I love airports, not just because they signify adventure and reunion but also because of the people, activity, meetings and greetings and partings, eateries, and shops. PDX is a favorite getaway for me even when I’m going nowhere and expecting no one. I hop on the Red Line and off I go to the airport to watch people and planes, browse, buy a new book, and get a treat.

Today I’m enjoying a latte with almond milk and a heated almond croissant at Petite Provence in the airport while I wait for Carole and Nancy to arrive. Yes, I’m a person who must pay to park in the garage, walk into the airport, and wait as close to the gate as security will let me. PDX makes it easy for me. It’s part of its charm.

I’ve been making spontaneous trips to airports since I was in my early 20s, when I drove over an hour to LAX to hang out in the International flights terminal. Those were the days before 9/11 when everyone felt more free. Fear, ignorance, and hate didn’t rule the day.

I loved hearing the different languages, noticing the various fabrics, colors, and fashions from around the world, and observing¬†all the tender exchanges between people. The common human connection was in those meetings, greetings, and partings. I think happiness and sorrow look and feel the same no matter what country you’re from.

Whoops, Carole and Nancy’s plane is expected in two minutes. I’ll wait expectantly, keeping my eyes glued to that walkway, just like Pasu at the front window.

Composed on March 25, 2017 at Portland International Airport, waiting for my sister and sister-in-law to arrive from San Diego, one month after my beloved dog Pasu died