Adventures in Imperfection

There Goes the Universe Yanking my Pony Tail Again

I often write about the universe yanking my pony tail. How the sudden tugs act as everything from a gentle reminder to an all-out hair-pulling event. It’s been a hairball travel type of week and no surprise that “Take the Long Way Home” is the Muzak playing in the Philadelphia terminal. I’m in the middle of four days of travel that started in Sioux Falls, SD on Monday and (hopefully) ends with my butt at home tonight.

I should have recognized the signs early on, but stubborn nature as well as an aversion to disappointing anyone had me pointing my car north at 6 a.m. for the 5.5 hour to drive to Sioux Falls. It wasn’t until after I arrived, that the days became a streaming comedy of errors.

After arriving at my first appointment, the check engine light came on and I spent the next several minutes trying to get an appointment with a trusted mechanic. I called one of my co-workers and he got me set up. Kyle, the nice guy at Sioux Falls Ford, took care of me and felt that it was head gasket issues. My fleet company didn’t want to fork out the cash for a rental car, so Kyle handed me the keys and said, “PLEASE be careful. You could be fine or you could blow the whole motor. Get to your dealer as soon as you get home on Thursday.”

Tug. Tug.

So, I held my breath and limped to the next destination in Omaha three hours away. Got to the hotel without any car problems only to find a missing reservation . After a minimal wait, got checked in and ate what felt like my last meal.

That was Monday.

Tuesday started with an eight a.m. meeting and a 10:30 appointment in Omaha with a flight out at 1:30. The appointment ran late and had me running into the airport terminal because I had NO idea where to park. Who knew security gets so upset when you try to park in cargo?

Even as I write this, I have NO recollection as to where my car is actually parked right now. When I fly out of KC, I park in the same spot every time (Tower 2, Row 22) so that I don’t accidentally get my trips mixed up. There are no landmarks or numbers in the Omaha parking lot – not that I would have noticed.

Tug.

I made the flight knowing that I had a tight connection in Charlotte. Tight being 15 minutes get to from Gate E to Gate B.

In high heel boots.

Yank. Tug.

charlotte-douglas-international-airport-terminal-map_11086

I peeled those puppies off and sprinted like Usein Bolt through the terminal. Fortunately, my knee held up and I arrived as they were calling my name. By the time I was sitting in my seat, I had a HUGE smile on my face. I had made it!!

I landed in Philly and ended up standing next to a disheveled couple arguing by the baggage claim. The poor girl had mixed up where she was supposed to pick him up and he was livid. She had alligator tears in her eyes and that whispered of,  “Help me.” I wanted to tell her to run, but when I texted my husband about it, he reminded me, “Not your circus” to which I replied, “Not my monkeys.”

Finally got my bag only to discover that TSA apparently inspected and LOCKED it. Does anybody lock their bags? I never have and certainly don’t have a key.
Thinking like McGuyver, I grabbed a ball point pen and pried the zipper. I was even able to get it zipped again before I hopped into the cab and on to the next part of the adventure.

About twenty miles in, the driver was getting noticeably agitated. It wasn’t until he pulled up to the turnpike booth that I saw the check engine light was on AND we were out of gas.

Tug. Yank. Tug. TUG!

He called his brother who helped him find a gas station. He later told me that the tank had zero miles on it for the last 15. I arrived at the hotel at 10:00. “Oh, Miss! I was so worried and I didn’t want to worry you.” The guy high-fived me when I exited the cab.

That was Tuesday.

Wednesday went off without a hitch (because I didn’t have to travel, duh!) But, about 3:00, I got a call from the airline informing me of a cancelled flight for Thursday. I stayed calm, made new arrangements and spent the rest of the day in blissful ignorance of what would be happening next.

Y-A-A-A-A-A-A-NK

You know me, I’m the weather girl. I always check the weather apps, watch the news and KNOW when a storm is coming – especially when I’m traveling. It wasn’t until I tried to get a cab for the ride back to the airport that I noticed the blizzard outside my window. No cabs were willing to make that trek back to the airport. I was feeling stranded and trying to problem-solve when the cab company called me back and asked if I’d be comfortable riding with a driver in his personal truck.

TUG! TUG! TUG! TUG!

I said yes.

Bill showed up in a Maroon Chevy Silverado with all of his credentials and had his boss call me because nothing screams ‘stranger danger’ like a woman traveling by herself at the mercy of a dude in a pick-up truck.

Bill was an awesome and nice guy and I didn’t even freak out when he asked to stop by his house to pick up his EZ pass. BIG apology to my hubby who, if he’s reading this, is finding this out for the first time. I’m a fighter, honey and had my exit plans and fight strategies ready.
Plus, I told Kelsey (the bestie) and had her on stand-by.

So, here I am on Thursday…my flight is ninety minutes delayed and set to arrive 17 minutes after my connecting flight leaves from Chicago.

Yank. Yank. Tug.

I’m staying positive, but my resolve is weakening and tears are threatening. I haven’t let myself even think about what happens when I arrive in Omaha and my car doesn’t start. Ha! I have to get to Omaha first!

Thank God for the kind people who have helped me get this far. It serves as a reminder that there are compassionate people everywhere. We spoke last week how difficult compassion can be…I’ve interacted with several people this week who speak compassion like it’s their native tongue.

If you don’t see my usual Friday post tomorrow, don’t worry. It probably means that I’m still sitting at Gate A9 listening to Super Tramp.

SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE:

  • No flights out on Thursday
  • Lost bag – recovered 4 hours later
  • No flights to Omaha on Friday
  • Booked a flight to KC (an hour from my home)
  • Rented a car from KC and drove to Omaha on Friday (3 hours)
  • I found my car, it started!
  • Drove back home (3 more hours)
  • Hugging my son by 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon
  • Casualties: 2 bags of gummy worms, suitcase lock, sanity

Thank you to all of my bloggy friends who came to my mental rescue! xo

67 thoughts on “There Goes the Universe Yanking my Pony Tail Again

  1. There’s only four ways to get unraveled
    One is to sleep and the other is travel

    That’s my musical offering…The Soft Parade…and we won’t even worry about the other three ways. Here’s to making it home safely Mama Mick!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh no! Sounds like the universe is hot on your heels to not be a travelling mama! But the good thing is, when you notice the signs and acknowledge what the serendipity is singing to you, the universe can get you home safe and sound…and the heavy music stops 😊. Wishing you a peaceful journey home, Michelle, and the smile that new horizons bring (those that don’t involve travel 😄). Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve never had a job where I had to travel. Part of me longs for this. I imagine quiet dinners with a book, uninterrupted time in the hotel fitness center, people watching at the airport. Before you throw one of those heels at me, I know this romantic vision is bullshit. I mean, I know these things can happen but then you also have car trouble and locked bags and weather and wild rides with trustworthy strangers. Which? It makes for some great storytelling and life lessons, but I really feel for you, M. Hope you get home safe and soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Quite honestly, Kristen, I love all of those things you pointed out about traveling. If I have to be away from my family, I make it is enjoyable as possible.
      It’s what got me through this trip…that, and the fact that I’m always looking for something to write about!!
      I hope you’re doing well (I’ll be over to your place soon) and I would never throw my heels at a friend…unless, of course, you wanted to borrow them. Ruby red slippers, of course 😉

      Like

  4. Oh boy I used to have mad travel weeks like that… *Alarm sounds*… What day is it? Is the New York, Boston or Ann Arbor?

    Supertramp! The band of my teenage years – they are playing in December again in London I just might have to get tickets although sadly still not reunited with the great Roger here… when he left that was a massive massive loss for both parties in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s some serious testing of resilience and coping, right there. 🙂 After those such instances, and in your case, multi-instances, I believe you have earned some sweet baby, self-lovin’. I hope you take advantage of that to the fullest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Robyn!
      Thank you for the vote of confidence. The trip just keeps getting crazier and crazier, so I’m trying to hide all that crazy right now and just make it through tonight and tomorrow.
      On a positive note…I’ve cancelled all my travel happening next week 😉
      I hope you are doing well…I know that I have a post from you waiting in my inbox!! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Omfg lil mama!

    I’m gonna say a special sort of prayer for you, involving a trip out into the forest alone, miles from people.

    There I will scream at the top of my lungs and burn every swear word match I have. You will then be immune 😂.

    Sere… I value your note even dearer now.

    Heart… And here is to pinot noir explorations of this story with you and an eentzy weentzy spider…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. That pony tail has taken a beating Michelle. You are resilient and a fighter. But thank God also for those kind and compassionate people, who go above and beyond. So amazed by the guy name Bill, who drove you to the airport. Keep trusting. You are doing great! 🙂
    ~Carl~

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Carl!
      How are you? I SO agree with you about Bill. Just a nice guy to the core. Quite honestly, the day didn’t get any better (still stranded) but, I encountered many more kind souls before finally settling somewhere for the night.
      Thanks for popping in and reading…I always appreciate seeing you here!
      Michelle

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for your kind words. This really means a lot.

        Just read the most recent comments, and I was thinking “OH NO”, when I saw you stranded in Chicago. I sincerely hope things sort out for you soon.

        As for myself, am doing well. Running (or attempting…LOL) a half marathon this weekend. It has been SO cold in Canada, just have not been training much.

        If I recall Michelle, did you have a serious, leg or knee injury? Is it healing okay? I think II remember you being a runner.

        ~Carl~

        Please take care my friend.

        ~Carl~

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Go Carl!
        I’m so envious of your race!! You have a fantastic memory – I had knee surgery late last year and am just now feeling like I may be able to run again. Heck! It held up in the airport in socks…surely, it’ll be fine on a trail somewhere.
        Best wishes on you with your race. Perhaps you’ll write about it over on your site? I’ve been a neglectful bloggy friend…I always love seeing you here!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you Michelle. I am SOOO glad the knee is coming along and healing. It must be so hard being sidelined, and I imagine going through physiotherapy, and all that. You WILL be a trail sometime soon. I just know it.
        Will definitely do a write up/recap on the event. 🙂
        ~Carl~

        Like

  8. Whew! Good thing you have a sense of humor Mama – although it is starting to sound a little strained – as it is wont to be. I too have found the universe to be that way – even though I don’t have a pony tail (yet – ha! – I’m letting it grow – it looks kind of like Dr. Brown in Back to the Future). It is my observation that upon occassion the universe decides that some random activity or place or undertaking will be cause for grief. It will pursue that course of action for a short period (seldom more than a week or so) and never again – for that particular target. Sounds like your travel arragements are the most recent target. When I ran the transportation for a retail company, our delivery record was stering and we worked hard to keep it that way. Someitmes years would go by and a particualr store would have every delivery (6 per week) perfectly on time. Then one store would get this negative attention form the universe, and we would not be able to get a truck there on time no matter how hard we tried. We had a small store in a town called Manotick that was only 30 miles from our Distribution center and they were the target for about two weeks. i swear Mama we could not get their delivery done and it was always something different : Truck engine seized (never happens), driver got food poisoning from his breakfast and got so sick half way there, that we had to send an ambulance to get him and send a replacement driver, the brakes froze on the trailer and we had to call a wrecker, the shippers loaded the wrong trailer, the heater failed and the load froze, the computer printed the wrong dateorder and the whole load was incorrect, the road was closed due to bad weather, etc. After two weeks , all the problems just stopped and never happened again to that store. In a fleet, those types of problems may happen once every five years or so in the whole fleet, let alone all together on one store in two weeks. the store owner was sure that we had it in for him.

    Anyway, two things: if you can still get your job done at all (even if late) you win; and second, rest assured this will not continue – it is an abberation, much like a snow day, except in a bad way. It is nothng you are doing it is inevitable and unavoidable and temporary. I had a friend – David – with whom I once discussed this vagary of the universe and, with his typical dry wit, he replied that he didn’t mind running full tilt and suddenly hitting a brick wall. Life had taught him how to get up, stop the bleeding, brush himself off and start running again. He said he got bothered when it seemed he was tied to the wall with a bungy cord. Of course David would follow that with: It is always darkest just before it goes completely black. Bwahahaha!

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    1. Poor little Manotick! Isn’t it crazy how something can become such a target?!?
      Working in hospital food service for so many years often had that feel. Somehow, our diet office would find the sickest, most grumpiest patient with the most demanding family and that’s who we would mess up every single order for. It felt like a cruel joke.
      I’m nodding to your insight, too. You noticed the strain, huh? Good thing I didn’t write this after landing in Chicago. Things got worse and my good mood deteriorated.
      But, I’m up and fighting again this morning. Realizing that things could be waaay worse.
      I saved your link from last week end…it’ll be nice to hop over there see what you’ve been doing.
      Thank you, Paul! You’re a true gem!

      Like

  9. Not much to say other than that was crazy. I don’t think I would have been as composed. Glad all worked out…I mean, it always works out the way it’s supposed too…even against our own wills 🙂

    Paul

    Like

    1. Nobody wants to see me bald! That started to happen after baby #2….
      I’m all better now. Home on Friday, cleaning house and nesting by Saturday morning. Ahhhh…….breathe 🙂
      Hope you are doing well, D! xoxoxoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I feel you sister. The tug of my last couple months is well described in your micro-cosmic not so excellent adventure. If I had a ponytail? I would have chewed it off and spit it out. And then I would’ve yelled something like “Fuck you winter!”. And then I would’ve had the restaurant I was eating in? Empty out, quickly….

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    1. I don’t think the restaurant would have emptied out at all! In fact, with your battle cry, I envision more of a Braveheart-type rally with patrons aiming swords and steel at Mother Nature. Do you look good in a plaid skirt?

      Like

  11. I know how late I am getting to this post and I’m so glad this is over for you. My goodness! That is an awful lot to deal with in a short span of time. I can just image when you finally got home how good it must have felt. I know that’s when I would have broken down from the stress of it all…..because that’s what I do. Glad you made it home!

    Like

    1. It DID feel so good to get home – felt like Dorothy for sure.
      Regarding stress – it’s all about perspective, right? You never give yourself enough credit in how you handle life’s road blocks. The piece you wrote about your daughter last week? You handled that with grace, strength and love – a cancelled flight pales in comparison.
      I always love seeing you here, Sandy. I count you among my many blessings! xoxo

      Like

      1. Glad your succeeding trips were non-eventful. I think you packed enough into this one to make up for the next 10! Tell the Universe “I have met my quota for a while, now leave me alone!” ha ha!
        I’m busy…. a little overwhelmed (hence my absence) but nothing bad. Just got behind and now I am trying to play catch-up, which means some things have to be put on the back burner…like my “bloggy friends” 😦 I read, I just don’t comment and I haven’t been writing at all. Other things have to take precedence right now…… 🙂

        Like

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