Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lacking the write stuff

Ugh.  I'm seriously lacking the write stuff today. 

Woke up hurting from the tips of my toes to the top of my head, and that includes some of the few remaining neurons I didn't kill off with drink back in the Army.  It was, you see, a dark and stormy night....

Ouch, that cliche raised my pain level.  To be honest, it WAS a dark night, and it threatened to be stormy as well, but that had nothing to do with the strenuousness of the weekend.  Our friend's daughter had flown down for a couple of weeks to experience life outside of Alaska, and this was her last weekend being here.  Her flight home was scheduled for 2:30 yesterday afternoon.  It was a perfect arrangement: in order to save a few hundred dollars, her parents had flown her in to Washington, D.C., instead of the itty bitty airport here in Richmond.  It's only a couple (ish) hours of driving away.  Additionally, the timing worked out that my dear friend Hillary's graduation--she's now Doctor Hillary--was yesterday evening, in Alexandria, Virginia, which is a suburb of D.C., the same suburb, in fact, as the airport our friend's daughter was scheduled to fly out of earlier that same day.  

We rose from our slumbers already behind the eight-ball, to abuse another horrid cliche.  The day before had been one of the hottest of the summer so far, and the humidity had raised the heat level even more, and what did we do?  Went to an amusement park, of course.  Well, we had promised our visitor that we would go, and we are all tough, determined redheaded people, so we're not going to let a little heat stand in our way.  Turns out we should have.  It was so hot we didn't enjoy it much at all, and I got to experience heat exhaustion for the first time.  I mean true heat exhaustion, too, complete with dizziness, waves of sweat, weakness, and nausea.  That, and whininess, a symptom I'm not known for exhibiting ever.  But we all lived, and we made it home in time to slink into showers to get rid of the sweat and then collapse into our beds. 

Thus began our morning...all tired and a touch grouchy.  We piled into the van and drove a couple of hours.  We were almost, in fact, to D.C., when the call came on Heide's cell phone.  It was from the airline.

Yeah, you see what's coming, don't you?

There was a delay in flights, and due to this and that consideration and that other one they couldn't get our friend's daughter out till the next day.  "Oh, that means you'll have to either make another couple (ish) hour drive, or rent a hotel room for the night?  That's too bad, ma'am."  Gotta love "customer service" at airlines these days.  Wasn't even English-speaking customer service, sadly; with all the stress going on in the van, I almost exploded right there in the driver's seat while listening to Heide trying to spell her name to the rep.  "D.  No, D.  D-E.  H-E-I-D-E.  No, that's a D.  As in Heide.  D, as in Dave.  No, my name isn't Dave."  I still wonder if the rep overheard my comment from the other side of the van: "D, as in Dumbass." 

The next thing Heide did was call her friend in Alaska, who had the advantage of not sitting in a moving vehicle with only a hand-held connection to the outside world at her disposal and could probably manage to bark at the right people in the right way.  Meanwhile, I started replanning the trip in my head.  We could all go to graduation and to dinner with Doc Hillary, and then rent a hotel, drop the kiddo off at the airport the next day, and be home mid-day.  It would work. 

Shortly after, Heide's friend called her back.  Gotta love Delta really do.  The other choice is...well, not good.  They told her that someone named Melanie Kenning had called and changed the flight arrangements; it wasn't their doing.  That raised all sorts of security questions with us, of course, but at the time I was more interested in getting the good young lady safely back to her home.  Our friend, anyway, had managed to bark and scream enough that they had managed to find her daughter a seat on a flight leaving later that day. 

Right smack, of course, in the middle of graduation ceremony.  *sigh*

It all worked out, anyway.  I dropped Heide and the girl off at the airport with plenty of time to catch her flight, which she did without further incident.  I attended a perfectly boring graduation ceremony, learning even more things not to do at the ones I run.  My friend Doc Hillary was the undisputed star of the show, delivering the best address hands-down (yes, they had EVERY graduate deliver an address).  I got another opportunity to be snarky on Facebook, thanks to my friend Droid.  And we all had a great dinner that night, unexpectedly paid for by someone else. 

So...all said, it was a great day.  It just left me with no write for today.  Till tomorrow, then....

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