What mattered was walking through Central Park with my daughter, watching her blithe spirit connect with everyone and everything; listening to my companion gambling addicts responding to Lesley Stahl's questions, with intelligence, passion and without lapsing into bathos; waking just before dawn in North Dakota, looking out the train window and seeing Orion glittering above the southern horizon, a tiny burst of phosphorescent green just below his feet, then the meteor streaking not quite to the earth.
There was irony: 60 Minutes taped us in a parlor in the Women's National Republican Club*; Manhattan was fully as much a wilderness as Glacier National Park; our desperately chic hotel (not to be mentioned by name) had no fan in the bathroom; and the old guy who had enough bucks to take the fancy sleeper car across country tipped our swamped and impeccable dining car waitress a screamin' dollar after his and "the wife's" fifty dollar meal.
* (If you've read my posts, you might imagine the trepidation with which I walked through the door of the Women's National Republican Club. I was afraid either my head or the club would explode from the incongruity. We both survived the incursion of a spy in the House of Duh.)