December 30, 1997 -- 9:00 a.m.

  I've finally gotten my rear in gear and I'm on my way to see my dad. Beth got tired of watching me stress over this and made plane reservations, then called to inform me that I was flying instead of driving and I was going today. She said I was driving her crazy stressing over the driving/flying/when decision and that it finally came down to a matter of me leaving or her killing me.

So this is coming at you live from 33,000 feet over the California desert as we wing our way toward Denver. I'm writing this entry on the plane not because I have to or to be timely, but just because I thought it would be cool. And now that I'm doing it, I see that I'm right -- it is cool.

The stewardess just brought me some coffee, I've got spectacular scenery out the window, the seat I'm in is more comfortable than the one in my office, there's no dog barking his fool head off or baby wandering in to be picked up, and if I was a single guy or an unfaithful married one I could try to impress the hot babe in the next seat by muttering "Damn it, Scorcese needs this script by Friday!" as I type. (It wouldn't work, but I could try.) It's all in the laptop, kids, and dammit I want one of my own.

This flight takes me to Denver, where I'll switch to a twin prop Mesa Air puddle-jumper for the jaunt south to the wee burg of Cortez, which is about 30 miles away from the even wee-er burg of Dove Creek where my dad lives. Mesa Air is the same airline I flew out of Albuquerue the last time I came out and I find myself hoping we don't hit the same kind of turbulence we did then. (Regular readers of this space may recall a comparison to a paddle-ball in the hands of an epileptic.) But we'll be flying over the Rockies, so if anything it'll probably be worse. Joy.

I'll be in Cortez by 12:30 and will see my dad by 1:00 probably. He's sounded stronger and better each time I talk to him and yesterday he actually sounded better than normal. He was joking around with a physical therapist who was in the room, saying he wasn't sure if they were trying to cure him or kill him. It's hard to judge over the phone, but he really sounds no worse for wear from his experience, and if anything he sounds like a few days in bed have done him some good.

My sister said (dismissively) that he'd probably outlive us all. She may be right.





Copyright © 1997
Chuck Atkins