Tuesday, March 3, 2015

One of Nature's Noblemen

An Epitaph from Marlboro, VT:

Williston Winchester
Son of Antipas & Lois Winchester
Born 1822    Died 1902
He never married.
“Uncle Wid”
One of nature’s noblemen, a quaint old
Fashioned, honest and reliable man.
An ideal companion for men and boys.
Delighted in hunting foxes and lining bees.

“Lining bees” was a way to find a wild honey hive.  You found a group of  bees gathering pollen and followed them back to their hive – a much harder task than it sounds.  When I was very young, my dad came back to our house after dark one time with a washtub more than half full of broken combs of almost-black honey.  He and some friends had lined worker bees to the hive, which was inside an old hollow tree.  I don’t remember him being stung all over, though I don’t doubt he was.  I do remember him saying the hive was a hundred years old.  If that whole tub was our share, I don’t doubt it, the hive must have been enormous.

I came up with a great plot point that will be the solution to the mystery I am starting to write.  But it’s unusual so I decided to run it by my editor – and she’s delighted with it.  I’d share it with you, but it’s a major spoiler, so I can’t.  So I’ll just sit here with a superior smile on my face for a minute.

I still haven’t completely decided what to pack for my upcoming two-week trip to England.  Since we have to change planes in Chicago, I don’t want to check a suitcase for fear it will get lost.  On the other hand, packing for two weeks in a carry-on may be ridiculous.  Especially since I need one really nice outfit for the Leicester Cathedral Anglican service marking the reinterment of the bones of King Richard III – so far two royals are coming, and the Archbishop of Canterbury is presiding, so jeans and a sweater are out.  I’m having a hat specially made.  But for everything else, it’s jeans and sweaters and a bright purple sweatsuit.  Plus sox, underwear, meds and a toothbrush.  We’re going to spend a week on a bus tour, is one pair of jeans enough?

As it may yet turn out, we are flying home from London Easter Sunday after all.  The charge to change our tickets to a day later is close to nine hundred dollars, because it’s three hundred for the change plus there’s been a fare increase.  There is a very small chance they will change the time of the flight significantly, which would mean we can change our tickets for $300 apiece.  I’m disgusted – at myself, the airline, and the booking agency.


Anonymous said...

What ridiculous charges.

I just finished Darned If You Do. Each book is more enjoyable than the last.

Monica Ferris said...

You are wonderful to post this, thank you!

Betty Hechtman said...

Dealing with airlines isn't fun. Good luck with your packing!

Monica Ferris said...

Betty, you've been doing quite a bit of travel lately, do you think one pair of jeans and the bottom of the sweatsuit would be sufficient for two weeks' travel? I'm also packing a very nice outfit to wear to the solemnities surround the burial of the bones of King Richard III. I want to manage with just a carry-on.

Betty Hechtman said...

Monica, I think that might be a little light. What happens if you spill something on your clothes?

You mentioned bringing a hat. How will you be bringing it? The airlines allow you one carry on and a personal item like a purse, computer bag or something along those lines. If you have a suitcase (that will fit in the overhead) then you will only be able to have one other small item.

Another thing to consider. You might find some nice person to help stick your suitcase in the overhead, otherwise you're on your own. I find it a challenge to lift a suitcase over my head these days.

Also, they might be even stricter about what amounts of liquids and gels you can bring on an international flight. They are okay if they are in a checked bag.

Personally, I bring my computer in a carry on, but check my bag.