Friday, March 14, 2014

More than I bargained for, in a good way

     Go. I am in a hotel room tonight. I have brought my daughter to Portland, OR to see her new college. She's in the dorm, I'm in a hotel. Doesn't seem like a big deal, does it?
     What is so remarkable about this event is that, I think, it's the first time in 30 years I've been in a hotel alone. I traveled by plane, across the country alone. But I have not been in a hotel alone. I dropped her off; made my way into downtown Portland; enjoyed Powell's Book Store; found this hotel; and here I am.

     I am flying by the seat of my pants on this trip. I, usually, plan every step ahead. This time I decided to wing it. There was a moment when I wasn't sure I had made the right choice. I compounded the problem by trying to find a place to stay in a new fashion, and it wasn't working out. I didn't take the time to learn what the safer areas were, so I found myself in a less than desirable part of the city. So I plugged a fast food place into the GPS and found wi-fi for the price of a fish sandwich. (Note: This place wasn't comfortable, but it also wasn't uncomfortable. Do not stop if you are not sure for your personal safety.)

 As I ate dinner, in a place where I was sure I could see my car from my table, I went with the familiar. I went to and found a reasonably priced hotel, with breakfast. I got the address for Powell's, munched down my fries, and zipped to my car; I did not unlock my door until I was next to it and locked it as soon as I was in; plugged the address into the GPS and off I went.

Powell's is phenomenal. It's a bookstore that's bigger than some libraries I've been to. Then serendipity showed up.

I just love it when that happens.

I was tired and thought I should find the hotel while it was light, "Just go lock yourself in a safe hotel room and write. Use this time away from the house to work on the poetry." my safe self resigned.

Then I saw the sign for a presentation by Haroon K. Ullah, at 7:30 pm, this evening. Mr. Ullah is the author of "The Bargain from the Bazaar: A Family's Day of Reckoning in Lahore" You know I'm a sucker for a chance to hear directly from an author. I stayed.

What impressed me about Mr. Ullah is that this extremely intelligent, well educated gentleman is very rooted in his small, eastern Washington up bringing. His presentation was engaging, informative, entertaining and intelligent. Not at all pretentious or condemning. This book is in my que. If you have ever wondered how the average person lives in the violently political, war torn world; read this book.

My book budget was spent on Wednesday's book purchase at the Hedgebrook Literary Series. I will either get this from the library, or wait until next month to purchase it.

Today's message of Hope:
1) Push through the panic and go, the gifts that are there are worth the trip.
2) None of us are alone in our concerns for a better life.
3) Don't let the fact that you can't buy something stop you from going. If I had, I would not have had the opportunity to shake the hand of a gentleman that put himself in the heart of, truly, life threatening situation to show me (and you) that we are all human.
4) Know how to use technology to bring the plan together
5) Hotels make funny noises when you're alone. When you assign the reasonable explanation for them, they're not scary. Annoying, but not scary.
6) Some risks turn out yummy, my hotel has a hot breakfast. I'm going to sleep so I can wake up and enjoy it.

I think my wings just got a little stronger.

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