Rice field near Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines.
From a photograph taken January 2017
Yes, another lengthy lapse. It seems the only time I am overwhelmed by a need to update my blog happens when I sit in front of the computer, gazing at my checking account balance, and wondering if I should shut down the blog. And then I spend a couple of hours or so, reading through almost all of my posts, way back to the very beginning of this particular blog, and I just don't have the heart to give up on something I've had since 2004. I'm amazed I still get hits, only now instead of people coming here for information about the Jean Watson Caring Theory of Nursing, they want to know how to rip a DVD so you can view it on a Kindle. Ok, well that seems fair. So just some random details.
We took a trip to visit my parents, who now live in the Philippines. I have always been apprehensive about flying, but over the years, I have been flying more and more, getting over the fear of flying that sort of happened as a result of 9/11. But even after taking many flights from one US coast to another, I never quite got enough nerve to make the lengthy flight from LA to Manila. Until relatively recently, that flight usually entailed a stopover in Japan or Korea or China, and there were times family members would be stranded at one of these layovers. But some time over the past few years, Philippine Airlines started a direct flight from LAX to NAIA (Manila) which was about 13 hours. Since the starting point was LA, if we ran into trouble at that end, we'd still be in the states and we would be ok. If we were delayed in Manila, I had family in Manila who could come to our rescue. So I thought the time had come for me to make the trip and see how things were done. We both got passports, and the next thing we knew, we had flight reservations.
It was an excellent flight. We both brought way too much stuff, and lugging it around in LAX and Manila got to be a pain, and I realized I never wanted to lug my stuff in a backpack strapped to my back ever again. My next trip, my carry on will be one of those little rolling luggage. I have found that the spinner version (with 4 wheels) was much easier to maneuver than the two-wheeled version and not as tiring if you had to, say, kill a an hour or eight in an airport.
The trip went really well. We stayed at a hotel within walking distance of my parents' home, and the hotel was very nice -- modern, air conditioned, a flat screen TV with cable. Spending time with my parents couldn't have been more enjoyable, and I was able to reconnect with a cousin I had not seen since she was a baby. My main task was to become familiar enough with the process so that if I ever had to go to my parents for an emergency, I would be able to do so self-sufficiently, and I have recorded all sorts of hotels and shops, where certain stores and malls are located, and where the main hospitals are. My plan was to get enough data so that I could head to my parents within a few hours, and not be a burden to my parents or to other members of my family, and I feel I've managed that.
I'm hoping to return for another visit in January of 2019, maybe a bit earlier.