Tuesday, February 11, 2020

SOLTuesday: Getting Out of the Cold

I’m packing today for a trip tomorrow.
            I never understood why older people became snowbirds, going south in the winter. Then, the winter my husband died, New York City’s cold weather became harder for me to take. The wind off of the river up my street felt colder. Was it just that I was older? Or because I had no one to hold hands with as we walked up the street? I’ve never liked winter weather anyway.
            I decided to start taking short trips to warmer places. I don’t want to leave the city for months at a time—there’s too much happening here that I don’t want to miss. But a few weeks away is a nice
Kailua tree, 2017
Beach near Mazatlan, 2018
break from the cold.
            In 2017, I visited one friend in Hawaii for a while, and another in central California, where I also was able to see my brother and one of my nephews.
            In 2018, I visited a friend who was herself a snowbird in Mexico with her partner—and she apologized the whole week for the colder than usual temperature. (And about the same temperature as back home!) Then I went on to New Orleans, for my first time in that city.
            In 2019, I went to Alabama. I had a friend who’d moved to Mobile when she got a job teaching almost 15 years earlier. (She arrived just in time to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Katrina.) I’d promised to visit, but this was the first time I actually did. Then I moved on to Montgomery and visited Bryan Stevenson’s Legacy Museum and Lynching Memorial. These were extremely moving places to see, and I strongly Civil Rights Institute. I happened to be in that city on President’s Day and found a Not My President’s Day demonstration there; maybe there were a couple of dozen people, and I got into conversation with one woman and we went to lunch and then I got a personal tour of the city. Traveling is such fun.
Civil Rights Institute, 2019
recommend everyone go there. And then I was on to Birmingham, to the
            This year, I’m off to Southern California. First, Los Angeles, where I have a college friend I will have dinner with, and another nephew, who I’ll also have dinner with along with my brother driving down from San Jose. Then on to San Diego, where I have another old friend, as well as a friend of hers who’s become my Facebook friend and who I will now meet IRL.
            I’m grateful I have the means to take these trips and the free time. 
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