Monday, January 31, 2011

i hate goodbyes...

another weekend, another sad goodbye. with apologies to john denver, these words come to mind.

...leavin' on a jet plane
don't know when you'll be back again
oh, son-- do you have to go???

and as bill withers sang... (sort of)
ain't no sunshine when you're gone
only darkness every day
ain't no sunshine when you're gone
and you're always gone too long
every time you go away....

so we just put our middle child, c., on a plane to wing his away back to his honey, in big a-town.  it was a good visit, not long enough to suit, but the trip was planned over a year ago this weekend.  john lennon said, "life is what happens while you're making other plans." now ain't that the good lord's gospel truth?

this sunday, we said goodbye to c., whose last visit "home" was at christmas in '09. last sunday, it was goodbye to our daughter, k., who last darkened our doors in early fall of that same year. we had some time with c. and c. and b. and r. at christmas time just a few weeks ago. as for b. and r. last visit to little a-town, it was yuletime '09 also.

as you can see, visits to the old home place are few and far between.  as a rule, we've seen them come "home" only at christmas.  truth be told, more often than not, we travel to see them. travel to see them is always a treat.  but to see the six of them means three separate trips for us, four if we include my wife's side..  if we were made of money that wouldn't be a big deal.  still seeing them two at a time lacks the appeal of a fab fam fest.     

speaking of other plans, the very real prospect of retirement for me is looming just down the road.  of late, i've been giving some thought to what happens when that glorious day arrives.  what is there to hold us here in little a-town?  there's the house we built 30+ years ago.  we have friends we hold dear, but seldom see.  in a word, there's not much beyond the kids objections when we mention the prospect of selling the house they grew up in, the house we've called home for most, or all, their lives.

it's a tough deal, the considering of major change.  but then, being half a world away from your kids is no picnic either.  the future will surely reveal itself. d-day is a mere 383 days away. reasonable suggestions will be entertained at  aio      

Sunday, January 23, 2011

a sad day at 7420...

i've often commented on the mega-distances from little a-town our kids have chosen to make a life.  one day blends into another, each one with an emptiness created by their leaving.  there are good days, true, yet all are painted with an undercurrent of sadness.

when at last one or the other, or sometimes all at once, deign to grant us some few moments in their presence, elation builds until the appointed day arrives.  for a time euphoria reigns. recalling favorite memories, sharing laughter and levity.  all too soon mid-visit comes and with it the knowledge that the awful feeling of saying goodbye is just a blink away.

k. surprised her mom on her birthday last wednesday. she drove 15 hours, straight through from new orleans, all alone.  mid-morning, a knock on the door, a moment before realization sets in-- shock, disbelief, hugs and happy tears.

after days of frenetic mom and daughter-ness, the awful moment of parting each knew would come is here too soon. more tears, more hugs-- sad this time. exhortations of "be careful' and "call us." promises of-- "i will."

with a heavy heart, mom stands waving a last, frantic good-bye, watching daughter drive away.  daughter watches her mom grow smaller in the rear view until no longer in sight; each face streaming tears, each heart wishing the moment didn't have to be.

damn the awful miles between. each vowing-- "until next time." each hoping next time comes-- and soon. damn you miles, damn you.  aio   

Monday, January 17, 2011

Viva Southwest....

I, kenemac47, do solemnly swear to forever and always, be faithful to the airline that is Southwest.  I offer my deepest apologies for my recent lapse in loyalty. You see, over the Christmas holidays i took leave of my senses, opting to use instead another airline, whose initials are AA.  AA sold me a ticket to fly my daughter k. home on 12-23, in order that she might drive to big A-town with the wife. before that thrusday, k. became quite ill and opted to forgo flying and thus exposing those who would have been cooped up with her, breathing the aairline's recirculated air on two separate flights. That is not to mention the multitude who would then have been exposed by those who had been exposed to her.

On Christmas day, it was AA that flew me to Dallas.  But not on a sleek, swift, and sexy 737. (pictured above)  Instead AA, chooses to use a slightly different craft for flights leaving little a-town in the middle of the day, an AT7. (pictured below)-- a twin engine prop job!


Not as sleek, not as sexy, not as fast.  Louder, with tons more vibration through the body of the plane.  Still, to AA's credit, the flight left on time and arrived Big D right on time.  To their discredit, the pilot held us on the apron, close enough to the terminal I might have hit it with a rock thrown left handed, to the tune of forever.  After a time, we passengers were dumped unceremoniously from the plane in order to walk to the jet way and make our way into the terminal. 

By this time, i had to pee, and pretty quickly.  Having accomplished that and finding a screen to remind me which terminal my connecting flight was leaving from, i raced to  sky link.  Of course, we landed at Terminal A and my connecting flight was leaving from Terminal C.  I raced through the terminal ala O J Simpson, arriving at Gate C out of breath.  Handing the gate attendants my boarding pass, i heard, "mr. mac you made good time!" "your flight has already left." "we've booked you on the next flight out. it leaves at 4:10 from  Gate A-9." 

back to Terminal A, without a way to let the fam know i was still coming and when. (that's a whole 'nother story) i could only hope when i didn't show up as scheduled they would somehow figure what was the deal.

the flight from a-9 left right on time with me seated between a mom and her 10 year old son.  he is a charming young man who talked incessantly with me understanding 3 of every 10 words he said, but a short 33 minutes later, at last i arrived big A town and was greatly relieved to see the familiar and smiling faces waiting there to retrieve me. both were waving, as relieved to see me as I was to see them.

some time later, i was talking with k. about when we might get her on up here to a-town.  She informed me she had spoken to AA and while she had credit in the amount of her ticket, AA would charge a $150.00 rebooking fee.  WHAT?? are you effin-- kiddin' me? So I e-mailed, and then called AA, thinking she must have understood.  but no, she was not mistaken, not in the slightest.

out of curiosity, i went to the delta and continental airline sites, to see what their policies are in regards to flights booked but not taken. they are the only other airlines, besides SWA and AA, with flights to and from Rick Husband International.  i shouldn't have been surprised, but i found that delta charges $100.00 to re-book a flight; continental--$150.00!  SWA charges $0.00.  nuttin', nada, zilch! 

and that's why, friends and neighbors, I pledge to always and forever choose SWA for my air travel plans.  i urge you all to consider doing the same. aio   

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2011-- off to a C minus start.

the brilliant glow of last new year's eve aerials has long since faded, the confetti's been swept up and graces the land fill by now; hangovers suffered on the first day of this new year are over and done.

the first week of 2011 is history.  my texas tech red raiders escaped the inaugural ticketcity bowl with a win over northwestern.  way to have your guns up, tech!  last years super bowl champion new orleans saints look like anything but in a loss to the seattle seahawks on saturday.  the jets beat the colts and in news that matters, a gunman dealt misery and grief in arizona.

the dawning of each new day reveals the mystery that is to be.  tragedy trumps triumph every time. inevitably, the what ifs ensue.  what if a nine year old hadn't recently been elected to student council at her school?  without that fact, would she have been invited to see and hear her government in action?  had she not been tendered the invitation, had she not eagerly accepted, would she have lived to a ripe old age?

it is a sad instance of cause and effect. as for those left behind, her parents and the friend who invited her to go, a lifetime of guilt and "if only" awaits.

it is not for us to know what the next tick of the clock will reveal.  if we wasted our time worrying about it, forever dreading the next moment because it might expose some horror, what kind of life would that be?

might it be better to live life like that song from the 50's?  que sera, sera-- what ever will be, will be-- the future's not ours to see-- que sera, sera.

still, one can't help but wonder, what is this world coming to?

my thoughts go out to those who've lost loved ones, to those who are fighting for life after being wounded in the fray.  may there come a time a time when every waking moment is not consumed with the awful eternity before the shooting paused and the gunman was subdued.  may there come a time when your lives regain some sense of the everyday.  not that the events of saturday can be, or should be, forgotten, still...

in time life goes on, the seconds ticking on end reveal to us what is to be.  for you all i wish only good things.  sadly, the old saw holds true. "into every life, a little rain must fall."

may the rains in your life be brief and gentle-- and que sera, sera...  aio  

Sunday, January 9, 2011

happy birthday, baby...

thirty one years ago today the miracle that is k.s. came into our world and as they say, "the rest is history."   to this constant ray of sunshine, words fail to capture the pride, the joy, the love, thinking of you brings to mind.

a note of sadness creeps in, your being so far away from little a-town, our being here and just as far from you looking back this way.  my hope for you is a fantastic birthday, unmarred by the wind driven rain, the rattling of the window panes.  snuggle up with your man. tomorrow begins another day, another year. may every minute of it be filled with blessings and love.

happy birthday, baby girl! happy birthday!