“Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither…” ~ Job 1:21 (KJV)
Would you go? Would you go in my place? e-mailed a friend, having paid in advance months ago for a twelve-day trip she would not be able to take. Down the Rhine, from Bamberg, Wurzburg, Freudenberg, down to Koblenz and Cologne, finishing with three days in Amsterdam. I would have, but for various reasons couldn’t, can’t. So I said no. Oh don’t get me wrong— who wouldn’t leap at the chance? Everything paid for: all-inclusive of meals, wine and beverages— anytime, anywhere; the land excursions, the entrance fees to museums and castles, barring other side trips outside the itinerary once the ship docks at ports of call; cashless on the boat, no tipping allowed, gratuities pre-calculated into the cost. Do not inquire too closely into my reasons. O magnum mysterium. Only know that I find it difficult to revel in joy alone. Will you reconsider? she asked. There will be 3 balls: the welcome, the Captain’s farewell, the Christmas dinner ball; live music, open seating, a personal valet on the liner through the entire trip. Truly, I thanked her; and promised, perhaps someday.