When he came back he had a report of all sorts of “cute” things wrong with him. “aCUTE Sinusitis.” “aCUTE Pharyngitis.” “aCUTE asthmatic-type Bronchitis.” He had a great experience at “Doc in a Box“ where he found my own cousin, Dr. Bonnie Yoder, the attending physician. The upshot was FOUR prescriptions that would hopefully make everything right as rain!
. . .He was still miserable as all get out, but at least he had hopes of getting better. He decided though, that there was no way he was going to be able to preach on Sunday, and his brothers on the Leadership Team took over planning an alternate schedule for Sunday morning so he could rest and recuperate. His best friend, Gary, called and said that he was going to come and take care of chores so he wouldn’t need to go out in the damp Delaware cold– another offer that Daniel did not refuse. And so, he rested and rested and rested — all day Saturday, all day Sunday — and even took Monday off before he was feeling good enough to go back for a single day of work before we hit the skies for California.
Our flight was leaving at 6:10 on Wednesday morning. Over the weeks, we had discussed what we were going to do about getting to the airport. What time should we leave? Where should we park? Should we go with long term parking, or just find some motel parking where we could leave the vehicle and catch the shuttle to the airport? What would be the safest choice for the best cost? We had gotten lots of advice from different folks, and finally put an eight dollar deposit on a special deal we had found on line. We weren’t entirely comfortable with the time frames, but I kept praying that God would give us clear direction about how to handle everything. All our best laid plans became unnecessary on Tuesday evening.
Jesse and Christina had brought our grandbaby down to tell us good-bye, and we were milling about the kitchen with lots of disarray, hugs and little girl prattle when Jesse suddenly said, “I don’t know what arrangements you’ve made, but if it would be helpful, I’d be glad to take you to the airport.”
Would it be helpful?!?!?!?!? I cannot begin to tell you the relief that flooded my soul. But he would have to get up in the middle of the night — and it would be a great inconvenience for him (and Christina, who really doesn’t like her husband going away in the middle of the dark, cold nights — or the dark warm, ones, for that matter!) Jesse good-naturedly shot down all the arguments, and remained adamant that he was able and willing! Daniel wasn’t in the house at the moment, but I was pretty certain what he would say. What I said was, “Oh, Jesse. I don’t think we would turn that down. Dad would have to say for sure, but if you are sure you wouldn‘t mind, I think it would be a blessing.”
When Daniel arrived in from his last check on his livestock and empty chicken houses, it didn’t take much persuasion (at all) to decide to take Jesse up on his offer. Daniel and Jesse agreed on the unearthly hour of 2:30 AM to depart, and after the final squeezes and “I love you’s,” Jesse and Christina and Charis departed for their house and a few hours of shut-eye before the departure.
Then set forth the final frenzy of what was going to fit in and what was going to be left behind, final packing and discussions. Middle Daughter was working until Midnight, and we were both still awake and going strong when she took herself to bed.
“I don’t know if there is any use in going to bed,” I told Daniel. “I’m so keyed up, I don’t know if I can sleep. And I’m afraid that, if I do go to sleep, I won’t wake up.”
“I know what you mean,” he said, “but we should probably try to sleep at least a little.” And so we did. I set my alarm clock on the most obnoxious noise it has for waking people up, and settled in for a token nap. I went right to sleep. My poor husband, though vastly improved from the week before, got to coughing. He also has a problem with Restless Leg Syndrome, and the prednisone and inhaler he was on seemed to make that worse. Between the coughing and the RLS, he finally just got up and went downstairs to his beloved chair. Which is where I found him when I came down a little after two o‘clock. He was fully dressed and ready to go . He also was peacefully sleeping. I hated to wake him, but it was almost time to get on our way.
“Sweetheart,” I touched his foot, and he jumped awake, wide eyed and surprised. “It’s after 2:00. We need to get moving.”
“Pshew! It feels like I just got to sleep!” he said. And that was true. He probably had just gotten to sleep. But he bestirred himself and got around and Jesse came and we were finally on our way!
Jesse is able to find his way in almost any circumstance, and he did a great job of getting us to the airport. We were flying out of Reagan International, and there were detours and such, but he still got us there in plenty of time, dropped us off at the curb and headed back to Delaware in time to get to work. We checked in and then it was time to go through security. I always set off the buzzers. Between my hair pins and my knees, I’m the proverbial red alert. I explained about my knees, and the gal put me into a wire cage and asked me to please stay there until they could get someone. Apparently, Reagan doesn’t do the body scan — at least there were no provisions made for that. I kept hearing them call for a “Female” to come to security, and finally a man came and relieved the female attendant at the security scanner and she disappeared for a while and then finally came back, stripping on purple gloves as she came.
All this time, I was in this wire cage, right in the middle of security, with people passing on all sides. My patient husband was back in possession of his shoes and his belt and our carryon and my purse and the laptop bag. He waited at the edge of the crowd, peering over in my direction to see if they were ever going to do something. Occasionally, we would exchange “mouthed messages” as in “What’s happening?” (with arched eyebrows) “I don’t know!” (with helpless, palm up gesture of both hands) “What’s taking so long?” (with a puzzled frown) “I don’t know!” (with helpless shrug of shoulders). I stood there, on the cold floor, without my footwear, and wondered if I was supposed to stand on the little rubber mat, or on the tile floor area beside it. I searched the enclosure for hidden cameras, but being it was just a wire enclosure ( almost was like a chicken wire with metal corners and a wire roof over it), it was obvious that there was no extra equipment for surveillance. This was truly just a holding pen.
The gal opened the door and let me out. “Come with me,” she said., leading me over to a side area that was filled with strange machines of all sorts. “Do you want a private screening or is this okay?
I fully expected one of those “full body scans” that have been so controversial, but I’ve had to have them every time since I had my knees replaced, and I certainly didn’t care if anyone saw them take the picture. As long as the picture wasn’t broadcasted over the airport I figured it was a necessary indignity. “This is fine,” I told her. “I don’t need a private screening.”
Oh! Dear! Me!
I should have guessed what was up when she asked me if any part of my body was hurting.
“? ? ?”
I must have looked puzzled because she asked again. “Is there any part of your body that will hurt if I touch it?”
“Um, no . . . I‘m pretty much just fine!”
And she got about her chore with a no-nonsense attitude. What I got was a criminal frisking in plain view of anyone who wanted to watch! I will grant you that she was gentle, and she not unnecessarily linger in any private areas, but she covered them all, and this naive Mennonite gal was very surprised and quietly mortified. Patient husband was outraged, but hey! We had a plane to catch and it seemed to us that the best thing to do was to quietly gather my shoes and watch and purse and get out of there as quickly as possible. My red face and all.
Our flight offered no meals at all, so we grabbed a bottle of water and a banana and ate that for our breakfast. And then we were off to the boarding area and soon called to board. Our seats were in the next to the last row. This pleased me to no end. I‘m not the happiest flier, although I have conquered my terror with the help of My Heavenly Father. Mark Lowry said that he always sits as far back in the plane as possible because whenever there is a plane wreck, the tail of the aircraft is always sticking straight up in the air. He figures that the safest place is in that tail! When I told someone that my theory is that of Mark Lowry’s. they said, “Or, you could look for the black box and sit on that! They seem to always find that when there is an accident!” That is a thought! I wonder where they keep that black box. I’ll bet it’s in that tail!
Our plane was not at all full. Daniel and I had the three row seat to ourselves. Daniel, by virtue of his position as leader, and desire and inclination always takes the window seat. This is another thing that pleases me greatly. I don’t really have a great interest in peering down thousands of feet to the landscape below, trying to figure out where we might be now, checking out the clouds beneath, or trying to figure out if the plane is going to stop in time or going to make it off the runway in time etc., etc., etc.. These kinds of things do not inspire confidence in me, nor does it enhance my enjoyment. My idea of a great flight is to sleep or read or write or see if I can get a tomato juice, or talk to my seatmate or something. Anything to take my mind off the fact that the ground is very, very far beneath me and I am quite dependent on the laws of aerodynamics that I understand NOT AT ALL to bring me safely down. Daniel had a wonderful time. He often tries to point out things and it seems like they are always just beyond the point that I can see, or I cannot find where he is pointing in the great expanse, or I am suddenly feeling very strange at the sudden glimpse of the ground below. I try! Honestly, I do! It’s just that this flying thing isn’t quite the adventure for me that it is for him.
To be continued later . . .