“To be matter-of-fact about the world is to blunder into fantasy – and dull fantasy at that, as the real world is strange and wonderful.”

It poured last night, and I was lulled asleep by the sound of the rain. The window was open, and I could feel a bit of a breeze, enough to make the room comfortable. This morning I called my student Florence to say hello. After having lost touch for so many years, I wanted to make sure we stayed in touch this time. She told me it was raining in Bolga, and I didn’t have to imagine the storm. My memory is recent enough to see it in my mind’s eye: the wind, the pouring rain and the sounds on the roof. I miss Ghana.

Gracie and I went for our ride yesterday. We stopped at a farm stand, and I bought a couple of pumpkins, fresh bread, some yellow and red tomatoes and apple cider. It seemed only right that on the first day of fall I buy cider and pumpkins to usher in the new season. The pumpkins, one whitish and one orange, are on the front steps. For supper last night I had toasted bread with tomatoes and melted cheese on top. It was a delicious meal.

I have the worst hankering for travel. I was afraid that would happen. Morocco did it to me and now Ghana has revived the bug. The only hurdle is an empty larder which I will fill as quickly as possible. I figure if I live a bit austerely, I can travel out of the country again by late summer or early fall next year, destination yet to be determined.

I don’t mind traveling alone, but I do wish I had company. Every day in a new place has an allure and nothing is better than sharing the ordinary, the remarkable, the beautiful and, most especially, the extraordinary. I talk outloud when I am especially struck by the beauty or even the oddity of something. The words just seem to fall out of my mouth. I figure the people around me must be a bit perplexed by the woman talking outloud, but I don’t mine. Being a bit strange is often more fun and certainly more liberating.

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19 Comments on ““To be matter-of-fact about the world is to blunder into fantasy – and dull fantasy at that, as the real world is strange and wonderful.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Unfortunately, I travel alone for business and find myself alone visiting an interesting location with no one to share the experience. My wife has to stay home with our two children and she hates flying more than three or four hours. I take lot’s of photos to share with my family when I return but I would much rather have my spouse along to share the experience.

    When I travel abroad I always arrive and or depart a day or two early to make up for the fact that my employer requires that I travel economy which is the modern version of steerage. The extra days give me time to recuperate, see the city and some of the sights. No matter how tired I am it’s impossible for me to sleep in a cramped and uncomfortable economy seat. Because the food in economy is so bad, I usually arrive at the airport a couple of hours early and eat a nice dinner in a restaurant. Once I have cleared security I consider myself on the business trip and the meal becomes a business expense. When the flight attendant brings me the so called meal I can snack on the salad or cookies which are difficult for the airline caterer to ruin. I can’t decide which airline serves the worst economy meal on an international flight. So far Emirates Airline’s dinner was the best and American’s ties with BA for the worst. Meals on domestic flights have gone the way of free checked baggage and customer service. Flight attendants in today’s airline industry are there for your safety only. One flight attendant I know used to wear a button on her uniform that read, “My job is to save your ass, not kiss it”.

    • kat Says:

      The choice is generally to travel alone or not to travel so off I go. Most of my friends and family don’t do exotic locations (or what they consider exotic). I love off the beaten path.

      I am with you in hating the horror of economy, especially after this last trip. I went business over and first back. It was because of my back-I didn’t want it aggravated in any way that might spoil my trip. The cost was unbelievably high, but it was wonderful. On the way home on United, my seat became a flat bed, and I slept nearly 7 hours. I never sleep on planes in those economy seats either as I am not a contortionist. The food was wonderful and there were snacks available the whole flight. I am spoiled for life!

      • Bob Says:

        On my last trip to the UK in May, American couldn’t get anyone in economy to give up their seats for money because they had overbooked the flight. They gave me a free upgrade to business class because of some unknown reason. Yes, it’s wonderful and the food is excellent, but it’s outrageously expensive. Unfortunately, my return flight was back in the cattle car section. If I have to do another long flight I might just give up a hunk of miles for the privilage of traveling in comfort.

  2. Hedley Says:

    Those hounds love to ride. Maggie and I did chores this morning, couple of stops, and a good solid car ride. Spurs won at Wigan and now I am watching sporty with my daughter.

    • kat Says:

      My DEar Hedley,
      If I put on my shoes, insyead of myslippers, Gracie does circles expecting we’ll be going for a ride. I hat to disappoint her.

      Your today was my yesterday. At the farm stop, dogs are welcome and Gracie got to get out of the car-what a great dog day!

  3. Hedley Says:

    SPARTY , I hate auto correct

  4. olof1 Says:

    I woke up to a foggy morning, well it was really thick mist to be honest, and after that a wonderful sunny and warm Saturday came along. One of the better days since spring I think.

    I would love to travel somewhere too but it is difficult to find someone to take care of three dogs and two cats 🙂 and it would cost a fortune to place them somewhere 🙂 So I´m planning to travel in about twelve years again, because my guess is that Nova will live that long but then I can´t get another dog until after the journy 🙂 🙂

    It is more fun to travel with someone but I do enjoy to travel alone too, then I don´t have to compromise with anyone else on what to do, see or where to eat 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day my friend!

    • kat Says:

      We didn’t have sun at all today, still damp and cloudy.

      I pay someone to stay here with the dog and cats. It isn’t cheap, but I know they are well taken care of by their sitter. No dog of mine has ever been in a kennel. They have always stayed here.

      I don’t mind the compromise as most times I’d travel with someone with whom I know I’m compatible. I’d travel alone rather than not go.

      Thanks, my friend!

  5. Zoey & Me Says:

    I knew that was coming. Any old excuse to travel will do. I suspect Singapore is next. That’s the place that gives you a life sentence if you spit on the street. But it’s on my wish list. I think we are going to be house sitters like Christer too since my daughter moves to DC next week. We don’t know anyone who could care for the two Himmies and Rebecca knew the routine. Our lives will change come Wednesday.

    • kat Says:

      I could leave tomorrow-my laundry is clean so I’d be set. Too bad I don’t have the money. The pet sitter I use has been here three or four times so she has the routine down perfectly. She works close so comes here for lunch so Gracie can get out. I am perfectly comofrtable with her being here. Now if she’d only remember to get my mail from the box across the street!

      My friend is a pet sitter, and she is wonderful Sometimes she reads to the cats in her charge just so they can hear a voice. Too bad she is so far away as I know your two Himmies would love her.

  6. Kat – if you need somewhere warm for a week or two this Winter, just holler. We’d love to have you out to Tucson for a visit. Just get yourself here (fly in) and we’ll house you and you can use my car. Can’t get any less expensive than that.


    • kat Says:

      Thanks, Scott, that is the most tempting of all offers, but I’m even too poor for the flight. I had to disappoint my friend Ralph that I wouldn’t be coming to NC to visit in October. I spent an extra $1500 in Ghana to rent a car, and I hadn;’t counted on doing that so I need to recoup; however, I’m keeping the invitation in mind!!

  7. J.M. Heinrichs Says:

    Then there are the ‘difficulties’:


    • Kat Says:


      You know how much I love men’s voices. His voice at the end was amazing!

      The audience doesn’t look all that enthusiastic.

  8. splendid Says:

    Amtrak has some great deals right now kat! Check them out for a trip out west to visit! so glad to have you back here tho!

    • Kat Says:

      Thanks, splendid, but I need to get my savings back to my comfort level before I think about another trip. This one cost far more than I expected.

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