I’m excited for every opportunity to travel. Especially if it means rising at 2:30AM to catch a 5:30AM fight. Thanks to Tropical Storm Sandy, my morning started with thunder, lightning and two raincoats. Note to self: Don’t pack your raincoat when the weather calls for a tropical storm and find your umbrella a few days ahead of your trip.

The trip to the airport was dark, wet and nasty but my Uber driver was my hero! Who in the world would pick up a determined traveler at 3:00AM during a tropical storm? I arrived at the quiet airport before the employees had time to open the desk and met a group of first-time flyers. They were a bit nervous about the weather and wondered when the staff would arrive but I advised them to be patient: the weather might clear before our flight and they staff would open the desk shortly.







TSA is surprisingly easy this early in the morning and, as per my custom, I was pulled to the side for some personalized attention. Let me preface this by announcing I AM NOT COMPLAINING and I make sure I arrive early enough to receive that special attention. But I wonder, are my curly blonde locks the reason I get flagged? At least no one has told me they had to touch my hair because that is a NO NO!







Last year my trip to Cleveland was to celebrate a graduation and this year it is to celebrate the life of my Aunt. She died unexpectedly six days ago and my family is still reeling from the news. I’ve slept poorly since her death and even a gift of five chocolate bars couldn’t erase the sour taste of grief in my mouth. I am sad and angry and confused and still shocked. She was to visit my mom this year and the thought of never hearing her laugh makes my stomach churn. I guess that explains the sour taste in my mouth.

I take this trip with trepidation and joy. I actually fear another funeral since I lost my oldest Aunt a month ago. But I look forward to the joy our family will have as we toss memories, stories and laughter to each other. It is ALWAYS a joy when we have reunions, even in the midst of our grief.

Today I want to turn back time, and return to that time in Cleveland when everyone I love was alive to love me back.

Anyone have a time machine I can borrow?

Julia Mae Evans