Random Reflections on Flight to South Africa

Since I wasn’t able to blog along the way (original flight out Nashville was cancelled and rebooked, making all of my connections tight), below is a compilation of random thoughts and events along the way. By the time you read this, I’ll be in Cape Town.

  • Saying goodbye to my family was the hardest thing that I have done in my adult life.
  • There was a “loud talker” on the Nashville to DC flight. I know waaaay more about that guy than I ever wanted to know. He truly needed to find and cultivate his “inside voice.”
  • Dulles is the worst international airport in which I have traveled. It is so confusing and not user-friendly.
  • Snow was on the ground in DC (hence my flight cancelation in Nashville); it will probably be the last time I see snow in a while. I’m OK with that. 🙂
  • On the transatlantic flight, I had two seats to myself. Yay!
  • I watched “Ice Age” and did some reading, but I slept most of the way to South Africa. I guess I was tired.
  • I’m now in Johannesburg waiting for my flight to Cape Town. I’m burning up. It’s time to shed the winter clothes, but I’ll wait until I get home. I’ll arrive around 11:00 tonight.
  • I met a delightful woman who was in Washington for the inauguration. She lives in Durban and invited me to visit her.
  • I hear children playing and their laughter. Some things are universal and priceless.

It’s great to be back on African soil. I’m blessed to call it home for the next three years.


An Opened Letter to Scrappy Squirrel, esq.


Well, it has been real. We knew this day was coming, and it has. Actually, it came. I moved out two months ago. Have you even noticed? You probably haven’t missed me. I haven’t missed you either, well, maybe just a little. But I definitely haven’t missed your waking me up at 6:20 in the morning, cracking your walnuts or whatever else you squirrels eat for breakfast. I haven’t missed your scurrying around the rafters, scaring me half to death at night. I certainly haven’t missed your eating my tomato plants or digging up my petunias.

I have to admit, as far as squirrels go, you’re pretty good. And yes, I have even developed a little soft spot for your kinfolks. I shudder ever time I pass one of your cousins splattered across the Cold Gray River (By the way, we humans call it a road). I nearly had a wreck the other day, trying to avoid hitting one of your kindred. He couldn’t make up his mind to cross the road or not, kept darting back and forth. He was kind of squirrely. Ergh, sorry.

Scrappy's 2011 Pumpkin
Scrappy’s 2011 Pumpkin

So I have learned a little bit from you. Will you miss me? Probably not. I think you are still mad at me because I didn’t put out a harvest pumpkin in the fall; but as I said, I moved. I moved. Don’t get mad at me because you didn’t have any seeds to eat. To be honest, I got tired of fighting over the pumpkin with you each fall. Somehow you always won the battle. I think you fought dirty.

What? I don’t know if there are any squirrels in Cape Town. There are plenty of baboons, though. No! I won’t take one of them as a roommate. They are too big and mean. Are you trying to get me killed or something? The only furry roommate I ever plan to have again is a d.o.g. Yes, I know you hate dogs, but they are g.o.o.d. Stop waxing wroth. If you try being nice to them for a change, perhaps they will stop chasing you.

I hope your new roommate will be half as good to you as I was. I don’t think you realized how lucky you had it. What? I was lucky? Hum, I don’t know about that. But I admit, we did have some good times together. I will miss you.

By the way, why don’t you ask out Skiffy, the cute little squirrelette who lives in L-25. She likes you, you know. Yes, for real.

Adieu, my little friend. Mind the Cold Gray River.


“Scrappy” was the squirrel who lived between my ceiling and rafters. He had quite a personality and became a little celebrity among my friends and me. He has kindred all over Nashville. Perhaps you have seen one of them. Since my blog posts have been so serious of late, I thought I would shake things up. However, Scrappy is most offended by this; he finds no humor in his current situation.