Wednesday, January 06, 2010

A hearty SHOUT OUT to the AIRLINES (huh?)

The holidays came and went so quickly that it's easy to question whether or not they actually took place. It's like when you indulge in a fabulous vacation (well, I kinda remember what that was like), but after you're home for a couple days you wonder, "Was I even really gone?!" Then you look at your souvenirs, your pictures and your credit card bill. Yep. You were "there" alright.

But this year I'm able to jog my holiday memories via several icons and formats. Between my new lovin' it easy-schmeasy (beware, the upcoming link has sound) FlipVideo (thank you, Dear Hubby!), the camera in my Blackberry Storm, and an aging but reliable digital Canon camera--each used during bouts of random grabs--I can re-live our wonderful family gathering, complete with sound. (Okay, not all moments are wonderful, but in hindsight, even "those moments" seem funnier.)

For this grace-filled gathering, I would like to herewith thank God and American Airlines. CHEERS AROUND!

You see, in the midst of nation-wide storms, on the 23rd of December our oldest son was scheduled to fly from Albuquerque NM (ABQ) to La Crosse WI (LSE) with a connection in Dallas (DFW). Three legs' worth. (Oy.) With cancellations and delays everywhere, during his entire journey I kept at least two screens open and countless other web resources. My stomach sank with each swirl of the map. Sometimes I didn't know whether to pray they fly or stay safely on the ground.

We even made a back-up plan for housing if--or more likely when--he got stuck in Chicago. "Heavy delays" is not what you want to see.  The historic on-time rating for his last 2 legs of flights were abysmal without storms, and not only was it snowing, but ice was in the mix. (Double oy.) And yet, in the end, his final landing was not much over ninety minutes late.


For his Dec. 30th return trip, conditions weren't much better. And yet, he ended up safely back at his home base only about an hour late. Thankfully, whether he was coming or going, each "next flight" was delayed just enough that his tardiness never caused him to miss his connection. (How strange is it to HOPE some flights are delayed?!)

So thank you, God and American Airlines, for every family-complete photo and movie in my database. Thank you for the grateful hugs, the colorful family cookie baking (4- and 2-year-olds sure do love to use sprinkles), oldie 8 mm movie night, a swell pheasant dinner (birds bagged by the brothers), ice skating, games, sledding and endless rounds of happy laughter.

Thank you, Dear God and American Airlines, for delivering our precious son safely into our arms. Even though in the past I've taken my business traveling share of grumbling shots at the airlines, and in particular AA (no need to call security or check the elastic in my underwear; it's only a metaphor), this time, you are the reasons the memories from our holiday season look so very merry and bright, especially when viewed on our youngest son's new big-screen TV.

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