Friday, June 7, 2024


 I made it to Appleton.  It's the third time I have been here and flying from Chicago has always been the same.  The flights have always been delayed.  Two of the three times, it has felt like the plane was being tossed around the sky.  

Registration and the first event start shortly.  I look forward to the hall filled with assorted cop car fire engines, SWAT trucks, etc and the people that man them.  The equipment is fascinating, but the people who work them even more.  It's a chance to ask them about their lives.

I have been to numerous WPAs before, but this time the set up is supposed to be different.  It's is supposed to start with a murder and then follow the investigation.  I always learn interesting details I end up using in a book.  

In the meantime, I spent my morning sitting in the local Starbucks and people watching.  A girl came in wearing a pair of black, suede heeled ankle boots that seemed like they were wearing her.  The way she walked made it seem they weren't very comfortable.  I remember that--when it was all about style.  No more for me.  Now it is all about comfort.  Another woman came in gesturing and talking loudly.  At first I thought she was talking to the barista, but she was on her phone with ear pods.  The other day, I got in an elevator and it was just me and a man behind me.  It creeped me out when I thought he was talking to me, but then I realized he was on his phone with the those tiny ear phones.  I know I should be used to it, but they still seem like the crazy people talking to themselves on the bus that I used to encounter  when I used to take it in Chicago.

Most of the activities take place at a technical college between Appleton and Green Bay.  The school buses leave at 7:15, so no  sleeping in.  And no dawdling if you want to get a good seat.  I like a window and a seat that is not over a wheel.  I love to look out the window wherever I am.  I can't understand how Jakey has to play some video thing instead of looking out at the world.  I never get bored or tired of watching the passing scenery.  Even when I've seen it before.   I like road trips, with lots of stops to look around.  

For ne everything seems to stir my imagination.  Yesterday on the way to the airport, I was looking at the grass growing in the parkway.  It's different than Southern California grass, and the  color and the height of it took me back to my childhood.  I could smell the scents of summer and the way the air felt hot and heavy with humidity.   Summer vacation that seemed endless when it started...

I look forward to the bus ride tomorrow and everything to look at and think about.


Patty Jenkins said...

Good morning -- Sounds like you will have a great time. Will you be helping solve the murder?

People-watching is fascinating. I always assume when someone goes out they think they look good -- some people have really weird ideas of what looks good. Last time I was at an airport, there was a 60-ish rather plump woman wearing a very short blouse over a pair of jeans shorts and wearing cowboy boots. I'm a conservative dresser and also want comfort.

When we've taken bus tours, people usually take whatever seat is available at the beginning of the tour and then the seats are rotated at noon and again in the morning. Some people get downright nasty if someone accidentally sits in "their" seat -- we got screamed at because my husband had to sit down momentarily in the wrong row -- he had a leg cramp!!

You mention the sounds of summer -- my daughter got a Rainbird sprinkler a few days ago. The sound of it going click, click, click, whoosh is a great sound -- and trying to run out and adjust it and get out of the way before getting wet is a fun memory!! My uncle in Grand Island, NE had the most beautiful green lawn -- he was retired and keeping his lawn beautiful was a passion. I think he carried a pair of scissors with him and clipped errant bits of grass!!

I'm making another big granny square blanket. I think that will be my theme for the month -- as many granny blankets as possible.

Need to do a quick watering of the patio plants -- it was 112 yesterday and 109 is predicted for today. Summer is definitely here.

Enjoy your day --

Sally Morrison said...

My husband and I just survived a 15-hour flight from Orlando to SLC (should have been five hours). What a nightmare! Air travel is tough these days.

I can relate to people talking on their phones with earbuds. I've found myself talking back to them occasionally. I used to feel embarrassed but now I realize it's part of life. :)

Have a blast and get some great ideas!

Linda O. Johnston said...

Have a wonderful time and learn lots, Betty! I remain eager to hear about more of your conference.

Betty Hechtman said...

Patty, that woman's outfit seemed over the top. 112, wow. It sounds like a good time to stay in and work on that blanket.

Betty Hechtman said...

Sally, flying to small places seems to always have delays. It is absolutely a part of life now to have people talking on the phone using earbuds. I don't think they even notice when someone like you or me talks to them. It was a long Day today- we had breakfast at 6:00, but it was definitely interesting.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, They had set up a murder scene for us to go through. Our job was to figure out didn't make sense. I heard a former homicide cop who is also a writer and he said the point was for us to get the facts of how detectives acted, but then just use tidbit to flavor our manuscripts rather than go into too much details. I heard a lot about what CSI people do and it is meant to be background info for us. The truth is that the real way cops handle a murder scene is tedious and would be boring in a book unless there was a reason for all the detail.

Linda D Osborn said...

My 1/2 sisters ex {I have a wide range of Facebook friends !!} just noted that he flew from Appleton directly to Portland, no stopovers. It seems like they would make a connection like that with LAX--I mean, Portland ??? We made several trips after I located my mother, and every time we had to stop in Chicago. From there coming or going it was a tiny stainless steel plane, with nuts and bolts holding it together. Looked like a kids. errector set. A couple of times it was raining, and once they left my sons' suitcase behind and he had no clean clothes till the next day when someone delivered it. The very last trip we drove from here to Appleton, sightseeing along the way.
I wish I had known about the school when we were back there--I would have tried to take a tour .

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda Osborn, as far as I know there are no direct flights from Appleton to LAX. Yes, the planes from Appleton to Chicago do seem like toys. I hope there is no problem with my bag. There is not supposed to be any rain tomorrow, so hope the flight is on time and not bumpy. I have a Long layover in Chicago just in case the plane ends up being delayed.

From the little I saw of Lawrence University, it looks like a very nice campus.

It's been nice being away, but now I'm looking forward to going home .

chkntza said...

To me it is funny to hear people talking on their cell phones when they are in a bathroom stall. Now I just assume that people talking are not talking to me.