January 4th, 2005

crane

Snow Delays

It was a good thing Kathy took the day off.

We were up at 7, showering, packing, getting breakfast into us, into Jet. Kathy actually arrived by 8! I was very impressed. Jet was ecstatic. He jumped on her and refused to eat anything unless he was sitting in her lap. Hee.

Then John called the airline to see what time our flight was leaving. Instead of 11:30 it was 1:30 because the plane had had delays of all sorts going from Dallas to Denver. So I took a nap. I'd been up late, reading Sunshine, by Robin McKinley. I liked it a lot and actually kind of enjoyed how the plot strung together. I am rather grumpy about all the threads left hanging, still... it was a good read.

I was feeling better, I thought, and the nap helped me get enough energy to get the last of our mini-Stuff packed together, into the car, and off to El Indios, where we had lunch. Jet had a mild tantrum over how much juice he could have in his cup. He was pretty tired. We got to the airport and found that the counter workers were all gone on their "staff meeting" from 12-12:30. It wouldn't have been a problem on their normal schedule, and it really wasn't, now, it turned out, as when they did come out and check us in they said that the flight was delayed until 2.

We milled about for a bit, took random pictures with my camera, and then lassoed someone to take a picture of all of us. Then we just hugged them good-bye and headed for the security line with Jet still waving wildly and giving a HUGE grin to Kathy every time she waved back or jumped up or down. When we got to the gate, we found out it was delayed until at least 3 because it was taking a lot more time to get out of Denver than they'd anticipated. So we would, definitely, NOT be getting home in daylight. Given that we knew that it was going to be snowing, it would have been nicer to have been there in the daylight, but we could figure it out.

We were far better off than the old 3pm flight that wasn't leaving until at least 6...

We didn't get out to the plane until about 4. Jet, by then, was asleep in John's arms. We got to our seats and the seats right in front of us were covered in plastic... turned out someone had vomited all over one of them and they could only do so much in the 10 minute time slot the clean up crew was given. I have never been so glad that I had a cold that turned off all my smell abilities. It didn't seem to both John or Jet, but the folks that had, originally, been assigned that row were moved to other seats, as it was unmistakable to them.

Jet slept on his seat, between our laps. He's getting to be pretty big, and it's starting to get uncomfortable for him to stretch between them. But he slept, John slept, and I slept, finally on the way home. I woke up when the drink cart went by and got myself a cranberry juice. It felt wonderful. I also got a Dorito chip bag instead of a Sunchip bag as I didn't think I could taste the weaker one. After an hour and a half, Jet stirred, and John picked him up and I went to the restroom, and when I was back, Jet was watching Thomas and munching his bag of Sunchips. Yay! I couldn't sleep anymore on the way back, and the cabin was cold, cold, cold. But I tucked myself under John's coat, which he didn't need, and tried to just really rest and relax for a while. Coming down made it imperative that I experiment in how to get the pressure out of my stuffed ears, but a couple of Mentos worked wonders for both Jet and I.

When we reached Denver it was a zoo in the airport. With all the snow delays everyone was piled up in the terminals. We did potty breaks as needed, got our baggage after a bit of a wait and having to clamber over a whole other set of baggage from some other flight, and then we stopped and had some dinner, there. It was already 8 pm, and Jet plowed right through a whole box of brown rice and sauce, and we went through our Panda Express dinners like we were famished. I guess we were, as we hadn't eaten anything but chips and Mentos since 12 MST...

I needed it.

We then girded our loins with all the warm clothing we had in our suitcases, and John did the run out to the cheap parking, got the car and brought it to our door at the passenger pickup. Jet found a friend to play with in the lobby and they chased each other around, raced, and had a grand time. She was probably three years older than him, but they had a blast while ignoring her younger sister who was actually much nearer to Jet's age. The younger sister was taller than he was, but not interested in doing anything with Jet. So the elder and he had a blast until I saw the snow-ghost of our Passat pull in at the doors. Jet was great and trotted right out with me when I told him we had to find Daddy. He was in the double-lined coat Mom had given him so was as snug as a bug in a rug, and when I popped him into the half-ice half-warmed car, he was cheerful enough. He settled into his seat, with no protests. It always amazes me how happy and content and content to do what we ask him Jet is when he's full and rested...

I buckled him in while John loaded all the suitcases into the car. John even ran the cart carrier to the carrier rack while I finally finished up and got myself into my seat. I was moving slowly.

We then headed home. The scraper hadn't done crap on the sheet of iron ice, but the defrosters were taking it to molecular warfare, and got enough heat into the stuff to soften it up. When we hit the first toll booth on the toll road, we pulled aside after paying to the unused lanes, and John got out and made all the windows clear. I could feel myself unclenching myself when I could finally see the roads we were going through. There was very little snow. Just some wet but bare road, but with the 6 degree temps outside, that could as easily be ice as water... As we were leaving our spot, another lady stopped right where we'd been, hazards flashing, and she pulled out her ice scraper...

None of the roads were ice, though, until we got to Longmont, itself. There the streets weren't bare at all, there was still hardpack snow everywhere, and smashed and frozen by the night's cold. We got home safely, Jet singing about Christmas lights and ice and snow, asking us to sing Old MacDonald Had a Farm... and dictating the animals to us. :-)

That was fun, but it was only when we were safe in the house that I finally unclenched my heart, and breathed.

And then hacked up a loogy...

bletch.

It was odd, at DIA, when we were eating dinner, the TVs were on CNN, and they were covering the tsunami relief efforts in Indonesia. I was quietly trying not to cry half the time, as there were all kinds of stories about what they could do in the face of all that they couldn't do anything about... and the reminder that that was much, much harder than anything we were having here had a very interesting affect. I hadn't heard nearly anyone at the SD airport complaining about what was happening. There were very few people at DIA who were vocally, loudly unhappy with the snow-in situation. Folks seemed more grim, but also quieter and just dealing with the small hardship given to us. Comparing it to the hundreds of thousands of lives lost and what other thing nature could do, made this insignificant.

We were home. We were safe.

I won't argue. Jet immediately gravitated to his train table as we did some unpacking and turned the heat back on and got the house back to normal. Jet was playing in his coat for a while until it was warm enough. The cleaning people had left a gorgeous house and a note of thanks for our business. That was nice.

It's good to be home.