Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Timeline of Our Trip Thus Far

Sunday, 12/23
6:30pm: Bump and I load the kids, two carseats, two strollers and eight suitcases into a cab and head for the airport. My intent when booking an 8 pm, 1-stop flight to Sioux Falls was that the tormentors could sleep and we wouldn't have to change planes. The flight is delayed 45 minutes, so we're not hopeful the plan will come together.

We arrive at the airport; our flight is delayed further.

I call everyone I know in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area to see if the airline is lying about a snowstorm in MSP. If not, are the roads too bad to rent a car and drive from MSP if we miss our connection to Sioux Falls?

Lots of my friends have relocated from DC, and in calling them all I realize I need to update my damn cellphone address book.

One of the calls I make to an outdated cellphone number is to a guy named Tony who believes I am the woman who went home with him last night. I inform him, quite flatly, that I am not. Tony is unconvinced.

Get two kids, two strollers and four bags through security.

My friend JD calls me back. Although he is with his wife's family in northwestern MN, he calls his parents in MSP for the weather report. Bless his heart.

I call JD back to thank him for his efforts.

Except JD's phone number is one I need to update. I again try to convince Tony I do not want to hook up with him. Again or for the first time.

Our flight is not cancelled, but delayed 12 hours. We are told to reclaim our checked bags and come back tomorrow morning.

We load the kids, carseats, strollers and eight pieces of luggage back into a cab and go home.

Monday, 12/24
We wake up. We should be calling the cab at this point. At least we're already packed. We throw the kids, carseats, strollers and eight bags in another cab.

Get two kids, two strollers and four bags through security. Again.

Begin boarding the plane. Our method for boarding puts Bump on the plane first with all the bags. He sets up the seatbelt thing for Lumpyhead while I let the Lumpyhead run. I get on at the last possible minute with both kids.

As I'm huffing onto the plane with Lula on my hip and Lumpyhead in tow, I see a woman I used to work with on the Hill. She's lovely, working for a big DC lobby shop, sitting serenly in First Class. I'm lugging two children and haven't washed my hair. I feel awesome.

She brightens and says hello. We exchange quick pleasantries. She seems surpised that I'm still on the Hill, and I remark that it's been a long time since I've seen her. "At least two kids ago," she says cheerfully.

Low point of the trip. Lumpyhead is whining and Lula is screaming. I vow never, ever, to do this again.

High point of the trip. Lumpyhead is silently watching a video on the laptop and Lula has fallen asleep.

Most of the flight falls somewhere in between the high and low points.

Because of the "warm" weather (mid-twenties) we drive through patchy fog from Sioux Falls to my hometown. On the way, Lumpyhead asks for Aunt Bob's Little Guy. We tell him that ABLG is visiting his grandmother. "In much different weather," Bump adds.
"Yeah, they're probably playing golf and drinking beer," I say. "Or maybe they're at the beach house."
"Fuckers," Bump and I mutter simultaneously.
"I hope it rains on them," Bump gripes.

My family asks how the flight was. I announce that we are not doing this again. "Seriously. One of you is going to have to die to get this production back on a plane," I yell. "So one of you will miss it; you can decide who it is."

Tuesday, 12/25
We have a lovely Christmas. My grandmother joins us for the day. Lumpyhead and Lula love the Christmas tree and their presents and are showered with attention from their grandparents and uncle and aunt. It snows all day; a beautiful, windless snow that is gorgeous and festive.

Thursday, 12/27
The nursing home calls to tell us my grandmother has the flu.

Friday, 12/28
My mother and I stop by the nursing home to see my grandmother. We know immediately it is not the flu. We insist she see a doctor, who orders her admitted to the hospital. My mother and I spend the afternoon arranging the transfer, waiting for the transport to arrive, and filling out paperwork.

We leave my grandmother, finally resting comfortably at the hospital.

The doctor calls to say that his orignal diagnosis of a bladder infection worsening grandma's heart function was incorrect. My grandmother has had another heart attack.

Saturday, 12/29
My mother, Aunt Karen and I visit Grandma in the hospital. She is doing quite well, is responsive and looks to be on the mend. She asks about my children, "Did they sleep well last night?" I had to tell her that, no, they did not. Lumpyhead woke up every ten minutes and Lula was up early and often.

We leave Grandma once again resting comfortably in the hospital.

As Bump and I are leaving for a movie, the hospital calls with bad news. Instead of a movie, Bump stays home with my dad and the kids while my mom and I race back the the hospital.

My grandmother had another stroke after we left. She seems to be resting comfortably now, pain-free. The doctor does not expect her to last the night.

It is sad to see her go, but honestly, she's been gone for a long time.


Melissa said...

I'm so sorry-- but glad you could be there now.

Violet said...

Jeez, hardly a merry Christmas for you, is it?

Em said...

In the end I guess this was a good year to head to MN for Christmas, no matter how tough.

Auntly H said...

I'm going to be glad to see 07 go. It's been a tough year on a lot of levels and for just about everyone I know.
Our thoughts are with you. If you have any delay at MSP at all on your way home, call us. We'll wrangle kids, buy the beers and/or give you a relatively comfortable place to sleep.
Oh, but check your email - I'll be sending you our new cell numbers.

Christine said...

Thankfully you were able to have a good Christmas with your family even with all the rough patches in your trip. Sorry to hear about your Grandmother. I know how tough it is to see your loved one going through this. Our thoughts are with you.

Fran said...

I am so sorry your grandmother passed away. I am glad you were able to be there to see her though and as hard as it was getting there, I know you are too.


Julie said...

I'm so sorry. Peace be with you and your family.

p-man said...

Hi, this is Tony... oh nevermind. It is good you were there for all of this, I think.