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The Best Laid Plans

January 14, 2004

I am typing this at gate 20 in the Tulsa International (?) Airport. I was supposed to be boarding a plane back home to Detroit about now, but that aircraft has been delayed. If I understand the bits of conversation I’m overhearing, the plane is on its way, but I am not reassured by the way our estimated departure time has been pushed back twice since I’ve been at the gate. It’s beautiful weather here, but I understand the same is not true in Motown. Someone said there were ten inches of snow– that can’t be right. That wasn’t in the forecast. I’m starting to wonder if I really want to get back tonight if it’s been snowing that much, since it’s the Mustang waiting for me there and Mr. Karen is not home to come and get me in the truck. The truck isn’t waiting at home without him, either, since he loaded it up with friends and skis and took it to the airport. Yes, the same airport I’m headed to; I just don’t know where it’s parked and don’t have the keys anyway. What was I thinking? I know what I was thinking. I was thinking it wouldn’t snow this much. I was thinking that even if it did, I could always take a cab home and then drive one of the vehicles that our friends left at our place when they all headed off in the truck, so that’s what I may have to do. Look at me with a plan B.

Instead of fretting about what I’ll do when I get home, I’m pondering what will happen if I don’t get home tonight. I know Bubba will not starve; he’d be fine even if I didn’t get home for several days. He probably wouldn’t even get to the bottom of his pellet bowl. Since this is a weather delay, Northwest doesn’t have to put me up for the night, so I won’t get a hotel voucher unless I get really push and maybe not even then. Eh, so I’d have to find a place on my own. I can do that. Depending on when the first flight leaves for Detroit in the morning, I might even be able to rent a car and go to a quilt shop. I suppose if the flight leaves late enough, I might be able to go to more than one quilt shop. I was disappointed that the schedule for this trip didn’t give me any time to do that, so maybe this delay is actually a gift from the universe. Look at me looking for the silver lining.

So what am I doing in Tulsa at all? Work. It’s work’s fault. Purple Systems has a new customer that has facilities in Missouri, and I flew down with my boss on Monday. (Where is my boss now, you ask? On his way to sunny Phoenix, that’s where.) When I first asked last week about the schedule, the admin had booked us through Chicago and St. Louis to get to our final destination, when everyone else flying in for the meeting was coming direct to Tulsa. Hmm, what’s wrong with this picture? Eventually we got booked direct to Tulsa which is less than a two hour drive away from where we were going, and I’d much rather drive for two hours than have to spend all freaking day getting somewhere because I have two layovers. I was also happy to have gotten off American and onto Northwest, which means more frequent flier miles in a place I can use them and getting to be at the happy new terminal instead of the old tired one. I even got to leave from the gates on the other side of the tunnel of fascination, which was a first for me. Look at me getting what I want.

The work part of the trip was chock full of the parts of my job that I don’t like. Meetings, meetings, and more meetings. Forced socializing. No control over my time. I’d forgotten how wearing that sort of thing can be. I’m so glad I no longer have a job where that’s par for the course. I did manage to break away to meet fellow Suspect Kelly and her fake Internet boyfriend turned husband for dinner last night. I’d really meant to try and get together with her back when she lived in the Detroit area but never managed to get sufficiently organized. I’m regretting that now because she and Tony are both great fun to be around. We ate Mexican food and talked and laughed and it was a good time. They’re not even homicidal maniacs like people were joking about when I told them I was meeting someone I met online. (Or, if they are homicidal maniacs, they are ones with very good self-control and acting skills, because I was completely fooled. Perhaps they were just lulling me into a false sense of security and will kidnap me next time I come to town.) Look at me being a rebel and skipping out of the working dinner.

The flight to Minneapolis just boarded, so that means my flight to Detroit is the only one Northwest has left tonight. I briefly thought about asking to be routed through Minneapolis, because there are plenty of flights from there to Detroit and it’s Wednesday so they shouldn’t be full, but inertia got the better of me and I just kept sitting here and typing, looking up now and then to see what my fellow passengers are up to. They don’t look too disgruntled. The really perturbed people who were going to Ottawa left an hour ago; they decided they’d rather spend the night in Tulsa than Detroit. I can’t blame them. I might be joining them.


Update: I did make it back home and only about two and a half hours behind schedule at that. I felt bad when we got in to Detroit and I saw on the monitors that the Ottawa flight was delayed, too; those people could most likely have made their connection. Oh well, at least they didn’t spend any more time worrying about whether they would or not.

The freeway was in excellent shape, the surface streets less so, but the Mustang did pretty well until it came to the driveway. I might have had a chance of getting it in the garage if the plowing service our subdivision chips in for hadn’t already been by. That extra pile at the end of the driveway was just tall enough to stop me, though it took me a few attempts before I realized it was a doomed operation. I did manage to get the front of the car about three quarters of the way to the garage on my best effort, so that meant I only had snow in my shoes for the last ten feet or so on my walk from the street after I gave up trying. (No, I hadn’t put boots in the car. I don’t know what I was thinking there, either.) Once I put on some boots and shoveled the driveway, I was able to pull right in. I went ahead and did the sidewalk while I was at it and now feel all virtuous. I bless whichever neighbor it was who used their snow blower to clear a path down our front walk. If only we’d had the foresight to not live on a corner, I would have had almost no sidewalk left to shovel at all. Maybe next house we’ll think of that.


A year ago, I’d been cruising.

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