Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bits and Pieces of Our Days (Or, Coming Up for Air)

The month of May is a blur. This is May, speeding past me:

Sometime in May, we celebrated the end of school for this year, though when you're unschoolish it's hard to tell. Ramona's love for Krampf continues and knows no schoolery bounds, and Betsy just keeps writing (currently she's revising her first NaNoWriMo novel from three years ago.) So, school is done, or it's never out. Take your pick.

And when school ended (or didn't) the company started coming.


My parents came to town for Betsy's graduation party and they were only 48 hours late.

Mom and Dad are 79 and 80 years old, and their patience with air travel was already wearing thin. It's not that they're afraid to fly. My father was an Air Force pilot, so he and Mom moved and flew and flew and moved, and they are, obviously, seasoned travelers.  They don't have phobias, it's just the comfort issue these days. Squeezing themselves into a cramped seat in a confined space for the privilege of feasting on a few pretzels while they circle the runway is not in their Lexicon of Retirement Fun. And given that a couple of years ago my mom was randomly pulled out of line by airport security and searched, I wouldn't  have been surprised if they'd never wanted to fly again. (What, really, is so threatening about a 5' 2" grandma who always wears really cool earrings?) So I was so thrilled that they decided to brave a trip for Betsy.

And what came next? I like to call it Operation Convince Karen's Parents Never to Fly Again.

First, their original flight out on a Tuesday was canceled. Mom called Monday night and said there was no way they'd get out of town the next day, as the airline had dropped their flight completely. Said airline wasn't very resourceful about rescheduling either, so my mom got on the internet and found a good alternative flight that the airline hadn't offered. (Hey, Said Airline? You should pay my mom a bonus for freelancing for you.)

The new schedule had them arriving in Omaha on Wednesday by 3:30 p.m. The drive to our house (a couple of hours) would have them here in time for dinner. Guess what? Operation Convince Karen's Parents Never to Fly Again kicked in in earnest. Mechanical problems with the plane threatened a dangerous landing (as in, the landing gear wasn't functioning properly. Nice. Fortunately, my parents aren't prone to panic about these things.) The plane had to make an unplanned stop in Tulsa, where the landing gear kindly decided to make an appearance and received a round of applause from the full aircraft. My parents were then stranded in Tulsa for hours before they could get another flight to Dallas, and then go on to Omaha.

Operation Convince Karen's Parents Never to Fly Again got them into Omaha about midnight. They dragged their ripped up suitcase ("We are not responsible for damage to outside pockets on luggage....") to a hotel (not a hotel provided by the airline -- thanks, Said Airline -- as they had been deposited at their final destination, though you and I know it wasn't really their destination, as their original destination at midnight on Wednesday was a bed in in my town.)

They stayed the night in Omaha, then drove to our house on Thursday.

Um, Amtrak? You know that free program you have for writers? Does it apply to writers' parents, too? I'll be giving you a call to talk it over.


Other out-of-towners came to town for Betsy's party, too, which was great, and we were touched to tears by some of the surprises, but none of them had Said Airline Horror Stories, so I'll just move along, adding only that I thought I'd have waaaaay too much taco meat left over, but that didn't turn out to be the case, and it is indeed the case that everyone loves Winning Hearts and Minds Chocolate Cake


I've read several good books lately -- need to do a review post very soon. 


We took Ramona to see Wicked. She was bowled over. 

Anne, Betsy and I have seen it twice before. I just found the post I did after the first time we saw it. Ramona was seven years old then, and we didn't tell her much about the play, but we did let her listen to some of the music. Back then, she said this about it: "It's that kind that makes you feel every emotion in one emotion, like you want to laugh and cry at the same time."

Yep. So. Much. Fun.


Tabatha said...

Just reading about your parents' experience was enough to convince me to avoid flying...

Congratulations to Betsy (and to you)!

The chocolate cake sounds fantastic :-)

Karen Edmisten said...

Thanks, Tabatha! The cake is indeed fantastic and if you haven't tried it, you should make it this weekend. :)

And, um, yeah, I'm not too eager to fly any time soon, either....