Wednesday, December 17, 2008


It's 8 more days till Christmas. I should write a list on what I HAVEN'T done. Every day I promise myself that I will get the gifts wrapped. Every year it becomes more difficult to find that holiday spirit. I'm one of those people that always finds the holidays depressing. I have no idea why, I just do. Maybe it signals the end of another year? Maybe it's part of being an adult? I do know some adults that love this time of year. I just get into a blah mood and it persists till January.

After all these years of living this far south, I still am not used to not having that white stuff all over the ground for Christmas. I don't miss it enough to move north but I do think it sets the scene for the holidays.

Here the sound of the furnace kicking on signals that the weather has changed. It changes a few days for a furnace workout then in a few days the a/c is needed. Yesterday the high was 50something and 76 is predicted today which means 80 degrees.

Ted is leaving this morning for Florida. He is supposed to catch a flight at 6AM and had to be at the airport at 5. His mother is taking him to the airport. I'm thinking she didn't bother going to bed as the thought of getting up that early is a totally foreign idea for her.

This is Ted's first flight alone. I've imagined all kinds of horrors. He has a layover at Hartsfield (Atlanta). That's a big airport. I can see him sitting there as they call boarding for his next flight and him not catching the announcement or him walking away from his luggage and never seeing it again or losing his ticket and on and on. He is taking a carry on only and it's my suitcase he is using. I've already been eying a replacement for it. Ted is a bit spacey. He and the world are on different speed zones. He was instructed to call me as soon as he deplanes in Atlanta and I'm hoping he remembers to turn his cell phone back on after the plane lands there.

My daughter started her flights alone when she was around 5yrs old. A stewardess or steward would accept her on the flight and stay with her till she was met by her father on the other side of the country. The flights were more expensive but I didn't worry about anything other then the safety of the aircraft. I don't know if I have that much trust in the airlines today. I read of a child that was abandoned at the airport by staff; put off the plane unsupervised. I know they still offer the flight arrangements my daughter flew with and I can't imagine a small child wondering around alone in some large airport.

By the time daughter was 10yrs old, she could fly thru Chicago O'Hare and know which concourse and which gate she was to find.

Lesie's first long car trip alone was this past summer. Those first trips are worrisome for everyone but the one doing the traveling. They are clueless to all the dangers out there. Lesie went to Oregon with a friend driving a BMW. It was this girl's first trip also. Before they left, I told them about the border patrol stops they might encounter in southern Arizona. I told her to just pull up, stop and when they ask your citizenship just say "American citizen". Sure enough they spot the border patrol ahead. What do they do? What any self respecting drug runner driving a BMW would do. They pull over to the side of the road and Lesie's friend finds her cell phone and makes a call. Now, I'm sure the border patrol was watching this little antic. The friend was calling her mother to ask if they were lost and going into Mexico. The border patrol didn't know that bit of info. When they got back on the road and got to the border patrol they were asked to get out of the car. They were searched, the car was searched and a drug sniffing dog was taken to the car. Let's see now: two teens in BMW, quick stop and phone call = something illegal.

When Lesie called me that evening and told me she saw the border patrol just as I predicted, she also said "we were only there an hour". An hour????? She then told me the story. I did have a good laugh later.

She was stranded on the way home because of the floods in Oregon then the fires in California. It was her first Big Girl trip and it was an adventure as should all trips be an escape from every day life. I firmly believe in adventure.

When my daughter was small during our travels and to allay her fears when we would be in a bind, I would tell her "it's an adventure". She say's she never worried; she knew I would fix it. If we were stranded in frigid temps, caught in a blizzard or buried in a river she knew it was an adventure. She did not have the most conventional upbringing.

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