Gypsy's Travels

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Here Comes Abs....

Summer is almost here and the family travels are beginning. The Colorado hearts are headed down here, scheduled to arrive on Saturday, but Abs flew in last night, avoiding a 2 day car ride. For better or for worse, drama always surrounds my darling 9-year old granddaughter.
Abs had been packed for days and was chauffeured to the Denver airport by Gunner, her father, who was in uniform since he had to go to work when he returned home. The flight to Austin is a little over 2 hours, just slightly less time than it takes me to drive to the Austin airport, get a pass to pick up an unaccompanied minor, then clear security. I left home at 2:30 for Abs' 4:40 arrival, found a favourable parking slot in the airport garage, and proceeded  to the terminal.

 Ooops! Did I lock the car? Back to check and found it locked. Headed back to the building.

Ooops! I left my cell phone in the car. Maybe I could get along without it? It is such a short time. No, ABW will call 20 more times to be sure everything is going alright. Back to the car to pick it up, then back to the terminal building.

I was just about to enter the terminal building when my phone rang. It was ABW, Ab's mom. I was happy I would be able to assure her that I was there to pick her daughter up! The conversation went something like this:
ABW: "Where are you?"
Me: "At  the airport, about to enter the building. Yes, I am on time and yes, I am ready. Did Abs get on the plane okay?"
ABW: "No, she is not on the plane."
Planes were delayed at least 2 hours, so I went home.

Abs and Gunner were at the Denver airport, ABW and the other children were at home watching the Thunderbirds fly over the USAF Academy graduation ceremony, and I was waiting at the airport in Austin. Thank goodness for cell phones! Gradually, I pieced the story together.
Just prior to boarding time in Denver, a tornado warning was issued and all planes were grounded. Abs and Gunner were hunkered in a sheltered area for the duration with Abs wailing - "I HAVE to get on the plane! My grandma is waiting and I don't want her to leave without me! She might go home if I don't get there in time!"  There was weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, but she survived and finally boarded. Later news reports showed snowplows scraping the thick layers of hail off the streets. Abbie reported they had watched a funnel cloud in the distance that advanced on the airport terminal. Did I mention that she is rather dramatic and has a fanciful imagination?

I headed back to the airport. I expected Abs to be one of the last ones off since security for children traveling alone is fairly tight. They require my airline pass and an ID before they release her. Watching intently down the walkway, I hardly noticed several other passengers headed toward me until one woman stopped in front of me and tapped me on the shoulder.
"Are you Grandma? she asked.
"I am to some," I replied.
"Well, I just want you to know that we know all about you and your whole life story," she laughed and pointed to Abs. "Your granddaughter told us everything!"
I did not have time to respond as the women hurried away and Abs appeared. She wrapped herself around my legs, shouting "GRANDMA!"
The flight attendant smiled and assured me she did well in flight.

When flights are delayed, several arrive at one time, rather than spaced out as planned. Thus the luggage area was inundated. Abs contented herself by people watching.
I pulled her back as she headed over to rescue two small boys playing on the carousel "Their mother is with them," I told her, "she will take care of it."
Suddenly Abs pointed and shouted at the top of her lungs, "WOW! THAT IS THE MOST AWESOME PHONE I HAVE EVER SEEN!!"
The poor woman, trying to make a call on her white phone with big, black polka dots, smiled with embarrassment. Abs moved on to converse with the people around her,  then headed to a woman nearby.
"I love the flowers you painted on your suitcase!" Abs told her. After a brief conversation, she returned to me. "They weren't flowers, they were cherries," she said.

 I wonder how many people in the world have black suitcases and how many tie red ribbons around the handles.
"What color is your suitcase?" I asked Abs.
"Black," she answered, "or maybe blue, or maybe grey, or a mixture of black and blue, like a bluish, blackish, greyish....I don't know."
"Will you recognize it? Does it have a ribbon or something on it? How big is it?"
"Oh, I'll recognize it," she said, "it has a furry dog on it."
"Like a stuffed animal, or something?"
"No, it is just a picture," she said.
We watched the suitcases barreling by us on the carousel. I think they had sped them up because they had luggage from four different flights on the same carousel.
"It's that one!" she said pointing to a big, black suitcase hurdling towards us. It was big and it was heavy and it was resting on on a smaller one lower on the carousel. I managed to lift it off before it passed too far.
"No, that's not it," she decided. "It's that one!"
I lifted four heavy suitcases in rapid succession,  before I realized she wouldn't be able to pick her big, black, heavy suitcase from all the others. Did I mention I am a slow learner?
"We might have to just wait and take what is left," I told her. She gave me one of THOSE looks.
We finally found her suitcase. She insisted on carrying everything herself. One very small girl with a pillow and a backpack filled with books, pulling a large, heavy, black suitcase walked with me to the car, chattering the whole way.

"What did you tell all those people on the airplane about me?" I asked her as we drove home.
"Oh, I just told them you were the BEST grandma ever and you made the VERY best grilled cheese sandwiches!" she answered.
"Well, I am happy you didn't say anything bad about me," I teased.
"Now what would I accomplish by focusing on the negative?" she asked. "Besides, the only negative I can think of is that your house is always too cold."
"I think I am ready to go on an international trip with you!" she said.
"Well, I am sure we would never meet a stranger," I answered.


  1. Just like I would have imagined, an Abs moment.

  2. That was so funny!!!


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