Thursday, March 11, 2010

Come Fly With Me

It's o'dark thirty and the house has been busy for hours. Boonie, my mother's eighty-six year old convivant, was unloading the dishwasher a few hours ago, the sound of clanging pots and clinking glasses awakening us way before the alarms on our cell phones could beep us awake. Yikes. We had hours before the car service would fetch us for the 90 minute drive down the coast to Logan airport.

Mom, looking fresh and revitalized after a recent visit to her "skin" doctor, fidgeted with her contact lenses and after dropping them in the sink one too many times uttered a few unmentionables not befitting her mostly graceful octogenarian demeanor. Gave up on them altogether and grabbed the Sophia Loren oversized glasses from her Longchamps bag. Looking oh so chic. Even at this ungodly hour.

I was being paged. Loudly. Seems I couldn't get attired quickly enough. Boonie needed an assist ASAP. Oh my. This morning had all the makings of a very hectic day. Holding my index finger against the side of my neck I massaged until I could get my being to relax. Patience. Patience. I needed some Zen calming potion and an OM thrown in for good measure. All this and the sun hadn't even erupted into the eastern sky.

We managed to jam five heavy heavy suitcases, three carryons and our purses into the back of the tightly packed Jeep and pile into the car. My stepfather's still nose bleeding from a deep gash on his left nostril from hasty shaving in the middle of the night. Our driver's eyes drooping from working the late shift. I tightened my seat belt and stared out the window as the sky turned pinkish purple and the stars vanished before my eyes.

Mind you I am in charge. The three of us ... two octogenarians and me ... dropped in the middle of the access road near the terminal with our overpacked luggage some wheeless and nary a skycap in sight. Gone with the 9/11 rules for a streamlined 21st century travel experience. So I was the man. The guy. The one who had to figure out how to manage all these suitcases, my aging parents and my not so awake self and herd unbalanced us through the long, passenger filled maze twisting around toward the check in counters. I needed some serious meds. Sadly have none. Zen. OMmmmmmmmmmm. Deep breaths.

Finally the bags were on the conveyor belt to the bowels of the airport. I was praying they wouldn't make it onto the plane so JetBlue could taxi them to our hotel in Newport Beach. The thought of dealing with these on the other side rang terror in my almost calmed heart. At least for the time being it was manageable. Not. The long security lined loomed. I looked at my mom, her 'boy' friend and the grey plastic bins were we would place most of our clothing and shoes for the x-rayers to examine.

Yikes. Flying today was all the more hectic after the underpants bomber's Christmas escapade. Hospital gowns with the hiney flaps flying in the breeze comes to mind. My Mom finally agreed to remove her neck pillow, all her jewelry and jacket. But somehow the alarm still sounded. In the next aisle, my step-father was dripping blood from his shaving wound. Thin skin closes very very slowly. Yep. Herding ducks.

We slid into our seats at the gate. Exhausted. The sun was just peeking over the horizon. In moments we would be nestled on the big silver bird jetting across the country. Naptime for all.

A round of Bloody Marys for all ... cheers ... and happy flying!

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