It’s Good To Be Home: Adventures In Knitting At Airports

Today is a snowy day. Nothing new there over the past few days, I guess. For a Saturday when I don’t have to go in to the hospital to work, it’s okay. We’ll light a fire, maybe I’ll do some knitting. Maybe I’ll put the final touches on some handouts for a class I am teaching in Ohio that’s coming up.

Anyone got a recording of that sound they use in movies and TV shows when they want to stop the tape and go back a bit? Kind of like a needle being dragged back over a phonograph record. Ah yes, I am showing my age as I know some have never had that experience. We still need to unpack from our trip and set the house to rights.

We were in Ft. Myers Florida for what amounted to a week and 2 or 3 days, rather than the week we had planned on. We were to leave Tuesday morning, layover in Atlanta Georgia for 2 hours, and then fly to Dayton. I noted while working on a dresser scarf that for some reason, the only thing showing on the screen besides flight time was Doppler weather. Then I noticed a nasty winter storm that stretched from the Great Lakes to the eastern seaboard. Whoa, there, wait a minute. My knitting dropped to my lap and I did a double take as my mind took that in. Illinois to the eastern edge of this country is mighty big territory.

I knew we would not make it to Dayton that day. They boarded us on the plane. Mind you I had already gone up and asked if the flight was going to be cancled as they really did not want folks driving (Dayton was a level 2 on their winter storm, which means no driving unless absolutely necessary. They had not yet made it to a level 3 which means if you are out driving you get ticketed). The pilot for our plane was there and told me as long as they had a clear shot of the runway they usually do not cancel flights, as the airline industry doesn’t really look at the road condition. I thought that was odd, considering to me it was logical that if they cannot keep snow and ice off the roads,  could the runways be any better? That ran through my mind when we took our seats. 5 minutes later they announced that the flight was canceled. 15 minutes later we were trying to get a different flight and discovered we would not be able to get to Dayton until the next day, and then my husband told them he wanted them to fly us back to Ft. Myers.

They agreed to do that, as they would not put us up in a hotel, and our friends picked us up at the airport in Ft. Myers about 9 pm. Our luggage had been forwarded on without us, and we had to make a little stop at Walmart to get a few things. We had to make a trip in to the airport the next day (this time around 2 pm) as the flight we had that day was supposed to layover in Baltimore (kindly insert the sound effect here that I described earlier). Wait a minute there. Baltimore?

All I could think was “No. Freaking. Way.” I knew that Dayton continued to be a level 2. I knew that Wright Patterson Airforce Base was on the verge of being closed (the gates) due to the weather. They had already put non-essential personel on a 4 hour delay (my son-in-law is in the Air Force and is stationed there). And the doppler, well. That storm had made it out of Illinois and Indiana, and had progressed north and east and now stretched from mid Ohio clear through the entire New England and surrounding states, as well as part of Canada.

I did not want to get stuck in Baltimore, and my husband did not want to pay $120 to have our tickets changed, so it was off to the airport as scheduled, go through the security check point (we had our boarding passes, and the lines at the ticket agent was terrible) and then talk to the agent at a gate for our airline we were flying. He was very nice, and listened briefly to my rambling about 6 hours in the Atlanta airport the day before and how I did not want to fly into the middle of that storm as I knew we would get stuck there. My husband tried to make sense of my muttering, and the agent kindly asked “What would you like to do?” We asked them to change our flight to the next day, and layover in Atlanta before going on to Dayton. Thereby avoiding where the storm continued, and giving our final destination ample time to get dug out. We had another 2.5 hours driving time after arriving in Dayton (which was planned for the morning after we flew in). He changed our tickets, back we went with our friends who were waiting to hear if we got them changed, and back we went to their home and spent Valentines day with them.

We went back to the airport again the following morning, which was by now Thursday am. Flew in to Atlanta with no problems and a lot shorter lines, got on an earlier flight into Dayton and arrived around 5 or 5:30. Our luggage, much to my relief and great happiness, was waiting for us. We then spent the night with my stepdaughter and her husband, and drove home the next day after eating lunch with her. On the way home, we listened to the news and heard about problems and closings at various airports, as far south as Washington DC (which had been closed). My husband commented “I am really glad we did not fly into Baltimore”.  I, content in my knitting, happily noted to myself that I had been right. (For those of you not familiar with the geography of the US, Washington DC is directly east of the mid-point of Indiana, and is south of Baltimore, Maryland).

I of course had my knitting with me for the airport time as well. I had about three inches done on a dresser scarf that I am knitting. I am not sure what the blocked dimensions will be just yet, but I know it will be close to 4 foot. I knitted on it off and on while we were gone, in the evenings mostly. I knit most of it in the airport terminals while we were waiting. Especially when we had the 6 hours in Atlanta before boarding to go back to Florida. You know, I am halfway around the circumference of the piece with the edging. I have maybe another 6 hours to go and it will be done.

I have to unpack and we need to clean the house. Maybe I should check the weather channel, see how bad the snow is, and book a flight that will probably get canceled so I can get the piece done.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene

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