Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Happy birthday Mom!

My mother turns 89 on August 5, 2006. I was in Media, PA visiting her for a week. She is living in a nursing home since her stroke last winter. She seems to like it there and loves winning at BINGO! Here are some pictures of her room.

We surprised her with Kelly arriving on Thurs. with Elise and Cory. It was the first time she saw Cory.

She came back "home" for the first time on Sat. for her party. She liked all the changes Jim made to the house.

She can now wear a hat to the Red Hat Society events.
We had cupcakes instead of a cake.

This is Mom and her sister Chris (sitting) and a friend from Upper Darby (talking to Mom).

Mary Kay, Cory and Kelly

Tommy and Kelly's 3 girls (Haley, Sydney and Lucie) played with Elise during the party. They played in the "ballroom" (Elise's word for basement since they don't have basements in Boise, so it was an unusual concept for her) and on the deck. Here they are eating ice cream.

Mom and the kids (aren't they cute!!)

We can't forget Jim and Bella (dog)!!

There are lots more pictures of those at the party. You can see them here:

Crochet Pieces: Delaware Governor & Mary at the State Fair

Sherrie's pictures and write-up about Mary and the Delaware State Fair, 2006 are on her blog. This is
the link:
Crochet Pieces: Delaware Governor & Mary at the State Fair

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Will this trip ever end?

I just returned from a trip to Philadelphia to visit my Mom and attend her 89th birthday party. The actual visit went very well; the party was a success and I got to see friends and relatives. (see next entry about the party!)
BUT (there is always a “but”) getting there and back was AWFUL!! I flew from Flint to Atlanta (I booked the flights so long ago that I don’t remember my rationale for doing that, except it must have saved me $$). Flint to Atlanta went just fine. The flight from Atlanta to Philadelphia was delayed 2 hours (a sign of things to come). So it was very late when I arrived at my brother’s house where I was staying. I got there on Sat. night. He left for a conference on Mon. morning.
I spent Wednesday with my friend Mary and her daughter Summer. First we met at Bob Evans for a late breakfast and then went to the Delaware State Fair. Mary entered numerous crocheted items and won gobs of blue ribbons, some 2nd place ribbons and a 3rd place ribbon. And this was the first time she ever entered items in the fair!! Having received things from her, I can vouch for the judges—she does wonderful work, and almost all of it is done in thread!! She even received an award for the best entry at the Fair which included a presentation by Delaware’s governor! Here are some pictures of a few of her winning entries.

Our mutual friend Sherrie did a great job telling about Mary's Fair experience. You can read about it on her blog. There is a link in the above message. (thanks Sherrie).
After ohhing and ahhing over her work, we walked around the fair grounds, rode on the ferris wheel, played a shooting game (with water—Mary won a stuffed seal which she gave to me and I gave to my grandson Cory. Summer played a dart and balloon game and won a cute stuffed lady bug! We went into where the slot machines were, but didn’t bother wasting our coins! It was very hot. We (Summer and I) shared a “fried Snicker’s” candy bar—very yum!! After leaving the fair we went to a great seafood place where we had steamed crabs and shrimp. It was a very casual place (my kind of restaurant) where they covered the table with a large piece of brown paper and served the food in plastic bowls! I needed a refresher course on how to pull apart the crabs (I’ve been gone from the East coast for over 30 years). They were sooo good. Each time I get together with Mary we have such a great time. We have already planned what we are going to do the next time I am in the area!

The next day was not so much fun! Kelly was arriving from Boise, Idaho with 2 of her kids (4 yr. old Elise and 1 yr. old Cory). She was surprising her grandmother who did not know they were coming. She was due to arrive at the Phila. Airport at 10:45 p.m. I checked with the airlines before going and saw a delay. Every time I checked the delay was later. Finally at 11:30 p.m. she called. Her flight went from Boise to Chicago. She called from Chicago. There were MANY storms in the area and they circled and circled and circled Chicago and finally went to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to get more fuel.. They sat on the ground there for 2 hours. Once in Chicago they kept delaying take-off, then they CANCELLED the flight!! Everyone was lined up to get another flight. A United Airlines person felt sorry for her with the 2 kids and brought her into the VIP room where she tried to help find her a flight. The next flight they could get her on to Phila. was on Sunday (the birthday party was on Sat.), so that didn’t work. They found a flight to LaGuardia Airport in NY (Long Island) that was getting ready to depart. She took it and I then had to drive there to get them! I didn’t even know how to get there from Phila. (thank goodness for Map Quest). Off I went in the midst of heavy rain and thunderstorms via the NJ Turnpike which had numerous sections of the highway that were semi-flooded---made for very slow driving—and lots of trucks. I kept stopping at rest areas to make sure I knew where to get off, etc. I made it through the Lincoln Tunnel ok, but then I made a wrong turn and ended up in the theater district of NYC! Found a policeman who directed me to the Midtown Tunnel and I was ok until I made another wrong turn. By this time Kelly was calling me via the cell phone asking where I was (wandering around aquestionable section of the Bronx or maybe it was Brooklyn--who knows, I was lost! I finally got her and the kids, but no luggage around 3:00 a.m. and headed back to Phila. Going back was much easier because the rain had stopped and I had a navigator. We got “home” around 6:30 a.m. and went right to bed! Made a trip to the Phila. airport later that day to pick up luggage. The rest of the visit was uneventful. Here is the family (part of it--there are 2 more kids and a husband, Craig who were back in Idaho on a camping trip with their new puppy Louis (they lived in St. Louis when they met), a French Brittany Spaniel. This my my brother in the picture. It's not a great shot, but the only one I have with the 2 kids and Kelly.
Then came Sunday and the return flights!! We had departure times that were close, but different airlines. I dropped off Kelly, kids, stroller and luggage and returned the rental car. Then I checked-in. The first sign of “complications” came when I saw the security line weaving down the hall!! It took 20 minutes to get through. Once at the gate I found out that the first flight was delayed about 30 minutes which wasn’t bad (in hind sight). The airport was very crowded and once we boarded it took a long time to take off. I was a bit concerned because I only had 45 minutes between flights in Atlanta. But the pilot made up the time and we actually landed early. I was fortunate that the gates were close enough together that it was just a short walk and I didn’t have to take the train. I went to the posted gate, but it was not the right one. I found the “right” gate and immediately noticed a delay, but it wasn’t too bad. Then it kept getting later. Then the flight disappeared from the board!! I went up to the counter and asked about it—the person in charge hadn’t even noticed, but she checked and announced that the gate had been changed. I don’t know how long they would have kept us there if I hadn’t asked!! We were originally scheduled to depart at 8:54. We boarded at 10:30 and sat and sat on the plane. First we had to wait for luggage to be loaded. Then we had to wait a VERY long time for them to fuel the plane (did they think we could fly without it and then realized NO). The person sitting behind me had some medical issues, so they changed my seat. We finally departed at 12:00 midnight! I talked to Keith several times since he was picking me up in Flint (and has to go to work Monday morning) and just told him to keep calling the airlines for departure and arrival times. We finally got to Flint at 2:00 a.m.—3 hours late. A bright spot--my luggage was the first to come through on the belt! This was my first experience with Delta Airlines. I don’t think I will be flying with them again. It was good to be home and sleep in my own bed. Chester and Oscar were VERY glad to have me home.