Shortly after arriving at Terminal A – Gate 21 at Boston Logan International Airport yesterday, the display on my Apple iPhone notified me that I had exceeded my exercise goal. Shortly before the message appeared, I had the passing thought that I’m really tired. As far as exceeding my exercise goal, I don’t remember that I ever entered one.
However, prior to arriving at my gate, I did participate in a race with a family making their way through the airport at about the same time I was attempting to locate my gate. Of course, the family didn’t know that the race was on. They were walking on what proved to be two consecutive moving walkways.
I picked up my pace a little and even without exerting myself beyond my usual pace or with the extra help of the floor moving under my feet, I smoked them. Who knows, maybe I looked back in their direction and they read my mind or they noticed the smile on my face that reflected the exhilaration of winning. Who’s to say?
Periodically, my watch reminds me to breathe. You’d think that would be second nature to me, but I always smile and inhale deeply whenever the message “take a breath” or “breathe” appears. Certainly there are physiological benefits associated with breathing deeply.
Okay, at some juncture inside Boston Logan International Airport, the only way to get to the section of the airport in which gates 14-22 are located is to take an elevator to the lower level. You could have fooled me. I didn’t know there was a lower level.
Actually, it was on the lower level that the race between the family of four and I took place. Of course, under the adage, “what goes down must come up” (okay, so the inverse is true, but not necessarily accurate regarding the statement made) there was an escalator transporting passengers to a much higher floor. I’m going to suggest it was at least two flights (pardon the pun). It was more than a one-floor incline.
I paused to check my phone messages before stepping on the escalator. To my surprise, at some point I noticed someone on my right. The woman was physically climbing the stairs. She smiled and said, “I thought I’d see if I could beat you to the top.”
I smiled and replied: “Not a chance.” Well, the race was on again. I stood at the top of the landing and waited for her to make it to the top (imaginary finish line). Stretching out my arms in both directions, I animatedly said: “Welcome to Boston”. My New England accent couldn’t have been better. I told her I had practiced dropping my “R”s so I could sound like a local. She laughed and replied: “Not everyone sounds like that.”
I asked: “Are you folks local or are you traveling back home to a less picturesque and notable city than Boston?” She said: “We live here. We are headed to Michigan for my nephew’s wedding.” She added: “It will be a very wonderful family fun time.”
She asked about my travels and we engaged in a brief, but pleasant conversation. The remainder of her family stood some distance away looking in our direction. I had the thought: “I bet she’ll have more fun at the wedding than they?” I don’t know why I thought that. Just a hunch I guess. She had a playful disposition and playful people always have more fun. Can you argue with that?
Of course, my hunches aren’t always right. I stopped for gasoline in the rental car about four miles before I got to the airport. The venue appeared to be an oil change place that also sold gasoline. I wouldn’t have stopped there, but I had been looking for a place to purchase fuel for at least two miles. I had veered off the freeway (or maybe it was a toll road) to find a place to purchase fuel. When I saw this place, I noticed the sign, but there were only two gasoline pumps. There was no covered awning. Getting out of the ca (purposefully left the “R” off – I love being in New England) I attempted to locate where to insert my credit card. I didn’t see a slot.
Looking up, I was startled by the imposing figure of a man standing twelve-to-eighteen inches away from me. He appeared out of nowhere. If he had been parking a ca (sorry, can’t help myself), his distance was perfect. To be in my space, he seemed way too close and imposing for comfort. He was a guy you had to look up to because I’d guess his height at 6’ 5”. He was tall and looking down toward my head. He asked: “Cash or credit?”
Stepping back and away from him, I said: “I’m looking for a place to insert my credit card.” He replied: “This is full service”. The concept escaped me. Honestly, I had no idea what he meant. He repeated: “You don’t pump your own gasoline here. This is full service.”
I was speechless. I looked again at the pump to ascertain the price of fuel. I wasn’t going to pay $4 a gallon for gasoline. The price was only $2.64 a gallon. I think that’s what I paid earlier when I purchased fuel elsewhere. It was self-service. So did this guy really work here or was it a ploy to take my credit card and/or my money? I didn’t see anyone else at the station. Do you ever have the sense that something isn’t quite right?
Embarrassingly, those were the thoughts going through my head. Maybe I’ve watched too may episodes of “America’s Most Wanted”. Actually if such a series exists, I’ve never seen it. However, alarm bells were still going off in my head. Buying time, I asked: “Is there a men’s room?” He replied, “At the back; on that side of the building” tilting his head in the direction I needed to go.
When I returned, he had opened something on the island where the two pumps were located to process my credit card. Okay, so just because your paranoid doesn’t mean they are not out to get you. Isn’t that right? At any rate, seeing the mechanism to run the credit card was a huge relief. Fortunately, the tall imposing stranger who initially startled me by his presence was legit. He had filled the tank with fuel.
Seriously, I can’t recall the last time “Full Service” was an option in Texas. Do such places still exist? I honestly don’t know, but I can’t think of any. Even the General knows how to pump gasoline for her own car. Of course, if I’m riding shotgun or driving, I wouldn’t allow her to do so. I would do it for her.
So the eight-day trip ended well. You have no idea how great it is to be home. The downside is that we’re leaving again in a few hours. The good news is that it is for a special occasion.
All My Best!