Thursday, October 13, 2016

Need a Pillow?

   Lately I've been doing a lot of traveling. A couple of weeks ago I accompanied my father to Washington D.C. for a military reunion that had to do with a Cold War bomber he flew. I will probably write about that trip soon. I had a great time and learned a lot about my father's past that he never talks about.

   As you read this, Lana and I are with my best friend from college, Steve and his wife. We are re-creating our spring break trip from 1976, where we went from our University of Missouri campus to the State of Arizona by car. A lot of things happened on that trip, too numerous to mention in this space, from running out of gas in the middle of New Mexico at two in the morning, to hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back out in the same day and ending up with frostbite on two toes. Obviously, after adding forty years to our bodies, some things will not be done again, especially when perhaps they shouldn't have been done the first time.

   As I have traveled over the years, both with Lana and then again with my son on fishing trips, or more recently with my father, I have noticed a pattern and it has to do with pillows and the quality of the hotel. The better the hotel, the more pillows on the bed. Ever notice that? The same goes for cruise ships too.

   A little over a year ago, my son Daryn and I went fishing to Ontario, Canada. We  have made this trip several times and as we usually do, we stop and spend the night in International Falls, Minnesota. I had made the reservation ahead of time and thought it was where we had stayed before. It wasn't. Not good. There are Holiday Inn's, Ramada's, Homewood Suites, etc. wherever you go. Not so much in International Falls. Not even Motel 6. This was more like Motel 3 or 2. The sheets had stains. I'm serious. I don't even want to know what they were from. The pillows? Flat as a piece of paper and we are lucky there were two per bed so we could stack them to try to make one good one.

   Now we go to the other end of the spectrum. Washington D.C. The Westin Dulles. My father and I entered our room. Very nice, large room as I have seen many times before traveling with Lana. I went to my side of the room and smiled as I looked at the bed. There were about forty-three pillows on it. I mean, really? Isn't that overkill? I felt like I was on the set of an HGTV show. I was expecting to see someone rush in with a lavender candle and shove it up my butt and have me stand on the balcony for perspective.

   Having forty-three pillows is wonderful and all, and the quality of them is usually more like the ones we have at home, but when it is bedtime, what do you do with the other forty-one? I mean, hey, that's a lot of pillows. I thought about stacking them in the hall. I even thought about knocking on the doors of my neighbors and giving each of them one or two each night. Maybe they could use a little extra comfort. I don't. I ended up tossing them into a huge pile by the window.

   Here's the thing I had to make note of. My father was with me, not my wife. He had pillows too. A second bed in the room was being used. I had to make note of what he did with his pillows. You see boys and girls, when you reach my age, after your warranty on your body goes out and parts start breaking, you have no choice. You have to get up in the middle of the night. In this case, I NEEDED to know where his pillows were each night or else I might die.

   I wouldn't want my last act to get up in the middle of the night in a dark room, needing to go to the bathroom, and trip over a stack of forty-one soft, fluffy pillows. I would then go down, hit my head on one of those heavy composite workstations, and then fall to the floor, landing on said pillows, staining them with my blood, my father never hearing a thing because everything cushioned by those stupid pillows.

   Can we cut down to, oh I don't know, maybe fifteen?

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