Today was the Easy Part

Getting to Rochester, MN was a snap. No delays at all, and I love flying into little airports where you practically have the place to yourself and your baggage is sitting there waiting for you. I love flying, period. Sometimes when I think about the cost of airfare, I think how amazing it is that for a few hundred dollars, I can have a view of the earth from thousands of feet up. As long as the flight’s not too bumpy or too long, that’s sheer joy for me. It’s the same feeling I get when I look out at the ocean. It always reminds me of this quote: “We’re not human beings having a spiritual experience. We’re spiritual beings having a human experience.” I find that very comforting.

Flying over Minnesota was lovely–so green and, well, full of corn. Really pretty.

Years ago, I had to take a train across New Jersey for a book event. The train was called something like “The Atlantic City Express.” AC, of course, is where people go to gamble, and the train was full of folks who were getting an early start on the fun. Playing cards were everywhere, cash and chips were changing hands, and even the porters were participating. It was clear to me, a stranger to their world, that these people did this regularly and the train was their home away from home.

That was the feeling I had on the flight between Chicago and Rochester. Not that anyone was playing cards, but just about everyone seemed to be on that flight for the same reason–to go to the Mayo Clinic. The couple in the seats in front of my were on their way from Alaska. The woman across the aisle was from Texas. A young woman who slept fitfully for the hour flight was from Maine. When I disembarked, I saw a long line of wheelchairs and airport staff waiting to transport the passengers to baggage claim and I felt humbled, grateful for whatever good health I have. I only hope my fellow flyers find their answers here.  

John and I were starving, so we had lunch at the City Cafe, which was excellent. (So strange to order iced tea and not have to add the word “unsweet” to the request.) I ate plenty since tonight is a fasting night and now I plan to do a little work. Fellow author, JoAnn Ross, shared her own Mayo experience with me and told me not to even think of working, so tonight may be my only chance to hang around with the midwife.

Tomorrow, the games begin. I’m nervous and excited and grateful for good health insurance and a partner who just really gets what it means to be supportive. 

To be continued. . .


  1. Debbie hearne on August 2, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    I love the quote!

  2. Denise on August 2, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Good luck and much love being sent your way, Diane!

  3. Margo on August 3, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Diane…lots of love for your heart and soul today…

  4. brenda on August 3, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Good luck. I spent a night in Chicago when my flight was cancelled-mechanical…it was not a good experience this summer. In fact, I do not like flying at all…because of the wait time…etc. Oh well. As to the wheelchairs-if there are not automated carts, I have to use those to get through the airports like Atlanta, Chicago, etc. I can’t move fast enough to get from one plane to another with the arthritis, etc. Hope you have a good experience-you sound so excited and up-that is a good thing…we are thinking of you each moment.

  5. brenda on August 3, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Thank God for John and the insurance…

  6. JoAnn Ross on August 3, 2010 at 11:58 am

    So glad John is there with you! My Mayo week would have been so much harder without having my sweetie there to help out. Even when he was just sitting beside me as moral support.

    Hope your MN Mayo cafeteria is better than the one in Jax. It was really difficult to find healthy food. Which I found strange for a hospital famous for their healthy living/diet newsletter.

  7. Diane Wegner on August 3, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Welcome to MN, Diane
    I am glad your flights were uneventful and that you arrived safely. You had good info ahead of time if you have already found City Cafe. 🙂 And the tip about avoiding the cafeteria is also a wise one as there are better choices available within walking distance of the Clinic.
    As I told you earlier, I am only 14 miles from Rochester and am willing to answer any questions although the city is attuned to Clinic guests that I’m sure your concierge can help immensely, as well as the info desks at the Clinic.
    I hope your stay provides answers for the situation that brought you to MN and that you have a positive outcome. Along with your other fans, I will be keeping you in my thoughts.

  8. Diane Chamberlain on August 3, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Thanks for the offer and good wishes, Diane. What I’m quickly discovering is that here’s not much time to eat, much less find a place to eat! But I think Rochester is an amazing little city. The view from the Gonda building of the varied architecture is breathtaking, and the skyways and pedestrian subways are brilliant.

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