Thursday the phone rang with a very irritated Peachie complaining that their house sellers were asking for a postponement due to the weather. But because of other things happening in her and her boyfriend's lives, that would be near impossible. They refused and wound up picking up the buyers and their attorney in their 4 wheel drive vehicle and the closing went on Friday morning as scheduled, in a blizzard.
Afterward she called, very agitated, that the U-Haul they had reserved was snowed in and the only accessible vehicle was a tiny box van. They would now have to make at least 8 trips, back and forth, in the blizzard. There was lots of cursing on her end. Lots of worry on ours.
Saturday morning the skies and roads had cleared and Martha and I made the 4 hour trek to my sister’s. My nephew and his family also came and I got to meet my new grand nephew for the first time. He had just gotten his new helmet and his mother did nothing but cry about how she wondered if he was in pain and how she will miss these months of cradling his head. Understandable emotions but it made for a rather stressful get together.
And then Beaner called. It was Saturday night in Africa, she had checked her luggage in at the airport, but was now being told that their 15 hour,non-stop flight was cancelled. Nothing was flying into New York. She was panicky that she had to be at her new job, she didn’t know how to get her luggage back (although why an airline would take the luggage knowing that the flight was cancelled is beyond me) and didn’t know what she was going to do. She said the airport was pandemonium and was feeling both intimidated and frightened.
Meanwhile Kennedy airport was a clusterf*ck, first being hit by the superstorm cancelling flights both in and out, two planes collided on a runway, baggage claim carousels were frozen and pipes burst flooding an entire terminal. It would be a long time getting that back to normal and she was told that they had no idea when they could fly her out.
Fortunately her host family had not left the airport yet and she was able to meet back up with them, get her luggage back and drive back to their home, an hour away. We got on the phone to try to arrange new flights. Feigning a family emergency, $2600 later we got her on a flight to Paris the next day, with a 4 hour layover, and then on to Boston.
Sunday morning Martha and I left to make the drive home from my sister’s. We were in a car she had just leased days ago and hadn’t had time to learn where all the buttons and gadgets were. But it had a shining new GPS and were following it’s directions home - although it was a much different than the route I would normally take - when Beaner called again, close to hysterical. Her hosts had kindly driven her back to the airport, she had checked in, but was now being told that the flight to Paris was overbooked by 50 people and she was being bumped. Meanwhile, answering her call had turned off the GPS screen and I missed a turned and we were lost in the Bronx. Martha was screaming at me to pull over, not knowing that we were in not in the safest of areas to do that while Beaner was still crying on the phone. Her host had left because they were making a flight to Hong Kong, and she was alone at a foreign airport with hundreds of screaming, angry people.
I finally found a place, just barely out of speeding traffic to pull over and tell Beaner to tell the ticket agent that she had a family member who was dying and had already had one flight cancelled. To add to the stress, this actually took about 4 calls because the calls kept dropping. Meanwhile while 18 wheelers were speeding past us,Martha called the airline directly to say that we had told the ticket agent when we bought the ticket that it was an emergency which is why we paid the ridiculously priced gouged ticket. Between Beaner creating quite a crying scene at the airport and Martha screaming at them on the phone, they finally agreed to give her a seat. Another couple of hours waiting to board and she was off to Paris.
After an 11 hour sleepless flight (us, not her) she landed in France in the wee hours. Nothing was open and she just had to sit for four hours so I stayed awake and shared texts with her. Once again they made an announcement that the flight to Boston was overbooked and were looking for volunteers to get bumped. And once again she called me exhausted and crying. But fortunately enough people volunteered and she got a seat assignment. And as a bonus some stores opened before she boarded and she got me some amazing chocolate and macaroons.
Now just an 8 hour flight away from the states her boyfriend offered to make the 4 hour drive to Boston to pick her up. And by 4:00 on Monday, after 28 hours of travelling through 7 time zones and 2 seasons, she was finally home. She had wanted to make the one hour drive back to her apartment but we said “no”. She could barely lift her eyelids.
Now a few days have past and we are all where we are supposed to be. Peachie is in her new house and is decorating. Beaner is back to work regaling in her summer tan, showing off pictures of holding an orphan lion cub, and sharing the many treats she brought back including this cool, hand carved bowl she brought me.
It is now Thursday and Martha’s blood pressure, after swallowing a bottle of meds, has returned to a non-life threatening lvel. My FitBit tells me that my normal resting heartbeat of 61 has come down from the 76 it recorded throughout the weekend. We have finally been able to sleep through a night without worry.
And Beaner is thinking up ways to re-pay me for getting her Out of Africa. I believe, among other things, she will be painting the lake house this summer. And staying stateside for a while.