Sunday, August 30, 2015

Mis-Adventures of A Montana Woman, Some Legendary, Some “Phone-Y”

                        Mis-Adventures of A Montana Woman, Some Legendary, Some “Phone-Y”
            Oh, dear, my troubles began with air travel. I managed to get me and my bionic parts through security in Mazatlan and through both customs and security in Dallas/Ft. Worth. To me, that is a big deal. The Dallas airport is the size of three European countries. Paste a gold star on my forehead. I even hustled through three gate changes in half an hour, which I count heroic.

            Let me set the scene. Due to age and recent surgery, I get to pre-board. I travel with a walking stick, about five feet tip to top. I know if I stow it in overhead, it will be in the back bottom and I cannot reach it. So I want my cane to fly special, in a front closet.

            The entire flight crew and pilots welcomed me when I hobbled across the ramp, first to board. Without thought or hesitation, I lifted my branch of alder and asked, “Where do you want me to stick this?”

            Oh dear, oh dear. Every jaw dropped and every face wiped blank momentarily before they all bent over with howls of knee slapping laughter. For a few long, long seconds, I was clueless. Finally I “heard” myself and joined the laughter. We all wiped tears from our faces. An attendant stowed my cane, they all thanked me for a great beginning to the flight to Seattle.  

            I wish I could say I never mis-speak. But I’m used to my mouth which doesn’t always pre-think speaking. Before we lifted off the ground, each of the crew found me and thanked me for making their flight enjoyable. Evidently they shared the experience with other crews. Steve, the attendant for my section of plane, let me know I had acquired legendary status. By the end of the flight several crew members had adopted me.

            In Seattle I had a day to shop, feast, and visit with my cousin Nancie before boarding the red-eye flight to Great Falls. When I de-planed I didn’t see my friend Karen who was to pick me up. I walked downstairs and tugged my bag off the rollers. A quick scan and still no Karen.

I dug out my Trac-fone which I hadn’t used in over a year. But I still had oodles of minutes on the plan. I called Karen’s cell phone. No answer. Home phone. No answer. Remember, this is the middle of the night. Tried again with same result. Finally my phone talked to me to tell me I had been kicked to the curb. I was mystified. I didn’t know I had to maintain a regular relationship with the inanimate thing.

After dumping six dollars change into a pay phone I gave up on Karen, envisioned her sound asleep at home, and with the help of the nice young man at the rental car place, located a hotel for the night.

While I had been looking for her inside the Great Falls Airport, Karen had been waiting at the curb outside for me to exit. Karen picked me up in the morning. We bought a disposable phone with minutes to last me two months.

We drove to Lincoln for the Harlem High Class of ’63 reunion, which I tend to think is held just for me since I’m the one who gets the most from it. Maybe the others think the same. But I know better. I’ve been living in solitude. The reunion is a gift.

In fact by Saturday night after Music in the Park with Wiley Gustafson and his Wild West Band, I was as overstimulated as any toddler at a family reunion. By 3:30 am I had single-handedly organized the 2017 reunion in Mazatlan, complete with hotel, a tequila tour, fishing trips, a drive into the Sierra Madres with stops to see local craftsmen making saddles, decorative tiles, and furniture, trips to the Cathedral, the Mercado, the Machada, tourist shopping in the Golden Zone, eateries for each day, all to the tune of Gustafson’s rendition of “Lonesome Cattle Call”. Whew! Let me know if you want to be adopted into our class. You’re not the first.

With unusually perfect timing, Tuesday I boarded the Empire Builder and surprised my granddaughter Jessica and my brand new great-granddaughter Harper. I’m gloating. I got to hold the baby before Grandma, nanner, nanner.

Today I’m in Miles City with my grand-girls while Mom is at a training. We are heading out the door to explore historic Miles City and see if we can find trouble.

Sondra Ashton
HDN: Looking out my back door

August 13, 2015

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