Tag Archive: today’s the day

Cheating Death

cheating death#Merica Tour, Stories from the Road, Segment 1
When a friend asks you if you want to go on a road trip, you say yes. You say yes, and then you figure out how you’ll get time off and the money for travel and to pay your bills that week. These are mere details that, for me, need to be worked out the same way a person makes a list of what to pack. Say yes, then make it happen.

I’m sitting at my computer in the dining room when my phone twinges with a message:

Road Trip?
Trampled by Turtles is playing in Red Rocks. The concert is on a Saturday. I figure we give ourselves two days’ time on either side of it to drive.

I answer back:
I’ll book a flight.

And thus, it began. I flew from Pittsburgh to Minneapolis on an August Wednesday. Days are easy to remember at the beginning of any trip. From here on out, though, they days blend until they don’t seem to have distinguishing names anymore.

I thought it funny to start out a road trip with a flight. It’s also funny to think that every time I hop on a flight, especially toward somewhere with a time change, I excitedly feel as if I’m cheating death.

light rail cheating deathI arrive in Minneapolis and collect my things from baggage claim. My friend doesn’t get out of work for a few hours, and I knew this when I booked. I’m happy to wait and I review my options. Maybe I’ll take a cab somewhere. Maybe I’ll just sit with a coffee and watch airport people. I receive a text from my friend saying that I can take the Light Rail from the airport to the Mall of America. I’ve just hurtled through the sky on a glorified rocket and a drink sounds good, so I go.

Mall of America cheating deathI find the Light Rail easily enough, and it takes me back to my D.C. days of riding the Metro to and from work. I think about how mass transportation astounds me with its convenience and my ability to get up and go pretty much anywhere for pretty much anything. I also I think about Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and I laugh.

I get to the Mall with one clear agenda on my mind: The Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. I’ve never actually been in there. Today’s the day.

Proving America is amazing, one stop at a time.

Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a blogger, poet, and traveler.


Class of 19...There was a time when I realized there were only so many tough decisions I could make in a day. I started a mantra then that went, “Today is not the day.” I would say it to myself when I’d done all I could and yet another painful decision would appear in the distance. And I learned that the distance to the horizon can really be a necessary journey of preparation.

This particular journey brings me to today, the day of my high school reunion. My mother says that at your 10-year reunion, everyone is just trying to impress each other. Then at your 20, everyone has calmed down about impressions, and is busy sharing photos about kids and information about careers. At the 30 mark, you really start taking a good look at who no longer walks the earth, because they’re numbers are increasing. And so on, and so on, until your class starts to combine its reunions with the classes ahead and behind you, making it a group thing of sometimes strangers and sometimes whole families.

I went to one my mom’s reunions, about ten years ago. It involved ten classes at once, so basically the entire town and their spouses showed up. My friend and I crashed the party and no one seemed to notice. (Incidentally, I once crashed a wedding, but that’s a different story entirely.)

Today I go to my reunion, and I’m excited about it. It seems silly that we’ve waited a decade since the last one to run into each other again, but life takes over sometimes.

I remember, at the last one, that it didn’t matter who you were or what you did, we were all nervous. I’ve talked with some of others since then, and the same sentiment rang true: We all walked into the reunion transformed into our awkward high school selves. Whether we were the football player or the science nerd—and in my school, that person was probably one and the same—we walked in feeling like kids again. And even though that’s not necessarily the best feeling, even though it can feel a good bit downrightly oppressive, I must say I’m really looking forward to it. (You know I am!)

It’s not every day you get to step back in time. It’s not every day you get to say, “If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn’t be afraid this time” and then actually get to prove it. Today is the day to enjoy one another’s company, because we’re all in the same boat. We’ve all had successes and failures, triumphs and low times. We’ve all done the wrong thing and we’re learning how to spot the right thing when we see it. We’ve all made hard decisions. Now it’s time again to face the overwhelming teenage fear that’s buried deep within all of us. This time, to make it better.

Today’s the day.

Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. To learn more about her current writing projects, or for ways to donate toward their completion, see JodyBrown.com/writing.

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