Last Step And First Step

Yesterday I said good bye to me life in Florida with Norman and set out on the long journey toward my new life across the country.  Shanti had booked the flight for me and left detailed instructions on how to go and when to go so I was not as afraid as I would have been without her help.  She suggested first class so I had the room and booked us in the very front seats in first class so I never saw all the people that were on the plane.  I did see them as they filed by when the plane was being loaded as they all went down the aisle past me.  But that was not the same as being in a crowd.  There were only 6 or 7 rows in first class and only four across, two on each side of the aisle so from where I was it just looked like a small intermit group going on a plane ride.  I was afraid of a big crowd as for the last 25 or 30 years we just would not go anywhere that had a large crowd or when we had to we tried to stay on the fringe.  Big crowds always made me nervous.

Our flight from West Palm was to leave at 12:05 and Shanti left instructions 1) You can check in 24 hrs ahead (but you don’t need to) and by 24 hours I didn’t have a computer any longer so I didn’t do it. 2)  go to airport 1 1/2 hr early.  3) leave house at 9:30 am 4) 4 bags total + carry on & purse.   I had packed my bags a week ahead of time as I packed everything into the storage units that I was not taking with me.  I send by mail several boxes of things I thought I might need in this next year and then each day I packed and repacked my suit cases.  Yesterday I did the final repack and added a few small things I had forgotten including my tooth brush and nightie.  I am still looking for those.  I had planned to put those in my carry on but at the last minute decided to us my computer case with my Mac, iPad and phone with all their cords as my carry on and there was no room in that for my nightie or toothbrush.  Also I was told I would have to take those devises out for the scanning and I didn’t like the idea of showing the world my nightie so that got stuck in one of the other suit cases at the last minute.  I had two big suit cases and one small one besides my computer case and my big purse.  Landen had the duffle bag.  I tried to talk him into taking an overnight bag as his carry on and I would have filled that too but he wanted to have his duffle bag as his carry on so he could keep all his things handy at all times so I just repacked and repacked until I had all the things I thought I would need- clothes, papers etc and we went with just the 3 bags and two carry ons.

Becca got out of work to take us I do like to get there early to any appointment so I ask her to pick us up at 9 instead of 9:30.  I said I would rather wait at the  airport than in an empty house.  She agreed and got there a little after 8am.  We were ready when she got there so I went through the house with Becca showing her what I had not done as far as final clean out, such as the food that was left in the refrigerator and freezer and the beds and few towels that we had used the last two days.  She and Patty had said to just leave all that and they would come over and clean everything out before the sale, they would use what the could and junk the rest for me. Then we were ready to leave around 8:30 so we set out.  Not a whole lot of traffic that hour of the day and Becca knew just where to go and how to get there so it was a very smooth and low stress trip.  We arrived at the air port before 10am so were in no big rush to check in.  There was no line at the terminal but quite a walk to get to the American Air terminal.  Once there we had a very helpful man who checked us in for me and got a wheel chair for me and made sure one was ordered at each stop on the way.  Becca went right with us until we got to the place where we had to be scanned for flight.  The porter who was pushing me stopped so we could say  good bye and thank Becca for all her help.  Then she left amid a few tears and I was rushed to the scanners.  I did have to take my Mac out and put that in one box, my purse with the fruit out in another box and my iPad and chargers in another box.  Landen went through the regular scanners and would meet us on the other side.  There was another woman just ahead of me scanning her things too and her husband was helping her in a wheel chair too.  When our boxes came out the other side of the scanner, her husband grabbed my iPad and said that was his wife’s iPad.  The porter grabbed it back and said NO, that was mine.  The to men got quite verbal about the whole thing and the police man that was working the scanner came over to settle it.  Just then I noticed another box after mine with a lone iPad, completely different from mine come out.  I asked her if that were her computer and rather sheepishly she said she guessed it was.  There were no cords or chargers in her box, why she wanted mine I will never know.  Thank God for the porter who stood his ground for me, I would never had dared confront the two of them but he sure did!!  We then went looking for Landen and couldn’t find him so the porter said maybe he is waiting at the gate for us and if he were not there the porter would go and find him for me.  But sure enough when we got to gate 9 Landen was there worrying about what happened to me.  I tipped the porter and went to sit with Landen.  We were at the gate a little before 11.  Landen went and got me a bottle of water and I went to the rest room and we just settled down to read and wait for our flight at 12:06.

The connecting flight was a little late but they put a rush on and we boarded on time.  We had F1 seats which wet right up front near the rest room and with lots of leg room.  Every one was great, we were given a snack and anything we wanted to drink.  Landen had coke and I had more water.  They made up the lost time and we arrived at Charlotte on time at 2:05.  The first two hours of our flight was done and all had gone according to plan and better.  I was greeted as I got off the plane by a porter and wheel chair and this time a had a young woman pushing me.  As she went by the rest room she asked if I wanted to stop and of course I did so she let me get up and go in while Landen waited for me too.  Then she took us both to the new gate.  We got there with time to spare so we took seats to wait.  Landen got a chance to to the rest room also and we boarded right on time.  We were in group 1 so got to go on first and again we had seats F1 right up front with lots of leg room and steps away from the rest room.

This time we had two men taking care of the first class.  We could both understand what he was saying over the loud speaker, neither of us could understand the woman on the first flight but we got the gist of it.  First class is something else!!  They got us drinks before we were done loading, then as soon as they give the speech about oxygen masks and life vests the brought around snacks and another drink, mine water and Landen coke, me chips and Landen a chewie  waffle.  Then came a dish of nuts and more drinks if you wanted.  Then a bout a hour or so into the flight came our chicken dinner.  Very good but I couldn’t eat much of it, I was still full from the snacks and dried fruit I had been nibbling on so Landen ate the other half of mine and we both left the cold corn salad and other salad which neither of us like.  He ate all the rice and half of my chicken as well as his own.  We were both pretty full by then.   Then about an hour or less they come around white Sundaes.  Two giant scoops of ice cream and a choice of toppings.  Landen had a strawberry sundae and I asked for small one.  They were all pre- scooped to he just found the smallest one he could and told me I didn’t have to eat it all.  I ate about half of it and Landen and I swapped my sundae for his empty dish and he finished mine too.  So later when they came with snacks again Landen still had room for another waffle and I took chips which I finished last just now as I type this at 5:30 am.  We had a good tail wind and smooth ride most all the way.  Just a little bumpy the first hour but nothing as bad as we had on the cruises so we made good time and arrived 20 minutes early.  Just before we landed the steward brought around hot wet towels to wash our hands with.  I used mine to wash my eyes from al the napping I did, then my hands and took a mint that he was bring around next and was ready to land.  It was almost a 5 1/2 hour flight but with all the service and the smooth flight it really went very fast.  It was only the last 20 minutes or so that my back became tired so I was glad to land and stand up and walk for good.  I had gone to the rest room in flight but just the once so I was tired of sitting.

It did feel good to stand when we landed and my joints complained about having to move but when the steward said I could wait right there for my wheel chair I told him I would rather walk a little.  I went only a couple feet out of the plane when a nice young girl came up with my name on an iPod and had my wheel chair ready for me.  She whisked me away to the baggage claims area,   would never have found that on my own.  Landen called Joe from there. Joe was up at the gate looking for us and never saw us get off the plane.  We had been taken a back way to avoid the stairs and used elevators instead.  So he got down there to find us before the luggage even got on the turn stye. I tipped the porter and though I would have to walk to the car but she would not let me out of the chair.  She took us all to the parking garage and up to the 8th level where Joe had said his car was.  Again I thought I would have to walk to the car but no she told Joe to go get the car and drive it around to that side to get me- He did and we waited – WOW was it cold that poor girl stood there in the cold wind and waited until she had me in the car.  I thanked her and tipped her again and we both drove off happy.

It was so good to see Joe!! He took me to this hotel just outside of Seattle.  We drove right through Seattle but all I could see were the millions and millions of light as by then it was very very dark,  Laura came over and got Landen, Joe and I visited for a short time and then turned in about 8:30.  I slept well and awoke about 3:30 this morning, really more like 6:30 EST  as usual.  So I got up, made a could called and sent emails.  Now with my first day’s blog done I can start my first day in Washington and get to see Wenatchee.  No snowing on the pass so we can go straight there.  Have a great day,  I know I will.  Love to all

About Carol (Ouma) Petts

I am a retired teacher. I have taught all levels from kindergarten through college and have been retired now for over 20 years. The last ten years we have lived on a farm and lived off the land, growing our own food and canning for our extended family. Now we have sold the farm and are moving to Florida to truly retire. I guess I have always had a short attention span as this is our 11th move. We have moved from a small farm in New Hampshire, to more city type living, small business adventures, focusing more on traveling, Florida living, Georgia, and Tennessee farming and now back to Florida. My blog is a way to keep my children up to date on what I am doing and letting them know I am still alive and well. My children are spread across the country from New England to Florida, Nova Scotia to New Mexico and CA and several places between, They let me know what they are up to by commenting on my blog but they are so busy with their own lives most times I have to assume " no news is good news". Now I are starting on a new adventure so will try to give daily updates until we get settled into a routine. Then I know even if I am getting older and should settle down I will start looking for some new and exciting adventure to start. Welcome aboard. Norman died Oct 30, 2017 so I am continuing the journey alone with the aid of my children, grand children and great grand children. At present I am living with my daughter and we are 7 in one house and cover four generations. We range in age from 7 to 85 and are finding common ground, we are living proof that multi generations can live and function in a three bedroom house if they really want to. Soon my grandson will have his house built next door so we all will have a room of their own except for the seven year old twins who by choice will share a room.
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1 Response to Last Step And First Step

  1. Rosemary Rafuse says:

    I just read this!! You were well taken care of and all that good food!! I liked the nightie story! You are likely still tired today but so happy to be there with Joe and his family. Good night!

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