Shiny shoes

My return to Seattle was delayed after I learned that Alene’s ex-husband would be in town for a few days. I thought it best to let her enjoy the visit without distractions and so flew from Reykjavik to Boston instead. I’m glad I did. I watched Alene spend a very nice day with her ex, who is now happily remarried. I suspect that these two will be friends for eternity — having happy reunions every time their paths cross — no matter how much time as elapsed.

So I’ve spent a few days in Boston hanging out in bars watching baseball on TV — and learning that Boston sports fans aren’t as happy and forgiving as the Seattle article. Once the Mariners are done for the season, their fans just kick back and enjoy the playoffs regardless of who’s playing — but Boston fans must fume until Thanksgiving.

This morning, the coast was clear to return to Seattle, but I wanted to spin out the trip — so I had myself rerouted through Chicago O’Hare with a lengthy layover — some thing one would usually want to avoid — but I’m feeling a bit anxious about the return. At O’Hare, I got my shoes shined. I love getting my shoes shined — at airports, in hotels, and on the street. There’s probably no service that can be bought for such a modest sum that allows anyone to feel like a millionaire for a few minutes — other than perhaps a professional shave — but I couldn’t find a barber shop. I’m sure there is one — but O’Hare is a big airport, and it took me a while to find a shoeshine. Allen likes shoeshine service too — and he has a tale of how his bus was stuck in traffic on First Avenue in Pioneer Square once, and he got off the bus to have his shoes shined outside the Central Saloon — but I think he just made that up!

But now — I’m really happy to be on the way home. It’s been a great few months of traveling — capped off with some very interesting consulting work in Canada and Greenland. But I’m tired of hotels, even though I can afford the best of accommodations. And I’m suddenly very homesick for Seattle. Yesterday, Alene and her ex bounced happily from coffee shop to microbrew pub to restaurant, walking in delightful drizzle.

I have no work plans for the next few months, so I think I’m going to settle down and look for a real place to live. There are a lot of new apartment buildings in West Seattle and I can afford the pick of them. Even though I probably still cannot rendezvous with Alene, I’ll settle for us frequenting the same coffee shops, shopping at the same grocery stores, having a pint at the same brewpub, and riding the same bus routes — just not at the same time.

Almost there…… will be landing shortly…..


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