Our last day of sister vacation was, as always, bittersweet. It is so fun to be together for this special time every year and we enjoy the weeek so much. The last day together is filled with a sense of urgency that is missing for the rest of the time. We also knew that our flights on Monday were early and so we were waking up in the middle the night.

Pam was ready for church and left the heathens at home. She took off and was stopping for groceries on the way home. Cheri and I talked, laughed, crafted, and carried on as best we could. We finally got a text from Pam. She was at church for 8 AM Mass and was all ready to pray. Unfortunately, Mass didn’t start until 8.30. She really knew that, but with all the chaos of guests, she forgot what she was doing.

She came home with a couple bags of food having found many bargains while shopping. We talked about what we were doing for dinner and both Pam and Cheri acted like we were cooking. Ronnie had promised to cook us ribs and I certainly didn’t forget that!

My big goal for the day was to get rid of the two large spools of blue variegated and plain blue crochet cotton. I didn’t want to have to pack those bulky items. So I was crocheting like mad and did finally get them finished up. That was a relief. I would hate for my luggage to not close.

Cheri prepared for crafting on the plane. I wasn’t going to even try that. However, I bought food while in Arizona and that couldn’t go in my luggage so much of my carry on backpack was taken up with food items.

Jen called to tell us what time to appear for dinner. Pam said she would make baked potatoes and bring a dessert. We have been coveting a fruit tart at Safeway in the bakery department. Here was an opportune moment. There were enough people to make it feasible to have this treat.

Ronnie had smoked the ribs using a rub and they were delicious. He also stuffed some jalapenos with cream cheese and wrapped them in bacon and grilled those. I’m not a hot food person so I wasn’t signing up for any of that. He also grilled asparagus and zucchini. We had various toppings for the potatoes, too. It was a feast and everything was delicious.

Quinn was chewing and biting on anything and drooling like crazy, but still didn’t get a tooth, much to Cheri’s disappointment. She so wanted a tooth to appear while we were here.

After dinner and cleanup, we went over to see the new house. The construction in moving along, but the house will not be finished until some time in September. There are two garages, one double and one single. There is a porch area between the single garage and the front door which is perfect for relaxing.

The den is immediately to the right of the door with a huge dining room, a gargantuan kitchen with a large island and a walk in pantry. There is a half bath somewhere downstairs, too. A ginormous living room with a two story ceiling abuts the kitchen. There is a large laundry room somewhere down there. Off to the left is the master suite. The bath has both a garden tub and a large shower. The walk in closet is a huge room. There are windows on three sides of the bedroom itself.

Upstairs has a large loft with another walk in closet. Jen had it wired so she can use it as a craft space because it is really that big. Then there are three more really nice bedrooms with oversized closets there, too. There is also more storage space/closet in the hallway and a full bath upstairs.

It was hard to picture everything with the house not really much more than roughed in. So we went up to the model and had to climb over the fence that was supposedly there to keep us out. Ha! We could peek in the windows and get a much better idea of what it will look like. The backyard is larger than I had expected.

We had to get home in order to be rested enough for travel day. So we kissed them all goodbye and headed back to Pam’s.

Cheri and I were basically packed, but not ready to close up the suitcases. We still had clothes on, jammies to wear, and toiletries to deal with. We also had to top off the charges on all our electronic gear. I was panicky about not having an alarm clock. I have never used the alarm on my phone so I got a mini lesson in phone usage and got myself all alarmed. It wasn’t really scary, but I was alarming now.

I didn’t sleep well the night before because of the nap and late coffee. I was tired and knew I had to get up at 3.30 in the middle of the damn night. I fell asleep around nine and left the other two sisters to laugh without me.

Cheri was so twirly that she opted to twirl on the couch and let me sleep. When I awoke at 1.58, I was all alone. I told myself I could sleep for another hour and a half and as each quarter hour chimed, I knocked that back. I finally got up and 3.15 and knew I was going to have a long day.

I got dressed and ready and decided to make coffee to take with me. Cheri had an extra hour at the airport and opted to just get some Starbucks there. It is sad to have to leave but I’m so grateful for the time together.

Pam drove through the night and we arrived at Sky Harbor. We kissed Pam and went inside. We both had boarding printouts but also the info on our phones. We wanted to use our phones to see if it would work. I was told no one but me would touch my phone. We checked our luggage. Cheri had fretted and worried and her bag only weighed 45 pounds so she was safe.

Flying is fun. Well, that is the alliteration I'm using here.

Flying is fun. Well, that is the alliteration I’m using here.

I thought I would see if I flashed Lester’s Delta airmiles charge card if they would let me not pay for my luggage. Since I didn’t have a PIN, I still had to pay. Bummer. I wasn’t worried about the weight. We got past the TSA checkpoint with the phones without a problem at all. Our gates were right across from each other. I was departing from Gate 18 and Cheri was from Gate 17.

My plane began to board and so Cheri and I had to leave each other. It got a little misty but we managed to not fall apart inside an airport which was really nice. The woman checking the boarding passes grabbed my phone (even though it was said that no one else would touch it) and hit the screen and made my squiggly thing disappear and when I got it back and tried to do it myself, she grabbed it again but managed to scan me in.

There was an anxious mother with two small children who was being mean to both, but especially so to the older child, a girl. I’m sure she was just anxious about flying, but it was hurting my heart. I sat next to a mother flying with three children, aged seven to about 15 or so. She was being so nice to the kids, patient and understanding. I had to tell her how wonderful I thought she was.

The plane pushed off from the gate and I was off.

We taxied for a while and then the Captain came on and said, “I have bad news. There is a problem with the pressure in the right engine.” We had to head back to the gate and some ground crew repair people would look at it and decide what to do.

They had looked to see what to do about connecting flights for all the passengers. They announced how everyone would be taken care of and these connecting places might make it but the people were confirmed on later flights in case the seats were needed. Charleston was not mentioned and those not specifically mentioned were thought to be in no danger of missing flights. I was nervous but not panicky.

I really did NOT want to be stuck in Detroit, but I had to have faith. And getting all upset wasn’t going to do anything anyway. And the mother with three kids needed me to remain calm, too. Some travel experienced guy called Delta while we were heading back to the gate and had gotten some solution to his missed connection, should it happen.

The woman next to me was worried about four seats on a connecting flight, too. We got stopped at the gate and the repair people were going to look at two things and then decide if they were quick fixes or if we were going to have to deplane and be totally inconvenienced which really beats dead.

All of a sudden, there was a Delta person asking if I was Mrs. Hysell. I was the ONLY person on the plane who they KNEW was going to miss the next flight. They had me scheduled for a flight through Atlanta and on to Charleston and I needed to get off the plane and follow her.

Some young man was really wanting off the plane and trying to find stuff on his own, and he kept arguing with the representative who wasn’t letting him off the plane, at least at that time. He was sucking up my travel time and so I finally told him that I needed to get off the plane and could he please allow me some room to get out of my seat.

They told me to talk to the desk people at Gate 18 and those people told me I was routed already and go to the desk right across the way. I stopped at Gate 17 and there was Cheri in line to get on her plane. The guy at that desk pointed me in the right direction and Cheri and I got to wave to each other an extra special time. She wanted to know what I was doing and I called to her as I ran down the concourse, “My plane was broke.” That may not have been the best thing to say as others were boarding.

I got to the next gate, they printed me out some new boarding passes and I was ready to fly home to Charleston. I sent a text to Pam, Cheri, and Dick to tell them what was happening. I gave flight numbers and Pam called in a tizzy. She thought I was stuck at the Phoenix airport until 3.20, but that is when I’m leaving out of Atlanta. So I got an extra time to say bye to her, too.

I’m sure I’m going to be fine now. I can navigate Atlanta. I know that because I have done it before. All should be fine and I’m in the air typing this. I was a relief when we began to taxi and the captain never spoke to us with bad news. I’m going to have to assume it wasn’t me who was the bad luck on the last flight. I didn’t make this one have engine problems. All is well in the travel world.

***

The biggest issue was that my luggage might not make it to Charleston with me. I let everyone know when I got to Atlanta and that was a blessed relief. The guy next to me was nervous about flying. I know this because he said it at least 67 hundred times on our trip. I could possibly still tell you about everyone in his family and their medical history as well. I know he is turning 60 next month. He was a nice man but very, very nervous and never shut up. Well, I assume he also talked while I finally managed to take a little nap.

I missed my second round of drinks and I really could have used another cup of coffee, but the nap was probably more important.

Once I landed at Atlanta, I let everyone know again. And then I had to get from gate A1 to gate E31. It was a bit of a hike. I walked it when traveling from A to B, but I took the train to get from A to E. I was almost stuffed from my two bags of peanuts containing perhaps a total of ¼ cup of peanuts. I had finished off the rest of the pistachios, too. But that was all I had eaten all day. I usually don’t eat that much.

On the way to my gate, I passed a Nathan’s hot dog place and got a hot dog and fries and refilled my water bottle and had a great feast. We were slightly delayed because the plane came from Mexico making the switch more detailed and painstaking and apparently just before this afternoon, no one knew that Mexico was a foreign country and would require this.

I got to Charleston without any trouble and may have actually dozed off on the ride. There was beverage service, but it didn’t make it to row 19 and that was where I was sitting. Missed out on more coffee. I went to the baggage claim area and rather than just wait and wait, I asked the Delta representative there if it was possible to tell me if my luggage was in South Carolina or not. She could, she did, and it was. I got my luggage and Dick brought me home.

I’m unpacked and everything is put away. I fluffed up some of my wrinkled shirts and they are hung up. I opted not to wash any skirts in Arizona, but decided I might want to do that now. The second load is in the washer. The first is dry and waiting for me to put it all away.

Dick had supper ready for whenever I wanted to eat. Beer cheese soup for dinner was perfect. He has cleaned the house and the car. There is a full tank of gas. I have salad fixings for my lunches this week. He is such a wonderful husband.

Waiting for more adventures.

Waiting for more adventures.

Gned had a great time. Now he is perched in his special spot waiting for more adventures. Delta pulled through and made what could have been a highly stressful day only slightly more stressful than it already was. I’m home and happy. I already miss my sisters.

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