The Orient Express in 2025

I want to ride the Orient Express in 2025.  They are refurbishing seventeen original cars– lush and extravagant – with all the glamor of rail travel of old.  Formal dining, a club car, suites, a trip fit for royalty.  I want to clatter through Budapest and Venice, London and Paris.  I want to dress for dinner.  I want to fall asleep to the rhythm of the car swaying as it makes it way through the dark.  I want to wear an evening gown with a dramatic white silk stole and a beaded purse.

I imagine being pampered and shutting out the real world.  Going back in time to elegance and refinement.  Shhhhh…. I know the good old days weren’t so good… but there were some things that were.  Never mind they were only available for the wealthy and only will be again in 2025.  I can dream.

I would want to find vintage luggage for this trip.  A train case.  A hat box.  Yes, I would wear a hat and hosiery and gloves.  Eating cucumber sandwiches with a full English tea.

I would wear bright red lipstick and the hosiery would have seams up the back.  My powder compact would be gold and my hairbrush an ornate silver with boars’ bristles.

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My Fantasy Self

If I could fly, I would soar to Mexico

If I could soar to Mexico, I would bask on a beach with a margarita.

If I could bask on a beach with a margarita, I would think of nothing.

If I could think of nothing, I would find my breathing deep and relaxed.

If I could breathe deep and relaxed, I would think through all these problems.

If I could think through these problems, I would have a plan.

And if I could have a plan, I would work it and work it.

I would work that plan and create the life I’m striving for. 

But real life keeps intervening and derails my planning.  If I could, I would.

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Due to a misspent youth and several car accidents as well as genetics, I have a bad spine. When I was 35, my chiropractor said to me, “you have a lovely spine for a 70-year-old woman.  Don’t take up skydiving.”

.Cliff jumping in Spain

Funny he should say that.  I have always wanted to skydive.  I know I would be terrified, but the exhilaration of doing it would counteract the pre-event fetal position.  I was supposed to go skydiving with my best friend when I was 20, but she up and died on me.  I never forgave her and not just because of the skydiving thing. Nobody should lose a best friend to death at 20.  But that’s another story.

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Is it a mistake if you have no regrets?

            There’s a Facebook meme going around to the effect of What’s the Dumbest Thing You Ever Did?  And the person answers, “Awfully bold of you to think I’ve peaked.”

Photo by Jeremy Morris on Unsplash

            That would be me. My life is a handstitched colorful quilt of dumb things.  From the men I allowed myself to be engaged to, to the cars I bought, to the multitude of shoes I own.

            I am not a minimalist in the least.  And is my favorite word.  It extends to experiences, things, people, you name it. My house is a depository of keepsakes and memory aids. 

            I remember most of my mistakes fondly.  Sheryl Crow wrote a song with the line “You are my favorite mistake.”

            Some people think the raiding of my retirement account for two blowout vacations was a mistake.  Perhaps.  Ask me when I’m 70 and living on social security. 

            But right now, I don’t think so.  I’m dreadfully strapped for cash these days and inflation and gas prices are not helping, but I have no buyer’s remorse.  I run through possible solutions to solve the cash crisis, but nothing realistic surfaces.  I just need to suck it up and pay off some debt.  But there’s a great big world out there full of things I’ve never seen and never done. It’s a siren song.

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