The joy of flying and a dishwasher in the snow: A bang-up end to the year

Posted on December 30, 2009


Everyone else is doing high-minded year-end lists of favorite posts and outstanding photos and I—well, I am going to break out of my rut.  No tales of Miss Sadie and the Cowboy.  No hike in the woods or photos of the lake.  I’m going to tell you about the dishwasher in the snow and the week I spent at the Traverse City airport.  

It’s a nice little airport, with a distinctive Frank Lloyd Wright vibe. 

An hour before departure, Security is closed. Not a good sign.

It turns out there is Weather in Chicago—imagine that—and our flight will be delayed considerably, causing all of us to miss our connections.  Harried clerks try to figure out how to get us out of Traverse City and as far away from them as possible before things get out of hand. Here is clever Nick, pondering my chances of making it to Utah in this lifetime.

I am sanguine.  I have faith in Nick and I have the Cat Bag, a sturdy, cheerful tote that defies the inexplicable determination of all airlines to make my life miserable. 

From its depths I retrieve chocolate, paperback books, pens, puzzles—even a spare pair of pants.  It is that last that gets me into trouble.  Do you remember last New Year’s Day when Louan pinned up a pair of slacks for me?  All I had to do was actually sew up the new hem.  Fast forward to December 22, when I am packing for my trip to Utah.  Aha!  Let me stow those pants in the Cat Bag!  I can hem them on the plane!  Not wishing to seem sneaky while proceeding through Security, I roll the pants with their possibly offending pins right on top in a highly visible position.

My thinking is not terribly coherent when I am getting ready for a trip. No one at Security cares in the least about the straight pins. However, as I straggle through the line sock-footed, the pants and the pins work their way downward and outward, points first. I get on the plane with a Cat Bag that bristles like a porcupine. At least everyone gives me a wide berth.

We are seated—ladies and gentlemen in waiting.  It’s interesting watching life pass by outside a sleet-spattered window.  It’s mesmerizing watching the de-icing.  OK, it’s possible I don’t get out enough. 

Now where else would you see anything like this?  But I don’t want to spoil you.  I will not tell you about the month I spent at O’Hare.

Oh, I almost forgot about the dishwasher. 

A few weeks ago we acquired a working dishwasher.  To you this may be mundane news.  To us, it is a glorious happening, akin to waking up and finding that Santa Claus has brought presents.  In this case, Cora Stoppert performed the role of Santa Claus, and the sleigh was provided by Scott Briggs, who carted the perfectly good dishwasher he had just removed during Cora’s kitchen renovation over to the Writing Studio and Bait Shop and up all 22 steps.  Then Mary Sallee’s brother Steve came over and pulled the dead dishwasher out and hooked up the dandy replacement.  I tell you, it takes a whole village to keep me upright. 

As usual, my timing leaves something to be desired.  I didn’t manage to arrange the removal of the corpse of the old dishwasher before the snow fell, and now it has become much more difficult than it was going to be.  So for those of who you have passed by and wondered . . . no.  This is not a new barbecue grill.