Wednesday, January 19, 2011
The cold waters of the North Sea
This is the sad, sad story.
Last week Thursday afternoon, I was packed and ready to go. My students' assignments were all posted and ready for action in my absence, and I'd canceled my commitments elsewhere--several of them, in fact--because I was going to leave for Texas on Friday morning, where a couple of dozen Christian writers meet annually, as we have for quite a long time. It's a wonderful interlude in winter, a little confab that's high on thoughtfulness and intimacy, a good time.
By late afternoon, I was just about ready because we had a commitment at night, and I knew I'd have to leave early to get to the Omaha airport. My luggage was open on the dining room table, my Kindle and iPod touch juiced up and ready to go. I had everything in place.
I was leaving out of Omaha, and I remembered deliberately not getting too early a departure time--Omaha's airport is, after all, two hours' away. So I went to my files, clicked on the Expedia receipt, then stared at the date--the Texas meeting wasn't last week, it's this week.
Which would be hilarious, if my history didn't include, once upon a time, actually getting on the wrong blasted plane. You read that right. I'm over Lake Michigan, on my way to Detroit, when I realize I should be going west. Sheesh.
Which would be hilarious if I wasn't simply forgetting meetings, being late, behaving, most of the time these days, like someone--I'm 62--who is snuggling up way too close to senility or Alzheimers or whatever.
My great-grandfather, a distinguished Dutch dominie and professor, once pulled on his skates and set out for a church where he had to preach that morning. So obsessed he was with the fine points of his sermon, that some sentry out at the end of the canal had to skate up to him and remind him that should he push along much farther, he'd be afloat (maybe) in the cold waters of the North Sea.
Maybe it's his fault.
Whatever the cause, I'm thrilled to be able, once again, to take another shot at life, even at my age. I determined to write things down three places at least, and I ran off an extra calendar of the month of January, then magic-markered like mad and hung it up down here right in front of sightless eyes.
Yesterday, I called the dentist--check up, teeth-cleaning. Months ago I'd set the appointment, before I knew my teaching schedule. Wednesday at one wasn't going to work. "No problem," says the receptionist, happy to have some lead time. I told her a T or TH would be better. "How about this?" she said. It was 3:00, I think.
I just can't remember the date.
Posted by J. C. Schaap at 5:14 AM