How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


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North to Alaska: A-Hiking We Will Go

To be fair, I should include what little I know about this Vancouver hiking group. Friends added friends and the group expanded due to similar interests and bonding.  All my family has met them on several occasions during our visits to see sister, Jean. Warmer and more generous people I have never met.

They invited me to what?

A hiking we will go © Jon Nightingale

Towering, impossibly straight trees framed our path and filtered penetrating May sunlight through new leaves and branches. The clean scent of fresh air, cedar, ferns, fir trees, and dry dirt in our path path greeted all comers. Now and again, birds twittered, but quiet reigned except for the odd low-keyed conversation. Other hikers passed in both directions. Heaven.

 

The path began more or less three-people wide on the level gravel-covered ground. At times, we stood aside for other passers-by. A small incline rose up and up till I was breathless and heaving. Was I out of shape or what?

The majority of the seasoned hikers slogged ahead at a brisk pace compared to sisters Jean and Mary, Liz, and me. Jean suggested we slow our pace as we needn’t keep up with the others. The going became rough: stair-like ascent over roots and stones for footholds. Where the trees grew thicker, the roots were wet and the hiking trail muddy and water-soaked. Treacherous doesn’t describe it. Unsteady, I kept my balance—just. Was I up for this?

I can. I can. I can. © Jon Nightingale

I worried how we’d get back to the parking lot though we hadn’t gone half-way, which happened at Jug Island Beach.

Jean and others pulled out snacks and water. Mary ripped off shoes and socks to cool off ankle-deep at water’s edge. The cool temperature discouraged swimmers—still too early in the season. Logs, rocks, and sand offered seating for all who chose to relax or catch their breath. We four arrived much later than the rest of the group.

Though I had a sneaking suspicion, I had to ask. “How do we get back?”

“Same way you came.”

Blast. Back over the wood stairs, rough stairs of dirt and stones, both minus handrails. Going down was easier than going up and I made it. Liz joined the rest of the group as we three sisters stayed together on our return. Whether altitude or lack of sleep, Jean asked permission to help when my legs refused to maneuver a tricky spot while on my hunches. Yes, she pushed me there.

At one point, Mary noticed we were in unfamiliar territory. We’d wandered off the trail. Funny about the timing. Jean and I gazed around, struck with the same thought. Seeing no other hikers for several minutes was daunting.

We shared our misadventure with a couple with an obedient Doberman, with whom we crossed paths. They confirmed we were back on track.

A man from our group passed by, who had made a last minute dash to the facilities following picture-taking. We were gone when he came out. Having no idea which trail we’d chosen first, he struck out on his own. Rotten luck. Alone, he made record time and now passed us on his second trail in.

A parking lot peeked through the trees, but which one was it? Passing hikers pointed to the curve in our path, which snaked to the road across from the lot we needed. Neither of us had a clear recollection of crossing the road at the start of the hike.

Decision made we’d ditch the second hike, we found Ralph had scored the last picnic table for return hikers. The sodden grass squished beneath our runners as we squelched our way toward him. At times, our shoes sank low past the soles. Canadian geese ambled about as if they owned the park, children laughed and hollered and ran. Tense parents kept an eye on them while unpacking picnic lunches.

The sun bright and weather spring-like, a chill breeze ruffled our hair. Grateful for a place to sit, I dropped to the bench. Jean suggested Mary and I snooze in the SUV till the second round of hikers returned. Though tired, closing my gritty and burning eyes was enough. I could not sleep.

I came alive when talk of lunch at a pub surfaced through the half-open SUV window. I’d lost all track of time but my tummy had not.

~ * ~

Next on February 23rd – North to Alaska: The Peoples’ Path and more

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

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#BlogBattle Week 44 – Prompt: Worm

To join  and / or meet the wizard behind this challenge click below:

http://rachaelritchey.com/blogbattle/

Rules:

  1. 1000 words max
  2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
  3. PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
  5. Go for the entertainment value!
  6. State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
  7. Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
  8. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a linkback to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/orinclude a link to this page in your own blog post(it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
  9. Have fun!

Each winner will receive the awesome #BlogBattle Winner Badge to display with their winning story on their webpage.

***********************************************************************

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Initiation

The clock said ten past noon, but it was five o’clock somewhere, right? Tara twirled the generous celery stalk in her Bloody Caesar in careless coils, head in a fog. A splodge of drink splashed onto the island countertop. She ran a finger over the wet splosh and plunged it into her mouth. Waste not; want not. She didn’t laugh.

The highball glass clasped against her chest, she circled to the window over the kitchen sink. Hefty storm clouds gathered thick and low, gray as grimy mop water. Freezing rain blistered the glass and refused to abandon the pane. Like me. Frozen, grasping. She swirled the celery again and took a bite. Lifting the glass to eye level, she said aloud, “Happy New Year Baby,” and took a swig of Clamato and vodka, the reckless splash of hot sauce a slow burn down her throat. Her eyes bulged. A hack attack overtook her. She reached for more Clamato, then vodka, but put it down again. Today I celebrate January 1st. Alone. No need to get plastered and maudlin.

Tara shook her head. Waves of chocolate-colored hair grazed her shoulders and danced around her somber, pixie face. Something click-clicked in the silent house. She held her breath, froze listening—not the storm—what then? The creak of the front door and a jangle of keys—and brazen footsteps. Fixed to the ceramic floor like a post, she shot out a hand to ward off the intruder. “You!” The word exploded out her throat, leaving her weak and baffled. She set the glass on the island and slumped her petite frame over the surface to brace herself.

He halted mid-stride, his back stiffened. “Hi-dee-ho and all that.” The smile slipped a degree and lifted again. “Seems I’m in time for cocktails and lunch?” He looked about. “Maybe?”

“You have a nerve. Get out. Get out.” Tara glowered, staring him down with every ounce of strength in her hundred and five pound body. ”You copied the keys?”

“Settle down. I came to wish you all the best for the upcoming year.”

“Answer the question.” Her color bloomed from flushed to flame-red. Fists clutched into knots, she banged the island’s laminate top. “You copied the keys? How dare you?”

He had the grace to blush to the roots of his blond crewcut. Coat unbuttoned, he bounced from heels to toes, an innocent smile plastered across the face she once found attractive. “Let’s not fight. Fix me one of those, will you?”

Tara gasped, disbelief on her face. “Where did you think I’d be when you planned to rifle through my house? The divorce is final. You don’t live here anymore.”

Plunging hands deep into his pants pockets, Harry lifted colorless brows as if in surprise. “Where else would you be in this weather?”

“Liar. You thought my mother’s.”

“You used to be a sweet, loving woman. My, you’ve changed… Drinking alone in the middle of the day… Won’t share a drink with your husband…”

“Ex. Ex-husband.” To control her internal tsunami, Tara wrapped jelly-like arms around her middle and leaned against the sink cupboard. “You’re a liar and now a thief. How I allowed you to worm your way into my life, I’ll never understand. Once was more than enough. You’re nothing but a worm with a capital W, a sneak, a schemer. How had I been so blind?”

He altered his gaze from side to side and back again, everywhere except her face. “All’s I want is my wine-making kit. The one my brother gave me.”

Her voice harsh, Tara croaked out a hoarse laugh. “You had plenty of time to claim it all. Everything’s gone.”

“What do you mean, gone? Gone where?”

“Gone. Gone. Hand me the keys. Now.” She lurched forward, open-palmed, teeth gritted till they ached.

He blinked in quick succession and rocked on the balls of his feet. “Who’s the thief, Tara? Gone where?” His voice shook, squeaked like a child’s.

“Keys first.” She drew in a ragged breath, and waited, shoulders taut. A headache hammered at her temples.

He blanched, a lost expression on his face for the first time in the year since divorce proceedings began. Tara’s heart softened. No. His scheming…

“But my brother ordered it for me special.”

“Harry, you better sit.” She guided him to the kitchen table and chairs where they’d enjoyed many a meal during their seven-year marriage. “I’ll get you water.” He remained immobile, a stature carved from stone. “Here. Drink up.” He blinked at the glass, but didn’t lift a hand.

“I never believed you’d go through with it.” He plucked at the crease in his pants, muttering as if to himself.

Tara dropped into a chair facing him knee to knee. “I feel terrible. I do. The thing is you had nine long months to collect the rest of your things. How many times had I reminded you? Two months ago, I cleared out the basement and garage and hauled everything to Salvation Army.”

“Two months?”

“Yup. A week after I asked you the last time and mere days before the decree absolute.” I don’t want to feel bad for you. Leave. Go already.

“How’s about a shot of vodka instead?” His chin pointed to the water.

She scrutinized his face, gauging her next move. “Okay, one shot, and you leave. I’ll not join you in a drink.”

He considered for a nanosecond and searched her face as if he’d never seen her before. “When did you get so tough? I remember the ‘fraidy cat who jumped at her own shadow.” He sprang from the chair. “One for the road and I’m out of here.” She snatched the bottle and poured.

He gulped it in one swallow, stared at the empty glass, and slammed it on the counter.

“Hi-dee-ho.” He grabbed his coat.

“Harry, didn’t you forget something?”

“What?”

“My keys? I won’t ask for my razor back.”

* * *

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles.


103 Comments

Blog Friends, Neighbors and Countrymen

Due to extenuating circumstances (unexpected family and social obligations: i.e. life in the fast lane), I haven’t had enough time to visit you all more often.

November, I spent writing with furious diligence, while  life around me came to a standstill. Still appointments and family visits continue to take much of my time this month. Off and on holiday entertaining and a visit to the west coast for a sister’s 60th birthday also loom large.

When time permits, I shall flit in and out and can’t wait till my schedule isn’t hampered by all these commitments. You’re always on the edge of my mind. I have not forgotten you and miss you and our daily banter.

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Seductive Newfoundland

Hi all. I’m back and how I have missed you.

I can’t believe it’s over: the spectacular coastlines, colorful seaside villages, and miles of empty highways and dense forests. The elusive moose hid and the whales and puffins had already moved on, but the stark grace of Newfoundland and its friendly people has worked its magic on me.

IMG_1493

I know our trip wasn’t international—only Canada’s east coast—yet I feel as beat up as the Newfoundland Ugly stick.

Credit:  Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism

The people work hard and play harder as evidenced by their music. Do they know how to have a snappy foot-tapping good time! Seems all Newfoundlanders play an instrument or two, even as some hold down two or three jobs at a time.

I’m not sick after this trip, but ache all over and have been sleeping long and deep since my return home. Appointments, car insurance payments, driver’s license and plate license renewals have forced me out of bed. Am I falling apart in pieces? Say it isn’t so.

I prefer to clap my hands instead and enjoy an ‘Appy tune this Friday .

Buddy Wassisname (is you Appy?)   Credit:  boom4975

~ * ~

My blogging schedule will change this fall. I still hope to post on Tuesdays and Friday trip reports as before, but may be absent now and again, and may not read nor respond as in the past. Please bear with me.

I’m having trouble posting. The toolbar at the top of the page is spastic and keeps disappearing. Any tips how to overcome this?

~ * ~

Check out next Newfoundland post on October 2nd.

For related posts, click on Newfoundland / Labrador tab at the top of the page.  


106 Comments

Popping in and Out (Post #450)

Hello, lovely blogging friends!

I’ve been held up doing the rounds since I started poking around a bit yesterday. Thank you for the lovely e-mails over the summer although I avoided my keyboard most of the time. I wasn’t home much and at times my laptop was broken under attack of one kind or another.

I confess the summer vanished much too quickly. Whoosh! You cannot believe the trying circumstances situations I found myself in time and again. Nothing like a little excitement to keep the old ticker going, or more likely, almost squash it like a plum.

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The top three headliners of my summer were:

  1. I got hacked (cost over $200 to clean laptop but no banking information lost and new cards now)
  2. The same tooth abscessed twice. After antibiotics, a week later, again. Had it pulled. Lots of problems afterwards. Ouches.
  3. Windows10 messed up laptop. Best Buy removed and now Windows 8.1 again. Desktop was okay, but Windows 10 messed that up yesterday.

I won’t bore you with the rest of it.

Some pluses were spending a couple days with one sister and a couple more in cottage country with all four sisters.

Now, I n.e.e.d. a vacation. My fourth sister to retire did so in April and when I heard her ‘thinking’ how to celebrate, I was in. Snap! Yeah like that and asked point blank where she wanted to go and I was coming.

We are going to Newfoundland and Labrador soon. Exchange rates for the Canadian dollar are heart-stopping and I’m glad Mary found something domestic. Sigh. A vacation is a vacation—no, she’s not paying… Maybe I should have negotiated that small detail.  *giggles* This sounds an amazing corner of Canada with mind-boggling views.

There you have it. I’ll be flitting in and out for the next week and a half and then take to the sky and away for a couple weeks.

I appreciate all of your welcomes and smiles. Feels like I’ve been away from home, but now I’m back.

When I come back, my worth ethic will change. Instead of clearing the decks (e-mail, blogging, commenting) first thing every day, I won’t get to any of that till much later in the day. I may not be a constant as before, but I plan to visit every chance I get.

What’s with WordPress making unwanted changes again? I don’t like Reader and I’ve noticed now one follows in Reader. Sheesh. Another thing: why makes the menu bar spastic and how does one stop it?

 


34 Comments

100-Word Challenge for Grownups – Week 156

100wcgu-72

Check out:

https://jfb57.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week156-2/

Prompt this week is the picture below + 100 words

100 WordChallenge 156

Prompt: (Photo credit: Thomas Zimmerman)

Tornado

Jake gawked over a shoulder and grasped his grown son’s arm. After the suffocating hush, the rumble unsettled him. The funnel growled towards them—furious, voracious, writhing.

He hollered above the roar not unlike a jet engine. “We need a hole, a ditch…” Will scanned the field and pointed to the shack. “No.”

“…no choice, Dad.” They hit the ground and crawled, grasping dirt and weeds, battling the force of the punishing wind. “Root cellar!” 

Wind whooshed through the matchstick structure. “Ewe.” Will puked. “What died in here?”

“Tuck facedown into the wall, son. Cover your head.”

 * * *

“You okay, Will?”

 

© 2015 Tess and How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.


61 Comments

#BlogBattle – Week 15

Originator of this challenge:

http://rachaelritchey.com/blogbattle/

This  week’s prompt is …rage… + up to  1,000 words

Rage

The new neighbors arrived Saturday morning. Four screaming kids exploded out of the beat up van, voices shrill in the quiet street. Harry powered off and leaned on the handle of his lawnmower. He reached for the cigarette tucked behind his ear and lit up. A plump blonde slid off the passenger seat, pouty mouth streaked blood red. As the brood of kids, all under eleven or twelve, tore up and down the lawn and driveway, a reedy scarecrow of a man appeared at the back of the van and proceeded to unload luggage and cardboard boxes.

“Don’t just stand there, Louise. Open the damn door and come back help me.”

“Can I have the key first?” Her hand snaked forward, palm open.

“Oh for crikey sake. I gave it to you already.” Glass rattled in the box he plunked on the ground.

“Nope. Check your pockets.”

“Don’t give me no lip. I said— You must have slipped it into my pocket. Here— You’re ticking me off woman.”

Harry smoked the last of his cigarette, stared at the grass at his feet and then, across the road. The kids huddled together in a tight knot, quiet now, the girl half a head taller than the tallest boy. The squeal of bad brakes shattered the short-lived silence. A box-like moving van lumbered up the street and stopped in front of the empty house. A lanky twenty-something male jumped out of the passenger’s side and sprinted up the driveway.

“We need to back into the driveway, so’s we can get started? Okay?”

“Can’t you see I’m unloading here?” Scarecrow man spit a gob on the driveway, his hands in tight fists.

“I’ll help.” The young man gawked over his shoulder at the driver.

Harry crushed his smoke in the grass, dropped the butt into his shirt pocket and started up his mower. The rusty van drew up in front of his house, but he ignored it. One more pass and he was done. Turning on his heel, he headed to the backyard.

“The new neighbors have arrived.”

“Oh, yeah? What are they like? Any kids?” She stopped weeding and sat back on her heels, shading her eyes against the sun.

“In a word, trouble—with four kids.”

 * * *

After supper, Harry took out the garbage as usual, snapping the lid on tight and secure. The summer sun slid lower behind the garage. A screeching and wailing rent the air over scraping utensils across dirtied plates inside his house. His head snapped in the direction of the ugly noise. The girl pulled on youngest brother, the other two shadowed them out the side door. Hands in his pocket, Harry ambled down the drive as if deep in thought, an eye on the kids. The van still parked in front of his house afforded a clear view up the empty driveway.

“You don’t tell me nothing. You hear.”

Crash. Smash!

“Stop it. You’re hurting me. Let go.” The woman howled like a banshee.

The kids shuffled away from the door as one, the girl’s arms enclosing her brothers. At that moment Harry caught her eye. She lifted her chin high and turned away. Harry marched towards the house as his wife, a frozen grimace on her face and eyes wide, rushed out the door.

“I’m surprised nobody’s called the cops yet. Call them.” No sooner had the door slammed behind them when a siren moaned in the distance and stopped. Then, again. Closer this time. Two car doors slammed shut. Harry hurried outside as had all the residents on the street.

The police cruiser blocked the bottom of the drive. One burly uniform rushed to the door. The other corralled the children to the cruiser. “Stay inside. I’ll be back.” He rushed towards the house.

“What are you doing in my house? Get out!”

“Sir. Calm down.”

“Ma’am, are you all right? Let’s go into the other room.”

“Don’t tell me calm down. This is my house. You get out.” The words exploded in a guttural roar. Harry, as well as the curious on-lookers disappeared inside their houses.

“Your rage isn’t helping anyone. Hey! Put down that knife, sir. I said. Put. It. Down. Now.”

* * *

An officer on either side strong-arming him, scarecrow man in handcuffs tugged this way and that, and screamed obscenities spittle flying every which way. The woman, Louise, flew out of the house brandishing an umbrella and whacked her husband on the head before one of the uniforms grabbed it from her. ”Pick on women and innocent children will you. Don’t you never come back, you hear?”

“Mommy, mommy.” Her children ran into her open arms. “Shh-shh. It’s going to be okay.”

The girl stepped back first. “I can’t live like this anymore. Yelling, screaming, no groceries, always moving in the night. This isn’t a good life for us kids.”

“It’s okay, Sweetie Pie. I have the keys to the van. We’ll leave tonight.”

“I’m not going. I want clean clothes, a clean bed, regular food and a normal kid’s life.” Two fingers of each raised hand wiggled to suggest apostrophes. “We’re not coming with you.”

“That’s nonsense.” Louse blinked and rubbed an eye smudging the already runny mascara. “We need to get some clothes and things. Come on. Help me.”

“I am not going into that house ever again. We’ll wait out here.”

The three boy nodded like dashboard bobble heads. Louise stared at her daughter with narrowed eyes. “I’ll be right back. Forget the junk inside. I’ll get my purse. One moment.”

As soon as the door slammed behind her, the kids hoofed it across the road to Harry’s house. They didn’t knock. They simply slipped inside.

A voice outside screeched. “Where are my children?” Curtains swayed up and down the street. Louise twisted around a time or two, threw back her shoulders and scurried towards the van.

The End

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.


79 Comments

100-Word Challenge for Grown-ups – Week #149

If you’d like to try this challenge, click below:

http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week149/

This week’s prompt … union … + 100 words

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THE FIX

“Never in a trillion years—” Arms and fists rigid, Jeannette grit her teeth.

“Turn around and look at me, okay?” Paul’s forehead glistened. “I’m sure you’ve misunderstood.”

She threw up her hands, palms open, fingers wide. “I don’t think so.”

“Please. Look at me.”

“Powerful man, your father. He’d stoop this low, would he?”

“Don’t—”

“So, this union, our marriage—a farce to hide his dirty little secret—”

“I swear…”

“You knew about this. Your problem; you fix it without me.”

“Me?”

Hands on hips, she swivelled around. “Nobody’s touching  my money.”

“Honey—”

“How could you?” Slam.

 

© 2014 TAK


92 Comments

Day 1: Getting to the Airport

A huge thank you to all my blogging pals for the incredible welcome home I’ve received, and which still continues. I imagined I’d sneak back and slide into my old spot little noticed, but it’s been like a party around here. It’s been heartening to be back in the fold. Hi all. Muah. Glad to be back.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Our journey hadn’t started on a high note. The limo driver called. Change in plans.  Sue, my traveling companion would be picked up first. Call her please?

“Why the heck is he coming here first? I’m not ready.” I heard her pawing the carpet like a bull offered the crimson cape.

“Stop wasting time. Get dressed.” I slammed down the phone. Already I was a little high strung because I’d been up since 7:00 a.m. Thursday and it was 3:00 on Friday morning. Afraid to nap in case I slept through and missed my ride, I held off. I’d sleep after Chicago I thought.

The limo driver turned out to be a handsome, hunky older gent with abundant silver hair not unlike Jeff Chandler’s and he had a thick and attractive accent. There was one teeny-tiny problem. His driving almost gave us heart failure. Rain obscured the road and he didn’t put on the windshield wipers often enough. When we came to a crossroad he asked which way to turn. Sue and I almost jumped out of the car, but we had a plane to catch. We gripped and clutched the leather upholstery instead.  The GPS came on and Mr. Handsome made a decision, which turned out to be the appropriate one. It put us on the highway to the airport.

Wiki commons. Credit Alex Proimos

Wiki commons. Credit Alex Proimos

The driver wanted to chat. We preferred he put on the wipers and watch his driving. We watched for him to be sure we made it in one piece. At one point, a transport truck passed and drowned our Towne Car with its spray and impeded visibility to zero. I closed my eyes and figured we’re going to China by way of heaven.

By some miracle we made it to the airport. Mr. Hubba-Hubba couldn’t find the United Airlines exit. Sue pointed it out to him with a long-nailed finger and an assertive voice. Twice. The limo company had already been paid by credit card so we rushed into the airport with our luggage as soon as the driver lifted our bags from the trunk.

What a melee. The sane side of my brain knew all these people hadn’t turned up to bid us farewell but my brain wasn’t firing on all pistons. The easy answer was I don’t know that many people; Sue doesn’t either.

Tickets. Done. Luggage weighed, tagged and ready to drop off. U.S. Custom card filled out. Carrots and celery confiscated. Oops. I forgot two apples in my bag as well. Sue had grapes. Snack preparation all for naught. What had we been thinking? The customs guys rolled their eyes. Glad to be of service fellas. We know your job is boring. X-rayed, scanned and processed, we trudged miles and miles to gate F90. Toronto is an unsympathetic and sprawling airport. No walkalators anywhere.

We were relieved to board finally, but the rain still drizzled and no entry bridge had been setup. This was a toy plane for only about 60 passengers. It was frigid inside and then too hot. Sue asked the steward might he turn down the heat a smidge. He turned it off. No-one complained. They must have been frozen or asleep. Maybe both.

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We taxied, and taxied some more. Was the pilot lost or couldn’t he make up his mind? Then, surprise. The plane sped up, and like the Road Runner, took a long running leap into the air. Flight time: one hour and 40 minutes and a noisy, bumpy and chilly ride. Touchdown was a blessing. More rain awaited in the windy city.

One wrinkle of our journey ironed out.

Five hours and 25 minutes to fritter away.

~ * ~

Next time: 25 ways to kill five hours and 45 minutes at Chicago airport.


129 Comments

China Blues

I’m back. Sort of. Just dropped in to say hi to all my awesome buddies. Thank you for your endearing ‘miss you’ notes.

 ^-^

Arrived home 9:30 Sunday night. Too wired for bed, I emptied my luggage and threw in a load of laundry. I’d been up since 6:00 a.m. and failed to sleep for the entire 14-plus-hour air hop to Chicago.

The connection to Toronto was approximately three hours, but baggage retrieval, re-checking of same, new tickets, security checks and processing gobbled up most of that time. To ramp up my angst for Home Sweet Home, a game of change the gate and delay boarding began. My throat had begun to bother me and my tummy played the queasy dance. Great.

The okay to embark came at last. A number of priority boarders arrived late and held up the rest of us. Once seated on the plane, we waited. And waited. The announcement from the cockpit gave me pause. The plane needed to be fueled and the fellow responsible wasn’t answering the call. They couldn’t find him.

Time waits for no man? Are you kidding? We wasted time waiting for a man to pump fuel into the plane so we could make it to Toronto. Not my words, but words from the man in whose hands my life waited.

We flew the skies with two wings, a full tank and late. Bless us everyone.

Toronto airport is humungous. Sue, my travelling companion, and I, must have walked ten miles to the baggage pickup with not a washroom in sight.

Our booked limo driver would only wait 90 minutes no matter why a plane might be delayed. We rushed to find the proper location. She hadn’t arrived yet but did within minutes.

  ^-^

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When I finally fell into bed, I lay dead to the world for two days. With throat burning and sinuses raging, I managed to waken to the call of Nature and filled up my water glass and me again and again. My kitty, Lady G., draped herself over my shoulder the whole time. I think she likes me.

Day three, my face ready to explode, I clawed through my drug drawer to medicate. Past due dates were years old (the oldest 2008), but I unearthed a pack of Advil Cold and Sinus tablets with a 2015 date. Back to bed I crawled and another day and night lost.

I’m here in spirit, still sneezing down the house. My sinuses are better, but gushing like Niagara Falls. My brain is on lock down.

Just saying hi. Back soon.