so today . . . we are headed home from our christmas trip to oregon. usually this means packing all our stuff the day before we leave, getting up before dark (but not really waking up,) dragging our sleeping bodies into the car, and then sleeping for several hours while rollie drives.
but this year we flew :) and we didn't have to leave for the airport until the middle of the afternoon. so we slept in, leisurely packed our stuff, and then ate lunch. rollie watched football, and i watched some HGTV (i don't have HGTV at home, so i'm sort of obsessed when i am anywhere that has it. i mean really, have you watched "house hunters?!?!")
packing to go back home on an airplane, after christmas presents and post-christmas shopping proved to be a little challenging. especially since diandra was also wedding shopping... she bought mosaic glass candles and purple christmas beads and heart-shaped ornaments and big round sparkly placemats for centerpieces. she kept coming into my room and saying, "mom, do you think you have room for this?" and mostly i did. but then a couple of times i had to say, "rollie, do you think you have room for this?" and thankfully, he did.
and then there was my wedding dress...
i think my wedding dress is one of the most beautiful dresses i have ever seen. timeless. classic. and a little bit sparkly (of course!) several years ago, my mom took it and had it all cleaned and preserved and packed in a pretty box. but the box is pretty big, and we have never had enough extra room to bring it home with us.
until we flew.
which is odd, i know, because you would think it would be easier to find room to take it home when we drive the suv. but when we drive the suv, we pack like we have unlimited room--even though we don't. when we fly, we know all our stuff has to fit into our suitcase (no extra bags of stuff can be stashed around our feet) so we pack lighter. and we flew on southwest, which let each one of us check two bags. for free! and since we only each brought ONE bag, we could check the dress.
this seemed like a great idea! until we got to the airport and tried to get our 3 suitcases, 2 carry-on bags and 1 dress box inside... (thankfully we didn't have a partridge in a pear tree.)
we schlumped all our stuff to the ticket counter. i admit that there was some rearranging, some tripping, and a close call with a revolving door, but we got there. we started checking our bags in. rollie's suitcase. my suitcase. diandra's suitcase. and then the box.
"what's in this box," the check-in person asked. we told her it was a wedding dress. "oh," she said, " it would be better if you could carry it on." that might be true, but the box was too big to carry on--why would she even suggest it?!? was she trying to get me into more trouble with the tsa?!?!
and then she said, "has this dress already been worn in the wedding?" it sounded innocent enough on the surface, but what it said to me was, "how terrible will it be if somehow the box gets crushed and pops open, and the dress gets caught on something and comes down the luggage shute in shreds?" now i was worried. she slapped a couple of orange "fragile" stickers on it, made me sign a waiver that said they were liable for loss, but not for damage, and sent it out to the plane...
i almost started hoping they would lose it...
on the way to the gate, i kept seeing oregon duck stuff. (in case you somehow didn't know, the ducks are playing for the national championship on january 10th. you should watch. they will win.) diandra had already acquired a duck sweatshirt, but i still didn't have one. we saw them all over the mall when we were shopping, but i had my eye on other things... now, though, we were in the airport headed home. and i was pretty sure if i didn't get a duck shirt before i got on the plane, i was going to be watching the championship game in the one green sweater i own. and it doesn't have a big yellow "O" on it! i was suddenly worried the ducks might lose if i didn't get a shirt. they might think i had no faith in them, or worse yet, didn't even care. so i walked back down the concourse, compared the different designs, and finally chose this one.now i was ready to go home. (and if by some fluke, the ducks lose, it is on them--i've done my part...)
as we were sitting on the plane, waiting for our flight (which had already been delayed for an hour,) diandra saw them loading the luggage. they were not all that careful with our suitcases. our suitcases were flipping and flopping and smacking onto the luggage conveyor belt. but they respected the fragile stickers on the dress box, carefully laid it on the conveyor belt, and it arrived at lax in good shape. which is good, because we have plans for that dress!
i've decided i love to fly! i don't love wrestling my bags through the airport. i don't love going through security. i don't love delayed flights. i don't love peanuts (oh, for the days when you got a real snack!) but i do love to fly. i love being in the airport. i love checking out the food options. i love getting on the plane and having someone bring me a drink. i love getting to my destination in just a few hours. i love not having to worry about car trouble, roads closed due to snow, and sleeping in the pretzel position.
in fact, i think we may have started a new tradition this year :)