Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Long Way Home

“I see lights. That must be San Francisco!” Mom pointed at the window excitedly.

“Ma, it was seven o’clock when we took off, and that was forty minutes ago.” I replied with a finger pointing at my watch. She knew it would be a two-and-half-hour flight.

She looked at me, then the window, then was quiet for a while.

Twenty minutes later, she saw lights again: “That must be San Francisco.”

This is going to be a very long flight, I thought to myself, and it will be the first and last time I am ever going to fly with her.

It was worse than traveling with a kid. At least you could tell the kid to be quiet.

I was a little tired. The day started early, since I woke up at five and couldn’t sleep anymore. There were still a lot to do before we had to leave.

I made five or six garbage runs. Mom’s friends were going to take everything away after we were gone, but I felt bad leaving too much junk, so I wanted to do the best I could to reduce their work.

It didn’t help with mom telling me, as usual, to take a break. I think she said that to make herself feel better, not knowing or caring who was going to finish all the work.

Then I had to cook for her friends who were kind enough to stop by. I cooked the traditional dumplings which, according to mom, was the thing to eat when leaving for a long journey. Thank goodness for frozen food.

It started to snow amid all the actions. I ran to the patio yelling snow, snow!

I was the only one who was so excited. They were probably all sick of the wintry scene.

We had the first unpleasant surprise when we arrived at the airport. The flight was delayed for two hours.

I didn’t buy their reason--weather. I’m from California, okay? We don’t have bad weather there. Find another excuse for your inefficiency.

We did the duty-free shopping. We had coffee. We did the restroom runs. Twice. We had some food. I pushed her wheelchair all over the place. The airline clerk was nowhere to be found, so I decided I didn’t need her. I am my mother’s keeper now.

After we finally sat down in our seats on the plane, but not before we had this near miss roller coaster slide down the tunnel, I heard the flight attendant telling a passenger it was bad weather that caused the long delay.

So much for the great California weather.

Three or four times of proclaiming we were over San Francisco later, mom finally got her wish. We were over the city, only we couldn’t land. There was a thing called air traffic jam and we were in it.

We circled twenty more minutes in the air. Mom complained that the pilot drove too slowly.

To top things off, the traffic on the ground was worse than that in the air. We probably waited half an hour for our ride to drive the two-minute distance from the cell phone area.

It was almost midnight when we reached home. A simple two-hour flight turned into an eleven-hour ordeal.

My little house had never looked nicer, and the licks from my little Yorkie had never felt sweeter before.

(Happy Thanksgiving everyone!)


  1. Welcome home, Sarah. And by the way, it is all a matter of perspective. The pilot was driving too slowly.

  2. Are we there yet? Are we there yet? :-)

    Welcome home and Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Sweet girl, you have your work cut out for you now. Just know that friends are thinking of you as you change from the child to the parent, and your mother, the parent to the child.

  4. Bruce - it's so good to be home after a month and half away, and yes, the pilot drove too slowly.

    Charlene - happy thanksgiving to you and the family!

    Judie - isn't that the truth? Now we have to sort out where we want to live. Decisions!

  5. Welcome home, my friend. That last line is very sweet. "Find another excuse for your inefficiency." Very funny!
    PS I hate SFO too.

  6. You could always come to Tucson!

  7. Dorothy was right...There's no place like home, correctamundo? I was gone for a week and had a wonderful visit with My Peeps. But I was glad to sleep in my own bed last night, for sure. Hope you and yours had a totally wonderful Turkey Day!

  8. Here's what I like about coming home--my very own bathroom!!!! Well, and my bed, and my yard, and my den, and my fridge, and.........

  9. Thanks for leaving the nice comment on my blog. Joey got all his brains from his father,because I still have mine!! I have been wanting to use that line for the longest time!!!
    I am with you in spirit.

  10. Sarah! It looks like I have A LOT to catch up on! I will read more of your posts that I've missed later. Time to get the kids up for school.

    What a horrible trip home. I bet your pillow never felt so good : )

  11. The pilot, and the airlines in general, must've read my aphorism about slowing down. Sorry, you got caught in the crossfire.

  12. I've never been on a plane before, and that certainly doesn't make me want to do it anytime soon!:P Eleven hours...! Woah. I'm glad to know that you're doing fine and your mother seems as good as she ever was ;) I love the way you tell things, Sarah. It's always an interesting story.

  13. I'm so sorry - it must have been incredibly frustrating for you - thank you for sharing it with such humour!

  14. Dear Sarah, I've missed you and it's been my own fault!
    Lots of love,

  15. Robyn - thanks my friend. I, too, hate SFO now. :)

    Melissa - I love my bed and my pillow!

    Judie - Tuson is lovely, but a little too hot for me.

    Angie - thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    n/p - I beg you on behalf of all SFO travellers to rescind your slow down post. :)

    Sarah - You should be okay if you stay away from SFO.

    Kitty - I'm hoping the worse is over. We'll see.

    Tina - It's been a while. I've missed you too. How's the book coming along?

  16. Sarah, thanks for the comment on my post. Klee's art is an acquired taste.

  17. This brought back so many memories of flying with my dad. What a nightmare. I actually pretended to not know him on our last flight together, that's how bad he was. The flight attendants all wanted to smack him. You could see it in their faces.

    I sure miss the old coot but I still wouldn't fly with him ever again.

  18. Marla - you made me laugh and sad at the same time. Looks like my mom wasn't the worst to be with on a plane. Now I'm thankful. :)



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