Even though I landed in Missoula a good hour and a half late, I didn't mind, cuz I felt like I’d already been home for hours.
Eager to get started, I made it to the Sacramento Airport 3 hours before my scheduled flight. Once my bags were checked, and my toiletries confiscated, I headed straight for the Alaska Terminal.
I guess in January, nobody’s heading north unless they live here. No California tourists were waiting for the flight to Winter.
The first thing I noticed was a yellow Carhartt lying over the back of a chair. Then I saw a pair of mukluks on a tall, bearded Nordic god. And then there were the two laptops in the corner, lying open, unattended in empty chairs, their users probably sitting in the bar watching the game.
No one was wearing a suit. But there were heavy jackets and winter coats everywhere, piled 3-high on seats, draped over carryons, and tucked under barstools. There was an easy, neighborly atmosphere. Everybody was expecting snow. Some were wondering if their connecting flights from Seattle were going to be cancelled. Certainly, most would be delayed.
Folks were heading home to places like Anchorage, Sitka, Juneau, Vancouver BC, Kamloops, Boise, and Missoula. It was as though I’d already left California. These were my people. This was my neighborhood, my culture. Nobody here was talking about whose baby Angelina Jolie was adopting, or Schwarzenegger’s steroid-weakened bones. The conversations floating and mixing here were about snow, keeping dry, and the unfortunate possibility of missing a day of work.
[if anyone can tell me the name of the image i've parodied, i'd be grateful. i wanted to give attribution, but cannot for the life of me remember the name of the work, let alone its creator....shattered spheres?...i googled that but got zip, and that's what i was thinking the name was.]
I've found the image. It's called, L'atmosphère: météorologie populaire by Camille Flammarion (1888),
and I've posted a little something about it, here.