editor’s letter sept 2009

Editor’s note: Editor’s Note: Following is my continuing story from BUS RIDE, A Spiritual Journey.  From last month’s chapter: “…(I) noticed an overhead sign, “Security.” Its white arrow pointed down the hall. Ah! Bathrooms are at security!


All the while I remembered my long ago journey to Queens with my little boy, I had rushed down the empty hall toward the overhead sign, “Security.” Once the wide passage had connected two parallel hallways, but now the space contained three checking lanes.  Carry-all under one arm and my purse under the other, I extended my left wrist to peek at my watch. 9:50! Oh-oh!  Boarding starts in fifteen minutes.  Ooo!  A pain spark from my full bladder reminded me it needed relief. I can’t wait much longer…     

Unusual in post 9-11 times, the check point held only attendants. Outfitted in navy pants and white shirts, several men and women stood in pairs, talking.  Entering a lane, I picked up a large gray dishpan.  I stoop-ed and removed my black high-tops, slipped off my raincoat and piled them in the plastic contain-er and set it on the conveyor’s black rubber track to be x-rayed.  Second gray bin in hand, I set-tled my carry-all and purse in it and caboosed it to the other.  Spying a stack of plastic breakfast bowls, I felt in my pockets for change and dropped copper and silver into a dish and set it on top of the x-ray machine. “Where’s the nearest restroom?” I asked the woman standing near the security arch.

She pointed a many-ringed finger to the far side of the lanes, “There.” 

        I followed her arm, but did not see a “Ladies.” Still, I was relieved to know it wasn’t far. About then, another agent asked, “Do you have a bottles or containers with liquid?”  

Oops!  Not prepared for flying rules, I rummaged through the contents of my carry-all for items that violated recent codes.  In my mind I saw the glass bottle of “Southern Style” tea I’d been sipping since Lima, Ohio.

        “Wait!” I grabbed the brown liquid from my bag approaching the x-ray.  Unscrewing the lid, I took a gulp for energy knowing I’d have to leave it behind. What else have I forgotten?

          I shrugged and walked through the metal- detector doorway.  A red light flashed and a buzzer sounded. What now?  I stepped back and pushed my fingers deep into my pockets again checking for missed coins.  As I straightened, I thought of the little coin pocket in my jeans where I often stuck a lucky penny I found. Only my index finger fit in the tiny space, and I sucked in my gut to touch its bottom. Sure enough, deep down I felt cool metal.  Ah-ha!   I work ed the offending coin slowly to the top of the special pocket. Smiling, I handed the copper to the woman whose black hair waved close to her head like my grandma’s on Saturday night.   Stepping though the scanner without another alarm, I glanced over at the wall where the “Ladies” must be. It won’t be long now!

I moved to pick up my coat, shoes and bag but a second agent said, “Excuse me.” Gesturing with a hand-held scanning device she requested, “Will you step over here?”

        “I have to go to the bath-room!” I pleaded.

“This won’t take long, Honey…. Just stand here.” She pointed at two large gray foot prints,   “and put out your arms.” Why this? Are they bored? Arms out, I closed my eyes as she out-lined me with the wand.  OK, ok. I’ve done this before.  As I felt her finish, I opened my eyes and began to move. “Wait Dear,” the attendant said.

 What now? My full bladder was shooting reminders.

         Slightly apologetic, the wo-man gave a little nod, “I just need to pat you.” 

Pat me?  This is a new one.  Have I been acting suspicious? I thought back.  I had been chattering … and, carrying that Nestea,

unprepared for flying … and, I had also forgotten about my lucky penny. I sighed. Guess I have been acting a little odd.  Scanning the hall beyond again for the “Ladies” sign, I held my arms out. She patted my waist and ankles then straightened, “OK Dear.”

        Frowning, I asked again, “Where IS the Ladies?”

“There!” She extended her arm as the other had. I followed it but I saw no sign.

“I don’t see it!”

“She leaned to her left and pointed a second time, “Down that little hall.”

When I stepped a little to the left, I saw the necessary room. Whew!

“Oh! …Thank you!” I smiled and retrieved my shoes and possessions. I plunked down on the single chair provided and pulled on my Chuck Taylors. I’ll tie them later.   Grabbing my bag, purse and raincoat, I scuttled toward the Ladies, my sneakers flapping


Frances Fritzie  adds, “ My challenging travel to Grand Rapids, Michigan is nearly over.”

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