The Power of Aromas

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the quickest way to a powerful memory is through the nose. Which brings me to today’s familiar fragrance.

Here in my hotel near Portland, there is an aroma that strongly recalls my mother-in-law’s house in California. It’s at once comforting and exciting, the joy of visiting people and a place I love, the delight of good company and fine wine.

And it reminds me that I am fewer than 72 hours away from Handsome’s redolent embrace.

Like A Glass About To Break

Confession: for the past couple of weeks, I have been enduring some serious anxiety/depression. Both my own and Handsome’s. I haven’t been home since Easter, haven’t seen him in over a month. And while I love my work and enjoy the travel, it wears on our psyche. The loneliness can be unbearable. Weekends are torture, Monday a respite from the pain.

We made the decision to take this promotion with our eyes wide open, knowing how much time we’d be spending apart and how infrequently I’d be home. And we certainly would never have considered it if we had children. Nonetheless, we knew then in theory what we know now in practice. It’s not easy, but in the end it will be worth it.

To top it off, this is the last week of my fiscal quarter. I’m certain I’ll achieve my quota, but that doesn’t reduce the pressure from the powers that be. (Oh, and I’m pms-ing, which is just icing on the cake.)

But there is silver lining to these dark clouds. I fly to Texas on Saturday – only four days from now, and it couldn’t come soon enough.

What Air Travel Is Supposed To Be

So, tonight I’m in Seattle. But that’s not important right now. What’s important is how I got here.

When I’m in the Pacific Northwest, I fly Alaska Air, and today was no exception. What made the trip…um…exceptional, was the appearance of free wine (or beer if you preferred) on the relatively short hour-and-a-half flight. Combine that with the fact that I was the only person on a FULL (well, mostly full) flight who had the row all to herself, and you’ve got yourself a real treat.

What the airline provided in style, the rental car company made up for in aggravation. Thirty minutes at the rental counter (for an ordinary, run-of-the-mill rental) destroyed all the relaxation created by the wonderful flight.

Ah well. One can’t have it all.