22 February 2013


Well, that was fun. Not only did I get to see my family and drive in a lot of snow, but I missed a flight for the first time that was not the airline's fault (i.e. I actually missed a flight, not a connection).

When I got back to my parents' house on Monday night at 11:45 pm (yeah, I know), it was raining and 40 degrees. When my dad and I set out for the airport at 6:00 am the next morning (I don't want to talk about how little sleep I got), it was sleeting, the temperature was in the 20s, and the road was an ice skating rink.

Sometimes I exaggerate for comic effect, but I kind of mean that literally on this occasion. Obviously the road was not the size and shape of an ice skating rink, being a road, but it was about as slippery as a newly zambonied rink. I know this because at one point, while we were sitting stopped on the highway, I opened the door of the car and put my foot out onto the ice. I would not have tried even to walk on it if I could help it.

We fully intended to leave for the airport at 5:45, but we did not manage that, and by the time we set out just after six, we'd been hearing sirens for a while. This is not exactly how one wants to begin a 40 mile trip to the airport.

It turned out that there was an accident right outside my parents' neighborhood, on the fast, narrow road that runs to the highway. We didn't know until much later that the person who was seriously injured in that crash was, typically of a town that size, a friend of some of my cousins.

We drove up to Greater River City at a rather pokey pace, with the memory of that crash fresh in our minds. There were a couple of cars spun out on the highway, but nothing terrible. It wasn't until we got on the highway that circles the southern end of Greater River City that we began to have problems. There was a crash ahead of us, and apparently a crash behind us, and we got stuck in a several mile long row of stopped cars.

We were still sitting in the several mile long row of stopped cars on the highway when my flight began boarding. 

There were two more crashes between the highway and the airport. 

The good news of the day (other than the deep gratitude for arriving safely at the airport and knowing that my parents arrived safely back home) was that the airline re-booked me without question, even though I arrived as my original flight was taxiing out to de-icing. Possibly this was because I was not nearly the only person standing in line needing re-booking due to total weather insanity.

It took 9.5 hours of sitting in the airport (pacing the airport) (trying to nap on the uncomfortable chairs with the annoying armrests) (playing on the internet) to finally get on a plane.

I passed the time watching seven snow plows attempt to keep the runway clear as the sleet turned to snow.

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