Sunday, July 08, 2007



I had a nice visit with my mother. We laughed a lot, and I helped her get her banking set up within her main building. The gorgeous old bank where she used to take her deposits closed unexpectedly. It had marble floors and columns, and classic teller cages. The signs on the door that said closed looked like they were written by someone in junior high. I felt as if I'd stepped into the Depression for a beat and a half.

On the 4th of July we drove up to the hometown of Chatham. We were trying to get to the next town in Madison, to visit my nephew John, whom we love very much. He's married with a baby, and suffering the strains of a massive remodel to the house he grew up in. My sister died in 1992.

When we got off the highway at the Chatham exit, there was a police car blocking the entrance to Chatham. With my mother in the car, I really felt as if I was in a dream. Chatham still goes ape for the 4th, which is why he was blocking the bridge, and I managed to get quite lost in the detour, which I don't like at all. I love maps, and have a decent sense of direction, so the google/mapquest recipe style of navigation makes me unhappy. If anything blocks your way, you're toast.

But not to blather on. (yeah, right.) The Philadelphia airport is a cruel place.

  • I stand in a very long line (20+ minutes) for the identity/off with your shoes supervision. A young woman looks at my ticket and my driver's license. "Who's Sarah?" "That's me- Sally is the nickname for Sarah. It's like James and Jim. I can show you on my credit card." "Credit cards mean nothing to me." I say, "It's in the dictionary--" OOH BAD THING TO SAY, she gives me a snakey look and says, "Careful, it's been a long day. I'm sending you downstairs." "yes, mam, thank you," says me the lowly worm.
Down escalator not working so I heave down the stairs with my luggage, eventually get the boarding pass. On Southwest. I'm now in group C.

  • Now I'm ready to take my shoes off. I wear no metal at all so usually cruise through this part. But the Matron of the Machine stops the belt and looks closely at the screen. Nobody's moving. Then she lets my suitcase chug out and starts unzipping. She practically does an "AH HAH" when she uncovers the tiny tube of toothpaste and small bottle of makeup which Dinah gave me. She tells me I can keep them if I go back and buy a plastic bag, otherwise, that's it. I surrender my dangerous goods, and am not feeling happy. (The whole scary toothpaste business is based on such shoddy intelligence-- the British folks who first freaked everyone out were kids who didn't even have passports.)
  • Time to buy the lunch for the plane. Ooh, this plastic plate with salami and french bread and lettuce looks good. Haven't had salami in about seventeen years. The French bread was baked about seventeen years ago too. And a Perrier, to be pure and bright, and French! Yes! Ooh and one of those black and white cookies that other people think are so tasty and always disappoint. Now to find my flight.... I can't believe it I'm in the wrong corridor, and this friggin airport makes you go through the whole shoes off shoes on thing again. And I have to guzzle the Perrier.
The flight was okay, just massive turbulence over Arizona, though I confess I was alarmed when a man sat next to me wearing a white Gandhi wrap. It appeared he was wearing just the white gauze and sandals. "I hope he doesn't cross his legs and come unwrapped", I thought. But a language problem with the flight attendant made him move somewhere down the aisle.

Flying is not fun I know it's obvious but it's true for me. Jon picked up a ventilation bug while visiting his father in Florida, and it seems to be just what I got when I went with him to Florida two months ago.

3 comments:

Sally said...

Your mother looks beautiful. I'm so sorry about your sister. Sometimes people call me Sarah, thinking that's my given name, but I am really just Sally. I remember getting my first bank account, and the old bank had this cool little platform with a railing that kids could stand on that rose up so we could be at counter level. Flying is no fun, but I have to get out of Murfreesboro sometimes.

linda said...

Uncle Frog is EVERYWHERE.

I'm glad you hit the beauty parlor before you visited your mom--her hair is perfect. Was she happy with your hair? I see the mischievous twinkle in her eye.

The Philadephia airport sounds like a nightmare. I can't believe you got sent to the basement. And then the Matron of the Machine taking Dinah's makeup. You know the Matron of the M. is wearing it today. (I can feel a little cartoon rising.) But what are those little black and white cookies that other people think are so tasty but always disappoint? I must know! I'm sure they wouldn't disappoint me.

Sally said...

yes, flying is definitely no fun. In fact I felt as if I were about to board Sado-Air.

About once a year when they run out of things to write about, the newspaper does a feature on black and white cookies, and how hard it is to get good ones. I never ate them until I read about them. They're too big, about the size of a teacup saucer, consistency of a dried pancake, with icing slabbed on, white on one side, brown aka black on the other. They're adored by former New Yorkers.