Wednesday, February 5, 2014

From PDX to FAT

On Saturday I found myself at Gate A7 at PDX which is something akin to the far flung departure gates of the Phuket airport in Thailand, or Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. The exception would be that when departing from these destinations it is the end of a tropical dream, the wake up call that you are returning to the real world so your surroundings are appropriately reality provoking.

The A gates in the farthest reaches of PDX are the place where all the old airport furniture goes to die. With the large adhesive carpet squares, usually reserved for day cares and libraries, and some sort of after market outlets added onto the stainless and vinyl rows of connected chairs so you can charge your devices.

They threw a Starbucks and a Laurelwood Brewing down here to make us feel like we're not waiting for a Greyhound bus. To be fair, I haven't been to the bus station lately, maybe things have improved, somehow I doubt it.  The Starbucks system was down, so they wouldn't take my Starbucks card. Hey, if I'm not getting a 'star' for my purchase so I can earn a free coffee I'll go for the other NW tradition, Coffee People-Aero Mocha and the non-fat Velvet Hammer. Yum!

Granted I was waiting to go to Fresno so no glam and glitz there, but good friends and fun times ahead. Really, do they have to make us feel as though we're with Good Will travel services. A little piped in Muzak, maybe a fresh coat of paint, come on throw us a bone down here!

We'll just have to live the dream all on our own, pumping ourselves up for the trip. It may not be Paris, D.C., or Chicago, but we are getting away and isn't that the most important thing? To see the ones you love and pretending to be carefree and unencumbered.  It' still a good thing even if you're departing from gate A7.

Bright and early this morning we headed to the Fresno Air Terminal, now Fresno Yosemite International airport, still FAT. Great news! An unannounced delay of 3 hours because the plane can't get out of San Diego. Huh? What could possibly be going on down there? Couldn't get the flight crew back from last nights trip to Tijuana? Missed high tide this morning so surfing went late? Really?

After wandering around and trying to read my book they announced they were generously providing meal vouchers. Yippee. Heading towards the only place to eat, other than Starbucks brought me to an area where I did finally get wifi. Turns out if you aren't in the bowels of FAT at the Alaska terminal (why are they always at the edge of no where?) and you venture upstairs to the Delta gates there is free wifi. Ahhhhhhhhh (enter celestial music here). 

So now I'm living large with my $12 meal voucher, do they check the menu so you can't actually get anything for less than $13.49(+ tax-foreign concept to all us Oregonians trapped here in the Central Valley) before deciding on how much to give you? 

Original departure time 10:35am. Most recent update, 2:34 pm. Now they are requesting names and email addresses (shouldn't they already have these in their system?!?) so they can send some 'certificates' for our inconvenience. Well at least I had some time for a blog post.

Languishing in the fruit and nut capital-

Sunday, February 2, 2014

He smiled and laughed; I fell

The Willamette Writers group had a call out for a "six word love story" in honor of February and Valentine's Day. I must have skimmed that email quickly because somehow I thought it was a "six line love story". I also must have glanced over it before going to bed because when I woke up some time around 3 am there were three sentences in my brain fully formed and trying desperately to get out.

Now I'm not up every night in the small hours to go to the bathroom, but if I am it's not a big deal, so far. I can get up, do what I need to do without turning on any lights, lay back down and go to sleep - no insomnia here.

This night the dog lept up as I swung my legs over the side of the bed and began prancing around saying, "Wow, I did not know that 3 am was our new wake up time, but I am ready!" He is a very accommodating dog. Unfortunately a dogs bladder once presented with the thought and promise of a trip outside is not easily persuaded otherwise.  So I shuffled downstairs zombie like trying to maintain the sleep zone, trying to remember the three sentences as the dog pranced along happily his tail high and toenails clicking on the hard wood.

Out he raced into the darkness and right back again, turned two circles on the rug, effectively 'wiping his feet' and waited for the cookie he so richly deserved. I had resorted to mumbling the three sentences over and over until we got back upstairs so I could write them down on the paper I keep near the bed.

As the dog launched himself up onto the bed my loving husband grumbling and turning said, " What are you doing"?! "Just writing something down before I forget it". I didn't need any lights to feel the colossal eye roll being sent my way as he flopped over and the heavy breathing ensued.

In the morning as I reviewed, I had sentence 1, 5, and some combination of 2 and 3.

She knew it would happen as soon as she felt the toe of her new sandal catch. As she moved in slow motion, unable to stop she could see herself falling with things scattering everywhere. While she tried to brace for the impact, to minimize the damage of tender skin coming to an abrupt stop against unforgiving concrete she thought. "It would be awful to know what was going to happen all the time; to always anticipate the fall". He knew it would happen as soon as he saw her, overloaded with packages, her sandal catching on the uneven pavement. As he dove to catch her he thought; "I wonder"?

As it turns out I missed the deadline for turning in. I also didn't have six words, but still, I think six lines might be the way to go next year. Maybe I'll suggest it. To be on the safe side, I did use six words for the title.

Always keep some paper and a pen by the bed, or maybe in the bathroom.