with a mechanical problem. i couldn't argue with that.

on the ground, in dallas, one guy wrote me a couple of replacement tickets, but didn't know where to send me; finally sent me to an unaccompanied minor headquarters down a long hallway a ways. unfortunately he took a while, and the place was hard to find, and when i finally found them, they sent me over to the international terminal anyway. things were equally murky over there, but finally i found the niece, who had been crying and hadn't heard anything. we set about reboarding for what was now a flight a couple of hours later. we were too late to check her luggage, so they told us to carry it right on through and check it on the plane. but alas it had jam in it, so we were sent back. now we checked the luggage again, for a later flight, but now we were late and the last two flights of the day, back to lubbock, were both full. we sat and glared at the ticketing manager for a while. finally he let us on the first evening flight.

the dallas airport was enormous, everybody overworked, nobody having a clue where to send me or what was where. my brother wanted to file a complaint but i figured, what's the point, none of the particular people i talked to were especially at fault of anything, besides simply not knowing where to send me. i stayed in a pretty good mood; it was good to see her. i don't feel like i did anything wrong myself, though it might have been smarter to go directly over to the international terminal, before asking questions, on the assumption that she would have landed there. it's like getting lost in the woods, only slightly more common. it was worse for her, i'm sure.

back at home, a blazing string of four or five hundred-degree days have set us back a bit; we aren't sure whether to just swim, or lay low, and some of us have gotten sick. my workshop is over, and i've collapsed in a heap in the cool shade, but some jobs around the house remain needed, the recycling has piled up, in general, there's too much to do, to just sit. some flowers, outside, have begun a blazing path into shorter days, almost like they're on fire, take up every inch of the sun, turn their dried out crinkly colors, and still love sitting out there bathing in it, day after day. my wife turned her back a couple of days, and houseplants and landscaping died on both sides, but i was virtually unconscious, and even left a load of laundry in the washer a couple of days too long. we try to keep the place functional; it's harder with an extra puppy, and the kids are in the habit of making a lot of noise. the poor niece has to find her way, i guess. she knew things were hopping in texas, though, and that's why she came.


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