Monday, June 24, 2013

The Way Home


          My Cousin Darlene and my Mom took me to Milwaukee to catch my flight home.  We all got on the plane.  But ...  there were some problems.  The plane needed some help - a LOT of help.  The plane was also going right through Houston shortly after the tornados went ripping through near enough to be another caution for me. They made all of us get off the plane.  I had noticed the woman seated across the isle from me was crying. 

          We waited, and waited, and waited.  The woman who had been crying told us that her father was dying and she wanted to see him before he died.  Still crying she asked to find the fastest way to get to Southern California.   That took a while.  There was a woman next to me that said we needed to pray.  There was another woman on the other side of me.  We all prayed softly.  My sense of it was that we were enveloped with angels.  We stayed with her while the airline people searched for the fastest and best way for this woman.  She did get a plane to Southern California.

          Then the plane was finally ready.  I had to make a choice.  I really didn't want to go to Houston.  Beside the tornados, my Dad would have to meet me at SeaTac at midnight, and probably longer because of the two hours of repairs.  So I decided to get a different plane.  I found a man from the airline, and asked him if I could go straight across the country.

           This wonderful man gave me a first class seat going from O'Hare directly to SeaTac.  And since I would have stay overnight, he gave me vouchers for free for a place to stay, and for dinner and breakfast, and the Coach to take me to O'Hare.  My Dad didn't have to travel late at night. 

           The very best was that I had my first time in first class: wonderful food and wine, and it was really comfortable.  The man sitting next to me told me how to open up the table when our food was served.

           When I got to SeaTac, I found my luggage very easily.  And my Dad's car was just outside the door. 

           The last miracle was that we drove home the before the bridge on I-5 collapsed! 


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cousins, Aunts and Uncles

My Mother lives in Wisconsin, while I live in Washington State with my Dad. So I go to Wisconsin most years.  Both Mom and Dad came from large families.  Eighty some years ago there was no birth control and children worked on the farms.  Thus, although I am an only child, I have lots of aunts, uncles and many cousins.

My most recent visit was in May of this year.  I went with a purpose -- to visit as many family members as I could.  I got my wish.  Of course I spent a lot of time with my Mom, but spent time with family I hadn't seen for a long time. 

My Mother's eldest sister Lorraine is still alive at 94 and clear as a bell.  She uses a walker, but otherwise she seems more like 84.  While I was talking with her she said "I have only six years to get to 100"!

Lorraine has a daughter, Darlene, and four sons.  The boys used to tease me and my cousin Margaret.  For example, they told her she had to pump the cows tail to get milk.  She almost got kicked.  One of the boys died in a car crash a few years back.  While I was visiting with Lorraine, her youngest son, Gene arrived.  I hadn't known that I would get to see him.  It had been decades since I had any contact.  Later that day we had dinner with two of Darlene's brothers and their wives.

We spent most of a day with another of her brothers, Lyle, the eldest, and slept at their house.  That was interesting because as a child, I rarely even saw him because he was was so much older.  His wife, Ella Mae is a really wonderful woman.  She has hearing problems, and yet she communicates very well.

One thing I really liked as we travelled around, was the beauty of green rolling hills and valleys.  Ina way it reminded me of Whatcom County, in Washington State, where I live.  Both are green, and both have hills and valleys.  Yet Wisconsin doesn't have actual mountains as we have in Washington. 

Another of the places we went to was Madison Wisconsin.  My Aunt Yvonne lives there.  When we arrived at her door, she scolded me for not having visited for too long.  She said, "I haven't seen you since 1986!"  Then she smiled.

Then there was church, and another cousin from a different family.  He was leading a session on money issues for the church.  He was as surprised as I was!  A couple of days later he came to Mom's apartment and spent some time with Mom, another aunt, and me. 

Every thing comes to an end, and Darlene and my Mom took me to the airport in Milwaukee.  I checked my bag and then the fun and challenges began. 

See you in the next chapter!