Dear Hodophiles ("Hodo" = The woman who is afraid of traveling and "philes" = those who love her, which is you, because you are kind.)
Anyway, Dear Hodophiles: First of all, you guys are great. The best. Your encouragement and humor have made me laugh at myself even more and gear up to face my fear.
Secondly, I haven't been able to read you or post until now because our electricity went out this afternoon. I have lit a bazillion candles, and my house currently smells like a giant fruit/flower bin. I'm surprised an army of bees isn't knocking on our door to be let in to the party. ("Hey, Hey. Where are all the sweet bud-ettes?")
Maybe you have heard the news during the last few days about how hard Indiana has been hit by storms. About 1/3 of our counties have been declared disasters, and for once, they're not even talking about Hoosier eating habits and fashion desecration. No, we are being clobbered by not just T-storms but T-Rex storms.
Our elderly neighbors across the street had a power line fall into their front lawn this afternoon, which resulted in yellow caution tape being strung around their house like weird party crepe paper. In fact, there was a party-like atmosphere as neighbors came out in droves to find out the 'haps. In spite of the possible danger, they were milling around talking to the homeowners as if this was the biggest thing to happen since Fonzie jumped the shark.
After waiting as long as we thought safe, we put all of our refrigerated/frozen food on ice. Of course, about 30 minutes later, the lights came on. Ain't that the way, though?
The lights going out reminds me of the time I was in Kazakhstan (south of Russia, west of China) teaching English at an English camp for kids.
My team stayed in primitive cabins in the woods, to say the least. This was backwoods in a Third World (or more correctly, "Developing") country. Pitch black at night with giant Asian beetles, for example. Scary.
One night my cabin mate Bev had to go to the outhouse. We had both forgotten to pack flashlights, so she went down the hall to ask to borrow one. The woman in that room said, "Gee, I don't know. It belongs to my roommate. If something were to happen to it, she would be really unhappy with me. Go ahead and borrow it; just be sure to bring it right back, OK?"
Bev replied, "Oh, I will! Thank you, thank you!"
So she grasped the small flashlight in both of her hands as if she were carrying a candle through a Gothic castle. She trekked slowly and carefully through the tall grasses trying not to think about what was lurking in the shadows, while whispering to herself, "Must not drop flashlight. Must survive outhouse. Can't lose flashlight. Must not die. Must not lose flashlight," all the way to the outhouse.
Then she opened the creaky door, stood over the diamond shaped hole, and "PLOP." End over end, the flashlight did a triple gainer into the hole, much like this amazing kid:
Yeah, just like him. Anyway, the flashlight landed handle down, light shining directly up through the hole and into the desolate night. Bev gasped and panicked, frantically trying to think of how to retrieve the flashlight. She actually thought of holding someone by the ankles while they retrieved it. Hmmm. Any takers? Not her cabin mate, for sure!
So the next day, and every day after that, we teased Bev, singing, "This Little Light of Mine, I'm Gonna Let it Shine," etc.
The moral of this story is: I don't know. Perhaps: "Flashlights are good everywhere in the world." Yeah, that's it. "Be kind to your flashlight. Keep it out of the toilet."
Don't ever say you never heard anything practical here at 2nd Cup. You're welcome.