Bacon…again?

For some reason, bacon always seems to be at the center of my world. I like bacon, but I’m talking about ‘bacon stories‘ popping up right in front of me. This time, I was in a hotel near the Denver airport, and I standing at the end of the breakfast buffet, in front of a little ‘we make it while you wait’ omelette stand. I had just given the woman manning the station my order, when another woman approached us. The woman had long gray hair, and her clothing looked crumpled, almost as if she had slept in them. She had slippers on her feet and a stern expression on her face.

In a garbled, hard to understand voice, she asked, “Do you have more bacon?”

The woman behind the counter asked politely, “I’m sorry, I couldn’t understand what you said. What would you like?”

“Bacon! Do you have more?”

Again, the woman making my eggs couldn’t catch what she was saying. I interrupted, and explained, “She wants to know if you have more bacon. I guess the bacon container is empty on the buffet.”

The crumpled woman glared at me.

“If you wait a moment, I can fill it up, but I need to finish making this omelette first.”

The woman turned around without saying anything else, and walked back to her table. As she sat down, I noticed that she had a small plate on her table that had at least 4 or 5 slices of bacon on it. I turned to the woman who was now finished making my omelette, and said, “Perfect timing. I’ll walk over with you, I’d like some bacon, too.”

I waited near the buffet, as she walked into the kitchen with the empty bacon tray. When she returned, I stepped out of the way, so she could maneuver the tray into position. As I stepped back, the gray-haired woman stepped in front of me, insuring that she was ‘1st in line’ to get the bacon. I watched her pile at least 40-50 slices of bacon into a towering mound at the center of the dinner-sized plate that she was holding.

Perplexed, I waited for her to finish, and then I stepped forward and served myself. When I my finished breakfast, I got up to leave and when I walked by her table, I noticed that the bacon pile was considerably smaller–by about half! Her table was set for one place, and the seat across from her empty–she had eaten it all by herself!

Wow–I like bacon, but she must love it!

Flying the Friendly Skies

Prior to boarding my flight yesterday, I saw an elderly lady in a wheelchair near the ticket gate. I think I took notice of her, because she looked like a character straight out of a storybook. She was quite small, and she was wearing a long floral skirt, a floral blouse that didn’t match the skirt, a bulky sweater, and some sort of a head wrap. She was wearing fluffy pink and white slippers, and she had a big black handbag tucked under her arm. She had light brown skin and appeared, at least to my eyes, like a Romanian gypsy.

She was boarded first, and when I got on the plane, I saw that she was seated directly across the aisle from me. She had an empty seat beside her and a young man was occupying the window seat. I was in the aisle seat and both seats next to me remained empty. When the flight attendant walked down the aisle, the woman gestured to her. I could tell from the interchange that the woman either spoke no English, or very little. The flight attendant patiently listened, and finally figured out that the woman was cold, and wanted the overhead vent to be shut off.

About 15 minutes after take-off, the young man seated by the window, leaned forward and tried to get my attention. It was dark, with just a bit of ambient light, but I could see that he looked concerned.

“Excuse me….She’s trying to talk to me, or ask me something, but I don’t know what she’s saying.”

I looked at the woman seated between us, and I saw that she was holding an object that looked like a pen, but much thicker. The woman looked at me, held up the object for me to see, and then she mumbled something. I didn’t feel panicked, but I didn’t understand what she was showing me, and I certainly didn’t understand what she was saying. I unbuckled my seatbelt, stood up, and hit the flight attendant call button.

The flight attendant arrived immediately, and I quickly filled her in on the situation. I was able to be quick about it, because I had no clue what was going on. The old woman waved the object around, and the the flight attendant replied, “Oh, no…you can’t smoke that on the plane.”

I peered around her and said, “I don’t think it’s a vape pen. Is it an EpiPen?” I had never seen one before, so it was just a guess.

“Oh…I thought she was asking if she could vape.” We smiled at each other. “But I think she’s trying to say that she wants the light on.” When she flicked on the light, we could see what appeared to be a needle housed in a plastic tubular case.

Once again, the flight attendant turned to me and said, “I think she’s diabetic, and it looks like she’s checking the dosage. In the moment that it took me to agree, we watched the old woman unbuckle her seatbelt and lift up her blouse to expose her belly. She grabbed a roll of skin and then stuck herself with the needle.

I looked over at the young man and he still looked shocked.

It was an awkward situation, but the flight attendant was so kind and supportive. I don’t know her name, but I want to give her a huge shout out! After the flight attendant walked away, I could see that the woman was struggling to put her seatbelt back on. I reached across the aisle and clicked it into place for her, and her smile of appreciation warmed my heart!

For the Love of Bacon–

I’m enjoying my breakfast at the restaurant in my hotel, and I just noticed that the middle-aged couple sitting at the table next to me is taking a series of selfies. The star attraction–bacon! They’re taking turns feeding each other bacon while aiming the camera at themselves. After each picture, they admire the image, laugh at themselves, and then kiss. Obviously each new pose has to be more creative than the last, so now I’m now watching him dangling the bacon over her head, with her waiting for it, mouth open like a baby bird. Their final pose involved each one putting the end of the bacon between their lips and nibbling the strip of meat until they could seal their accomplishment with a kiss. My seat is directly facing them and I’m only a few feet away, so I have no choice but watch them. Lucky me!

In contrast, off to my right is huge table with 15 people around it. They appear to be an extended family with parents, grandparents & kids. One of the men is loudly telling the kids a series of ‘Why did the chicken cross the road jokes.’ At one point, one of the kids screams out his final answer, “So someone could take a picture of the chicken’s butt!”

The whole table laughed (I did, too!). You pick—would you prefer family chaos or the bacon kissers? I’ll pick Uncle Joker and his lame chicken jokes anytime!

This just in, and the icing on the cake—two women are sitting behind me, and one of them belched so loudly, that it startled me—I actually jumped! Bacon kissers, loud jokes, and a super-sonic burp –ahhh, the joys of public dining!😂

Can We Please Work on Being Kinder to Each Other?

I witnessed something upsetting (at least to me) today. On my way to my gate, I decided to get a coffee. I weaved through the lane markers, which in this case, was retractable webbing stretched between poles, until I was next in line. There were about ten people behind me, and I saw an airport employee push an elderly woman up to the counter beside me.

I was just about to indicate to the lady that she should place her order before me, when the woman behind me yelled out, “Excuse me, excuse me—do you see that there’s a line here?” Her tone was loud and abrasive.

The man pushing the wheelchair ignored her. The woman in the wheelchair who was probably in her late 70’s or early 80’s, glanced over at her, but didn’t respond.

You could visually see that the woman in the chair couldn’t control the movement in her extremities, as her legs and arms were twitching and moving. The woman behind me continued obliviously, “What’s the purpose of standing in a line, if you can just cut to the front of it?”

I was burning mad and was deciding what to say, when the woman in the wheelchair looked directly at her and calmly said, “Honey, I didn’t ask him to push me to the front of the line, it’s his job. He’s supposed to get his passengers through the airport as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The woman behind me babbled something that I couldn’t quite hear, but it was clear that her aggressive behavior was squashed momentarily.

The woman in the wheelchair turned to the man pushing her and asked if she could get him a coffee. He declined her offer with a smile.

She looked to me and said, “I’m sorry, I know you were next in line.”

I smiled back, and replied, “Oh, don’t worry about it—go ahead and order.”

She looked at me with appreciation. When her coffee was ready, I handed it to her, because the man behind the counter couldn’t reach out far enough.”

Where is human kindness? Why couldn’t that woman realize how hard it would be to maneuver a wheel chair through the narrow lanes? Does she mouth off when they allow people with disabilities to board the plane first?

Let’s work on being kinder and gentler! I was disgusted.

City Folks Just Don’t Get It!

Yesterday, I arrived early to the airport for my flight to Frankfurt, Germany. When I got to my gate, I noticed that the only place to charge my phone was at a free-standing podium that didn’t have any seating near it.  I plugged my phone into one of the few remaining available outlets, and sat down next to a woman who was sitting on the floor, surrounded by her luggage, and tethered to the podium by her phone cord.

As you might imagine, we began to chat. I found out that, like me, she was a teacher. She also told me that she was returning from Munich, but because of delays, she had missed her connecting flight to the west coast. She had already been waiting for a long time, and she seemed to enjoy the company. 

Before long, we started swapping travel stories, and we ended up laughing and carrying on like we had known each other for ages. She told me a particularly funny story about a bathroom emergency that she had experienced in Thailand. I know that on the surface, a story about about a bathroom emergency doesn’t sound entertaining, but it was!

At one point, she mentioned that her fiancé was going to pick her up from the airport, so I asked the typical questions: How long have you been engaged? When are you getting married?

I finally asked, “How did you meet each other?”

A funny look crossed her face before she replied, “We met on an online dating site called, Farmers Only.

Before I could respond, she said, “I’m not a farmer.”

“Is he?”

She shook her head from side-to-side and we both laughed. 

“So you joined because you’re attracted to farmers and wanted to meet one?”

“Yes, something like that.” She laughed again. “It’s for country people, too. Sometimes it’s hard to meet someone when you live in a rural area. Before I met my fiancé, I dated a farmer who I had met on the site, but he was shorter and skinner than me…so that was a real turn off!”

Once again, we were laughing!

Later, I looked up the ‘Farmers Only’ site, and their tagline is—City Folks Just Don’t Get It!

Chicken and Dressing


As a northern girl, one of the traits that I’ve found most delightful when I’ve travel in the the south is the concept of southern hospitality

I trained in Searcy, Arkansas this week, and the participants went out of their way to make sure that I felt welcomed. Several of them gave me ideas for things to do or see after work, and many wrote down local restaurants for me to try. All-in-all, they made an effort to make sure that I was okay, and feeling comfortable while visiting their town. 

I’ve had people do similar things for me at other trainings, so I can only describe this as a different feeling. There was an overall feeling of hospitality, rather than hospitality from one or two individuals. 

About mid-week, one of my participants asked me if I knew what dressing was, and if I’d ever had it before.

“You mean stuffing?”

She gave me a ‘bless your heart look,’ and replied in a heavy southern accent, that I swear appeared out of nowhere, “Southern dressing is similar, but it’s not the same thing as stuffing.”

“Oh,” 

“A few of us are going to order take-out for lunch tomorrow, would you like to try it? You really should—it’s good.”

Never one to turn down the opportunity to try something new, I accepted her offer of chicken and dressing with a side of beans and cornbread.

The next day, four of us sat down to eat lunch together.  I looked down at my plate and I saw a big scoop of what looked like stuffing. However, I learned yesterday, that here, at least, it’s called dressing. 

I could have sworn that she has called it chicken and dressing, but I certainly didn’t see any chicken on my plate. 

“Did you say that this was called chicken and dressing?”

“Yes, that’s what we call it,” she said looking over at me with a slight grin.

“Where’s the chicken?”

The ‘bless your heart,’ look washed over her face(again) as she explained, “The chicken is IN the dressing.”

“Oh.”

I enjoyed my meal, but I do have to say that it tasted just like stuffing with chicken in it! Shhh—don’t tell! 😉

A Bit of Humor at the Gate—

The gate agents announced three or four times that they needed at least twenty people to gate check their bags. Nobody stepped up to volunteer, so the gate agent tried once again, but this time with a twist.

“If I reach my quota today, I’ll be earning an iced coffee.” He smiled and looked around the room, “I’m thirsty—any takers?”

I laughed and nobody budged. Come on! That was funny!

A Fellow Reader—

Earlier tonight I went to dinner at Subway. As I ate, I dug my book out of my bag and began to read. After reading for awhile, I looked up from the page and noticed that there was only one other person in the store. He was at the table next to me, and he too, was reading.

What are you reading?” I smiled and held up my book, and continued, “I don’t see many people reading in public anymore—-well, books that is—not electronics.”

He returned my smile and replied, “You’re right—I almost never see other people reading like I do. I noticed right away that you had a book.”

We began to chat, and before I knew it, I realized that we had been talking for at least 20 minutes. It was time for me to get going, so I stood up to throw my trash away.

He stood up as well, and extended his hand toward me. We shook hands and officially introduced ourselves. He said, “I really enjoyed talking to you. Thanks.”

I laughed. “Did you notice that we didn’t even talk about what we were reading?”

“Yeah, I noticed,” he replied warmly. “I’ll tell you what else is rare, besides people not reading in public…a stranger being friendly enough to start a conversation. I can’t remember the last time that I’ve chatted with someone for this long that I didn’t already know.”

“Thanks—I enjoyed talking to you, too.”

I’ll probably never see him again, but he’s right. We need to put our phones down and connect with real people in a face-to-face way. It’s good for our souls.

“Snoop Dogg” & “Martha Stewart”

A few months ago, I read an article about the unlikely friendship between Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart. They first met when he was a guest on her show in 2008, and their friendship has grown ever since. The article said that in 2016 they started a show together called, ‘Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party, which premiered on VH1.

I searched for an episode on YouTube, and I have to admit that it was entertaining. They almost seem to balance each other, and it’s obvious by their back and forth banter, that they admire each other. Their show is now called, ‘Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Party Challenge.

This week I was teaching in Atlanta Public Schools. Out of 26 participants, I only had one guy in my group. As the week passed, I could tell that he appreciated my humor, and I definitely appreciated his. In other words, he was a good banter partner!

On the last day of the course, he approached me and asked if I had heard some of the participants laughing earlier in the day. I hadn’t heard them, or maybe I just didn’t notice. He told me that they were laughing about the two of us—they thought that we should hit the road and do an educational version of Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart!

I laughed SO hard! It might just work, but if not, maybe Martha & Snoop will want to invite us to their show!