© 2019 by JERRY GIVENS

Travels - Christmas in Biloxi 1-2

October 24, 2015

PART 1

From December 24, 2011

 

Trepidation filled me the moment I climbed into that cab at 7 in the morning last Thursday. So far, I had no immediate need to feel nervous, just tired, but I guess it's natural to feel some sort of aversion to time with family. (Not that I wasn't excited to see them, just a little nervous? I guess?) I don't visit them often. In fact, I hadn't seen my mom since August of 2010. In spite of that pang in my gut, my travels were off to a good start. As if scripted, the song "Turn the Page (On the Road Again)" by Bob Seger was playing in the cab that took me to the airport. I smiled at its appropriateness and decided to take it as a sign that traveling that day would be just fine.

And fine it turned out to be. Just a few days before Christmas, I had no delayed flights and only a short sprint through the Detroit airport. In fact, the sprint ended up being needless, as I arrived with plenty of time to spare. Well, that now counts as a trip to the gym. In truth, I love to fly. I've been all over and had good and bad flights. After a puddle jump from Kalamazoo to Detroit, a 2 hour glide from to Atlanta (during which I had a wonderful conversation with a complete stranger), and another puddle jump to Gulfport, I arrived safe and sound. That pang was still in my gut, despite the lack of obstacles during the day.

Heading toward baggage claim (my mind very one-pointed), I walked right past my mom and she had to call to me to stop. I didn't recognize her for the life of me. In my defense (because I feel the need to defend myself?), I was on a mission to get my rental car and get my bag, and her hair was much shorter than it was the last time I saw her.

Okay, quick tangent: I was talking with a friend a little while ago about how we have pictures of people in our heads and no matter how much that person ages or changes, you'll always see them as you've projected in your mind. That's how it is with my mom. She's now in her 50s, but in my head she's 32 and it's 1990 (big hair and all).

I was surprised to see her, as she hadn't informed me that she was meeting me at the airport. It was my first surprise. After picking up my brother from one of his jobs, we went back to her apartment and settled in for the most part.

Here's where I have to do a lot of self-study (which if you know me and yoga, it's kind of expected). The pang in my gut ended up being the fact that since my family is no longer in my daily life, that we would somehow not really know each other anymore. This, in my forementioned trepidation, would cause a week of awkward remeniscing. Of course, this feeling was completely false. Like a great childhood friend, we immediately fell back to years prior and picked up right where we left off. As soon as I realized this, that feeling released as if it'd been a clenched fist, and I now feel fine.

Now, that was my personal crisis for Christmas, and you know I love a good crisis for inspiration, but let me tell you about the scenery in which I'm currently basking (and this one goes out to my Michigan folks!). Biloxi, Mississippi sits at the northern edge of the Gulf of Mexico.

Currently the sun is shining and it's a comfortable 65 degrees. Looking out the window, I can see the beach and endless diamonds sparkling off the rippling waves.

I'd post more pictures, but the batteries died in my camera with cliche precision. A wooden pier runs from the beach out into the water for a distance (I really don't know how long it is).

Yesterday I went down to the pier on my own, since mom was at work and my brother was taking a nap. Three years ago when I came to Mississippi for Christmas (they lived in another town more inland then), my brother and I came to Biloxi for the day to be near the water. That day, it was foggy and dreary. Naturally, we had a blast. Yesterday was much more like today and I was alone on the beach; alone on the pier. The sight was so inspiring and the energy was electric. Creativity swarmed around the water's edge, filling me. As I was walking back to shore, a poem ran through me quickly. I was completely taken off guard. I had no paper with me (BAD WRITER! NO!), so I was unable to trasncribe the words that passed through me. I could have been angry, but I learned a few years ago to let it go in those situations. If the poem truly wanted to exist, it would have chosen a more opportune moment. Despite my lost poem, I can understand now why my brother, who's a poet, choses to live here.

Today is Christmas Eve and we're opening presents at midnight, as is our tradition. I'm grateful to be here with family once again and also grateful to be somewhere where creative energy can be harnessed from my surroundings.

I'll let you know how my trip ends in a few days. For now, relax and be merry. Love and blessings to you all.

GMG

---

 

PART 2

From December 30, 2011

 

The following was written while on a plane, still on the runway, at the Gulfport, MS airport. No names have been changed, because no one is innocent.

Tuesday, 12/27, 12:15pm CST

Right now, I'm sitting on a plane waiting to take off to Atlanta (and on to Kalamazoo eventually) from Gulfport, MS and thought it'd be a good time to update on the rest of my travels (thus far). Let's move chronologically, shall we?

My brother and I have a tradition anytime we get together and that is to go out and take pictures. Pictures of ourselves, each other, and scenery. On Christmas Eve we went down to the gulf shore where some foundations remain of a casino that was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina. It's sad when one thinks about what used to be there, but it made a great canvas for our pictures.

Christmas proved to be great for my family. It seems we all got what we really wanted, which, despite the presents, was to be together for a change.

The rest of my trip was fine and delightfully uneventful until this morning when I went to check in to my flight online. Due to some delays, I had to leave three hours earlier than I had planned. Basically running out the door, I made it onto this flight finally. Well, it wasn't smooth at all actually.

For xmas Mom got me a salt crystal lamp. It's a little heavy, and my bag was almost overweight as it was, so I put it into my carry on bag. FYI, this was not a good idea! After being suspected as a terrorist and 20 minutes of waiting while every member of TSA at the Gulfport Airport reviewed the x-rays of my bag, I could only sigh. There was no point in being upset. Any outburst from me would only make me that much more "suspicious." Apparently, I fit the profile. Eventually, they were convinced that I was not indeed a terrorist and better yet had no ill intentions with a chunk of rock salt and I was on my way. In retrospect, the whole situation was rather humerous. Sorta.

Now the flight I'm on is delayed, and we're on the runway... This reminds me of a South Park episode where they compared being on an aiplane waiting to take off to life in Purgatory. That about sums it up. Hopefully we'll be off the ground in the next - wait, what did the captain say? - oh, only 20 more minutes. *sigh*
------

Today

I'm home safe and sound now and am looking forward to my next adventure at the end of February when I return to Costa Rica. I'll do ya a favor and try to take better notes than last year. Until we meet again!

GMG

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