It's the Monday after 4th of July. I'm in LAX, waiting for the flight that will wing me back to Jakarta after a month away. Too long to be gone from Curtis and home. As a fitting end to a whirlwind trip, I'm in Reno visiting my mom and my brother, Joe and his family, Joanne his wife, Devin and Grace their as Garrison puts it "handsome and above average" children.
Getting here Friday was no easy feat. My flight overflowed with disgruntled families--iincluding a 5some which had been separated due to a plane switch (a major problem because their youngest child had cerebral palsy and was wheelchair bound). The mother , fuming and shooting sparks, blocked the check-in counter so no one else could be served because the United Airline desk folks wouldn't/couldn't rearrange seats so they could be together; and a family of seven, including 3 children under 8, who had also been separated as a result of the plane switch. While the first mom ranted, the 6 year old from the second group disolved in tears after discovering hers was a lone middle seat several rows in front of her parents, and refused to budge from the aisle. Add to this, a young family with 2 toddlers seated behind a blousy bleached blonde middle-age crazy who turned and screamed several times for the tots to "shut up, I'm trying to sleep." A rant to which the tots mother responded by calling the flight attendance and complaining (while the 1st and 2nd mother shouted out supporting "crazy lady" theory evidence.) From my cozy window seat, I watched, as one does a reality show, glad their drama wasn't my drama.
My second flight, from Denver to Reno, saw a completely different cast of characters--down right boring in comparison. Anticipating a restful flight, I was alternately dozing and reading when the pilot turned the fasten seatbelt sign back on and announced the generator had failed, as had the restart attempt and 1st back up, so we were RETURNING TO DENVER!!!!! We were almost, but not quite, at the half-way mark...if we had been there, or past it, we would have flown on to Reno. Electricity, pashaw! I thought, Chicken Shit! Don't turn back--get me to Reno!!!
5 hours later than original scheduled, I collected my way too heavy bags (60 & 58 pounds--do we really need 1 pound jars of peanut and almond butter and 3 bottles of Anne's Goddess Dressing?) and staggered out to the rental car shuttle stop. The sky was bright, the sun hot, and I sweated and waited...and waited...and waited...
...and finally dug out my Thrifty Blue Chip card and called the number on back to ask about the tardy shuttle. Fancy this: Blue Chip info keeps banker's hours. Now that's what I call service: a "preferred customer" number that is closed when the supposed "preferred customer" needs them! After unearthing my reservation from my wad of receipts and reservations and dialed Thrifty Reno's direct number, a cheery someone informed me: "There aren't shuttles anymore as we are now on sight" and all I have to do is come back inside---me and my4 bags and purse--did I forget to mention my 3rd and 4th bags, a carry on rollerboard and overstuffed purse?--trudged back inside to the desk, finished the reservations, retreived the keys and walk across to the parking garage. What joy! Was this roased turkey supposed to be happy?
My friend, Beverly, is fond of saying "a bad beginning makes a good ending." That being the case, we'd have to pretend that the ending happened 4th of July midnight--after 2 days with family. Mom and I shopped and ate and drove and laughed, and spent lots of joyful time--taco night on the patio with Joanne and kids, Sunday picnic with the whole family; and the fireworks spectacular in Sparks! The 4th of July celebration was such fun that even the hour wait in a fume-filled garage afterwards, couldn't mar it. However....
I awoke this morning at 2:51 am! (9 minutes early as my 1st flight departed at 5:30. )--scratching the top of my foot and what look like bug bites all over my thighs. Worse, were my ears--my dainty, shell-like ears, my grandmother's favorite ears, the very same delicate ears which prompted her to tell me to "pull your hear back so your ears show" more times that I can count--were bright red, swollen, itchy and sticking out from my head like those of Snow White's 4th dwarf, Dopey.
Now, several hours, ice water and aloe vera dressings later, I'm worse. The "bug bites" have spread from the back of my thights to the fronts, my arms and chest. And despite repeated applications of Cortaid and several Benadryl tablets, my ears have passed through "Dopey" to "Dumbo" as in, the flying elephant (no comments, please, I am well aware of the implied implications of that comparison...)
While laminting my swollen ears and reliving the last couple of days to uncover something I may have eaten or used which could have caused such a reaction, I'm recalling a bout of larangytis. My friend, Sydnie, a Christian Scientist, told me then that she believes disease is actually "dis-ease." That when a person is ill, which ever part of the body is ailing is reacting to repressed feelings. In the case of my sore throat, Sydnie suggested it meant I was "not saying something I should be," that I was holding back, staying silent rather than addressing an issue.
I wonder what Sydnie would have to say about my ears????