I Am a Hobbit

I’ll begin this post by cautioning readers that I’m on the eighth day of a cold that began while away from home, and I’m (still) very grumpy.


This all began with plans three years ago to attend the Golden Crown Literary Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Along came covid, and you know. Two years virtual con, but this year was in person. So plans resumed. Time for the con in Albuquerque, then on to Santa Fe for a few days. Flights were booked months ago, before the freaking global disaster that is the airline industry.

This trip began with a two-hour delay before we even left the gate at our departing airport, caused by a malfunctioning weather radar sensor. “Everybody off the plane.” “Everybody back on the plane.” Anyhow, we arrived in Denver twenty minutes after our connecting flight to Albuquerque. All other flights that day were full, and rerouting would have put us on stand-by. Maybe one of us gets on the plane, but probably not two. So, the airline put us up at a hotel near the Denver airport overnight. Fine. Except our rescheduled flight for the next day wasn’t going to get us to Albuquerque in time for the presentation I was supposed to give.

So, there followed a mad scramble of texts and phone calls and emails to explain, see if we could reschedule the presentation, let the Albuquerque hotel know we wouldn’t be checking in as scheduled, blah, blah, blah.

By the time we did arrive at Albuquerque a day late and got to the hotel, things were looking up. It was good to see con friends we hadn’t seen since 2019. I did my two Thursday afternoon things (a reading and the presentation last thing that afternoon), and we went out to get some dinner. While there, we met a couple from England, also attending the con. Delightful women we’ve now become friends with.

But by the next morning, my throat was full of marbles and my head was full of… we won’t go into details. I had another panel to do. I stayed masked everywhere except while eating. The covid test we’d brought from home was negative, and it really did feel like a cold, but these days, I guess that doesn’t mean anything.

Anyway, I stumbled through Saturday, think I might remember some of the Awards ceremony, but it’s kind of blurry. And Sunday we left for Santa Fe with our friend, Danielle, who really likes to travel. Together, we’d planned to fill most of our days there with things on hers and my wife’s must-see list.

But, I gotta tell you, at this point, I was like, “Hey, desert with scrubby bushes.” And a few minutes later, “Oh, more desert with the same scrubby bushes.” And then, “Oh, look! A rock sticking up out of the desert, among the scrubby bushes.” I’m sure my cold and feeling generally lousy affected my lack of appreciation for the scenery. After three and half days of staring at the hotel room walls in Santa Fe, limited to fifteen minute walks before my energy was all used up and I had to return to stare at the same walls, I was so over it.

Which brings me to my desire to be in my home, among my books, with my chair that my back likes, our dogs happily snoring away. Thus, I’ve decided that I am not an adventurer. Adventures do more than make you late for supper. They take me completely out of my comfort zone. Don’t tell me that’s good for me. I’m not in the mood. I love my bed…