Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Trip

So good to be home again! Not so very good to still be so wired from that cup of coffee I got so I could drive home from Portland without falling asleep. . .hence a 2:40 a.m. post.

I flew to Minnesota on Sunday, and on Monday drove Mom and Dad to Minneapolis (actually Bloomington) for Mom's glaucoma surgery. Mom was relaxed despite months of worry ahead of time, the nurses put us both at ease, and Mom came through with flying colors and my biggest challenge was getting her to stay put and let me do stuff for her, and to get her to take the occasional Tylenol.

The night before, at the Sunday evening service, numerous people told Mom they'll be praying for her, and one young lady, can't remember her name, gave her a hug and said she'll be on her mind. I was very impressed because I don't remember this sort of supportive atmosphere in the old days, and I know for a fact that if "Chon Maehdy" the bishop's wife had been going in for surgery when I was in the youth group I would not have cared that much, and for sure not hugged her ahead of time. "Do you see how the church is drifting?" Mom asked me. Well, this sort of drift is fine with me.

My parents like so many rural older people, have a horror of driving in towns of any size. They plan their routes to Willmar like they're refugees strategizing how to avoid the rebel army encampments. So when I drove to "the Cities" they were so impressed. "Oh good, there's not much traffic," I said when I merged onto 35W. "You don't think there is??" Mom said. I think she felt like we were being thrown to the wolves.

It was cold in Oregon when I left but in Minnesota I realized I've forgotten, in the last 15 years, the true meaning of cold. On Tuesday as we drove to Willmar, 25 miles away, for Mom's followup appointment, the snow blew across the road in swirling rivers and the temperature dropped. My heart did too, listening to the weather report. Weather advisory, blizzard conditions, and such predicted for Wednesday, when I wanted to fly home.

On Wednesday morning it was zero degrees with high winds. This sort of thing slices right through parkas, long johns, wool sweaters, everything. At 5:42 a.m. I was dreaming about being on a train when I realized I was hearing a tractor. There was my brother Marcus from next door, out on his tractor with no cab, pushing the snow off the lane so I could get out. I realized how often he must do this, in even worse weather, and no one ever applauds. So here's my applause.

Unfortunately my flight was cancelled because of the weather at MSP so I rescheduled for 4:30 pm. When I left the house at noon the lane had blown shut again and I almost got stuck but my little rented Ford Focus plowed through. (An hour later Dad drove out and got stuck.) The 2-hour drive to the airport was not anything I'd do for fun but not too horrible either since cold, packed snow is not that slippery.

Naturally my flights were delayed here and there. But the little Honda in the PDX parking lot started right up even though it's been well below freezing, and I got coffee and gas and drove home, where I got to see the beginnings of my new kitchen cupboards and they are lovely.

Quiz on A Mom's Life:
If a mom is driving on 494 in Minneapolis in blowing snow and her cell phone buzzes, what is the most likely reason:
a) Paul is worried about children throwing up
b) Matt wants advice about a girl
c) Emily wants to know at what temperature to iron her blue dress for the banquet

If a mom and minister's wife is looking for a place to buy coffee in Portland late at night and she thinks she's pulling into McD's but isn't, where is she most likely to pull into:
a) Napa Auto Parts
b) Office Max
c) The Romance Superstore

(c and c of course)


  1. Ha ha, I get to be the first commenter!! Here's my applause to Marcus as well. Yay!!!!! :-)

  2. The Romance Store????

  3. So glad you are safely back. I've been thinking of you and praying for your driving and flying. You are very brave.

    Your Sunday column in the R-G was so so good. Thank you for connecting those dots!! Don't forget to link it here, when you have a minute.