Friday, July 29, 2011

Maui: Mimi and the Polar Bear Club

Enjoy this amazing song while you journey to a brown sandy beach in Hawai'i with me...

"So, Mom, when we get to Maui, what do you want to make sure you get to do?"

"I want to swim in the waves of Pacific Ocean!"

One swim in the waves of the Pacific Ocean coming up!

We struck out one morning in search of a beach in Wailea known for good snorkeling.  And, I mean SEARCH.  Without my Maui Revealed iPhone app (worth every penny) and my TomTom, I'm not sure how we would have found the place.  Directions to some of the best places in Maui include instructions like "pull into the dirt-packed parking area by the large wall of rock just past the 33rd mile marker."  The beach's public access was in sort of a neighborhood-y area.  We turned down a short street with a couple of small parking lots on the right side of the street.  All of the spaces were filled, so, I dropped off Kelly, Mimi, and our stuff at the end of the road by the entrance to the beach area and went... 

OMG.  I've got the TV tuned to HGTV, and "For Rent" is on.  So...every now and then when I hear ooohs and ahhhhs, I get distracted.  "It's got the bright natural lighting and character that you're looking for!" aggressively circle the parking lot following people who looked like they might be leaving.  

Notice the new bathing suit!
Parked at last, I trudged to the place where I had dropped off Kelly and the Meems.  With my arms full of stuff and Mimi clutched to my elbow, we began the journey down the uneven sandy steps.  The beach was crowded, but Kelly found a bit of square footage where we could unfurl our jacked hotel beach towels.  

"I'm hoping that Jason and Sarah will love the makeover of their brand new downtown loft!" 

Once our stuff was situated, I began the arduous task of helping Mimi lower herself into a comfortable position on one of the beach towels.  We faced each other and held hands as she slowly began to squat.  "Wait!  Don't let her sit there!" exclaimed a nearby bald-headed, bare-chested, tattooed man, "We've got an extra chair she can use!"  He scurried over, set up the chair and helped Mimi sit down on it.  I could have kissed his little bald head.  "He's so NICE!" Mimi cooed.  Heartfelt thanks were given to the bald-headed, bare-chested, tattooed man with the extra chair.

"This loft makeover came in at $915 which is just under the amount of one month's rent!"

After we got Mimi settled into her comfy red chair with a bottle of water, some banana chips and a piece of Kleenex in case her nose got runny, Kelly and I flopped off in our flippers and masks ready to snorkel. That is when I learned that real snorkelers don't put on their flippers until they are about waist deep in the water.  Flop.  Flop.  Flop.  It was the most exercise that I had done in months.  I was exhausted by the time my body began to actually float.

I snorkeled alongside Kelly for a while until the rise and fall of the ocean swells kicked in.  Seasick.  Yep.  Seasick from snorkeling.  So, I made my way back to the beach to "check on Mimi."  She was snoozing in the shade with her mouth hanging upon just a bit.  Flippers and mask in hand, I flopped down onto the Hyatt Regency beach towel and grabbed a bottled water and some banana chips ready to dissolve into my good beach read.

"Jason and Sarah love living in their new loft which is just a 30-minute commuter train ride into the city!"

"When do I get to play in the waves," Mimi said softly as she slipped out of her sleep.

"When do you want to play in the waves?" I asked.

"Whenever you're ready to help me," she replied.

"The water's pretty nippy.  I don't think that you'll like it," I cautioned knowing that Meemilocks doesn't like anything that is too hot or too cold.

"But, this is Hawaii!  It can't be all that cold," she insisted.

"OOOOOOH KAAA-AAAY," I said hoping that the my inflection would discourage her.  I could already see it coming.  I know my little mother all too well.

I tucked my unopened book back into my beach bag and waved Kelly out of the water.  "MIMI'S READY TO SWIM!" I called.

With Kelly one on side and me on the other, we lifted her from her comfy red chair and walked her to the water's edge.

As soon as the water tickled the tip of her toes, Mom squealed, "Oooooooo!  It's cold!  And to think!  I tried to swim in the ocean in California, and it was too cold.  I tried to swim in the ocean in Nantucket, and it was too cold.  I tried to swim in the Meditteranean, and it was too cold.  Now, I'm here in Hah-Y-Yuh, and the water is cold again!  I thought for sure it would be warm!"

"Want to go back to your chair?" I offered.
The Polar Bear Club

"Nope.  I'm going to go out a bit farther so that I can say that I played in the waves of the Pacific in Hah-Y-Yuh!" she said with determination.  

"Kelly, walk out a bit with her.  I'll stay here and take pictures!"  Heh.  Heh.  Heh.

Here you have it, folks.  Helen Katheryn Kinzbach "playing" in the waves of the Pacific Ocean in Hah-Y-Yuh.  Weeeeeee!

Oops!  Wait a minute.  Kelly's hair is dry.  I guess I've got it out of order.  Mom went wave dancing before we snorkeled.  My dramatic memory totally trumps the photographic evidence.  I could rewrite this blog to put everything in the correct order but...

"Designed to Sell" is just came on and this dude's house needs SO much help!  I'm transfixed!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Maui: The Helicopter Tour

My sweet hubbers, Alan, planned a fun surprise for Kelly while we were in Maui - a helicopter tour of the island!  We were going to surprise Mom, but I wasn't sure that she would embrace the thought of hovering over a dormant volcanic crater in a little helicopter just like she didn't embrace snowmobiling in Utah about 5 Christmases ago.  Apparently, snowmobiles rides are too fume-y and bumpy for her tastes.

I told Kelly that we had scheduled a private tour of a museum in which ancient tribal costumes were on display.  "We will be there for about 2 hours listening to excruciating details about the reign of 'King Kehmehalahgotchee' [not a real name].  Mimi has really been looking forward to this tour!  If you get bored, you can sit on a bench and listen to your iPod!  Then, later this afternoon, we will totally go to the pool and hang out!"  Then, I handed her the driving directions to the heliport.

Entering the parking lot of the heliport, we had to stop at a parking attendant booth.  Kelly was still oblivious.  That's how excited she was about spending a day with King Kehmehalahgotchee [not a real name].  The attendant asked, "Who are you flying with today?"  Caught off guard by the intricate web of deception woven to trick Kelly, I mumbled, "Uh...Blue Hawaiian."  "OK.  It's two doors down on the left."  I rolled my window up as I pulled into the parking lot.  Kelly was laughing, "Did you just totally make that up so that we can park here?!"  It was then that Mimi and I let go of our long kept secret!  "We're going on a helicopter tour of the island!!!"

Upon our arrival at the Blue Hawaiian Helicopter office, we were asked to step on the scales so that they could "confirm" our weights.  This came as a surprise to me me since I filled in all of our weights on the online form when we booked the tour.  I gulped just before I stepped up because it was at that point I realized that they were actually "lie dectector" scales.  I guess the girl checking us in is wise to people like me who tend to, flat out lie, on any form that has a "weight" blank.  She didn't say a word as I mumbled something about all the fresh pineapple I had eaten in the one day that we'd been in Maui.
Next, we were required to watch a "safety" video.  It's the kind of video that you really don't want to watch just before taking off on any sort of flight on a windy day.  There was talk of water landings and how to open the doors in case of emergencies.  The person sitting next to the pilot was instructed NOT to pick up anything that he or she dropped on the floor.  Instead he or she was supposed to gesture to the pilot who would retrieve the dropped object.  I wish that the videos would include reasons for such instructions like "One time this lady dropped her Sassy Coral lip liner between her seat and the pilot's and when she reached down for it, she accidentally pulled the ejector lever which is shaped kind of like a lip liner.  The flight ended abruptly." 

After a short wait, we were herded out to the tarmac where we were taken one at a time to be buckled into our seats on the helicopter.  We shared our tour with a couple from some midwest state.  Our seats in the helicopter were determined by a "computer" according to our weights, Kelly and I won the front 2 seats leaving Mimi in the back seat with our new friends.  For once, my true weight was my friend. 

Slowly the blades began to spin, and soon we were floating above the heliport.  Our pilot introduced himself as we soared over the sugar cane fields in Central Maui.  "Now, I'd like for each of you to introduce yourselves using the mikes provided.  There is one in the front and one in the back," he instructed.  After he saw Kelly and me looking around cluelessly, he reached over and handed us a mike attached to the dashboard.

"My name is Carolyn, and I'm from Lubbock, TX!"  "My name is Kelly, and I'm from Maryland!"  Then, silence.  Followed by crackling and static, "Am I supposed to hold..."  More crackling.  In the rearview mirror, I could see the man sitting next to Mom coaching her on how to hold the button down while she talks.  "Like this?  Can they hear me?  Oh!  Good!  I'm a Baylor Bear fan!"  I quickly filled in the details, "She's from Waco, Texas.  That's where Baylor is."  A "Baylor Bear fan?!"  Interesting.  She hasn't been to a Baylor sporting event in ye--e--e--ars.

After all the introductions, our pilot began to tell us about the sugar cane fields below and about how Oprah spent $16 million on a private drive to her home on the island so that she wouldn't have such a far drive from the airport.  "Feel free to ask questions at any time!" he said.  Oh, no he di-ant.  Please God.  No questions from Mimi.  It was only an hour long flight.

We soared over the volcanic crater weaving back and forth so that everyone would get a good view.  "Left side, take a look!"  The helicopter was slowly turned.  "OK, now the right side!  We can't actually fly over the crater because it's against the law."  He pointed out all of the small cinder cones that had formed within the big crater before we eased away towards the rain forest ahead.  Sure enough, the Meems reached for the microphone.  Crackle, crackle.  "Like this?"  Crackle crackle.  Again, in the rearview mirror, I could see the man showing her how to "push and hold."  "Can they hear me?"  He nodded.  In true Mimi form she asked, "Are we going to fly over the crater?"  The pilot politely responded, "No, Ma'am.  It's against the law."  "Tell me when we fly by it!"  Kelly and I looked at each other and shook our heads.

Rounding the north side of the island, we soared over lush rain forests.  The pilot maneuvered into narrow valleys so that we could drink in the beauty of the waterfalls.  When he was silent, beautiful music filled our ears creating a multi-sensory magic that brought tears to my eyes.  Then, crackle.  Crackle.  Uh oh.  She was at it again.  The man next to Meems was now holding the mike to her mouth so that he could "push and hold" on her behalf.  "I live at Raider Ranch in Lubbock now.  It's like a resort hotel.  I moved there to be close to my daughter."  I watched to see how the pilot reacted to random bits of information blurted out by octogenarians.  If he was polite, I would owe him a big tip.  If he was rude, I would have to kill him while screaming "D0-NOT-DISRESPECT-MY-MAMA!"  He lives on today a richer man.

At least she didn't say any of the following:
  • I need a Kleenex out of my purse.  (Our purses were back at the heliport.)
  • And to think!  I came all the way to Hah-Y-Yuh, and the water's too cold to swim in!
  • We get 2 free breakfasts at our hotel!  I get scrambled eggs, 3 pieces of bacon, fruit, pastries, coffee and pineapple juice.  Then, I'm not hungry for lunch!
  • And to think!  The best bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich I've ever had was all the way in Hah-Y-Yuh at our hotel.
  • Most people think that I look really young for my age!  How old do you think I am?
  • When will we fly over the crater?
And to think! In Huh-Y-Yuh they
put fresh orchid in your drinks!
I have learned over the past year of spending a great deal of quality time with my little mother that all bets are off when you round the 80-year-old mark.  Let people stare when she dances the hula at the airport.  Let people roll their eyes when she asks "When did we fly over the crater?"  Let people chuckle when she forgets that her scooter is on the "rabbit" setting and burns off on the sidewalk.  She's an adventurer.  She still likes to learn and see and do.  She's the queen of random tidbits of information.

She's Helen K. Kinzbach!  Go, Meems, go!  

Monday, July 25, 2011


As of yesterday, I have been blogging for 365 days!  I've posted 125 blogs in my first year of blogging.  Never in a million years did I think that I would keep up this hobby for a whole year.  My track records for hobbies aren't stellar.

Here are but a few of my bygone hobbies:
  • photography...I took several classes over the years.  Now, I am totally dependent on my camera's automatic setting.
  • beaded works of art...I have worked off and on for years on my first endeavor.  Perhaps I secretly fear that finishing the project will symbolize the end of life as I know it.
  • creating mosaic mirror frames...I mostly created lots of broken china.  I also learned that grout is not my friend.
  • scrap booking...I became a slave to the guilt of not having complete baby books for Bryce and Reed.  The pressure to perform was debilitating.
I am now in my blogging/mail art/cupcake making phase.  I wish I was entering a healthy eating/daily exercise/water drinking phase.  I'm just not feelin' it.

Thanks so much for coming to see me on a regular basis!  Blogging is more fun if you think some one is reading your words!  Even if the 12,757 pageviews are lurkers from 3rd world countries looking for an easy mark, I'm flattered!  It doesn't take much to please a 54 year old retired stay-at-home-mom.

My pageviews by countries:

United States
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Not listed due to their infrequent pageviews (aka "lurkers")
Viet Nam
India Argentina...etc. etc.

So, here's to Year 2 of Finding the Funny!  Again, thanks for your support!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Oh, Happy Friday!

Things I would love to do on this happy Friday:

Take a morning stroll in the Rocky Mountains.

Ride this roller coaster in Orlando and not throw up.

Have dim sum in San Francisco.

Create some mail art postcards.

Open Christmas presents.

Read in the shade of a Seaside beach umbrella.

Nap in the shade of a Seaside beach umbrella.

Sip on a Bud & Alley's mojito with my schweet baby...

While watching the sun set in Maui.

And, end the evening on Broadway.

Oh, happy day!

The truth of the matter is this:
I'll push my chair away from this computer.  Stand and stretch.  Shuffle into my bathroom to shower and dress.  Shorts, Maui "I'm on Island Time" T-shirt, flip flops.  Tie on my favorite Williams-Sonoma apron.  And, dance the day away with a vacuum cleaner and a Swiffer.  Lolly.  Lolly.  La.

Tell me, friend!  What will you do on this happy Friday?

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Blankety-Blank Terra Cotta Pot

Today I am using this blog as a place to voice my frustrations.  A place to scream all of the things that I've been holding back.  A place to vomit from the dark side of my being.  And, it all has to do with a blankety-blank terra cotta pot.  My 85 year old mom's FAVORITE CLAY POT.

The pot is, indeed, a very nice pot.  Pleasing to the eye.  The pot has aged in a most poetic manner with the greens of lichens that Martha Stewart strives for in her Aging a New Terra Cotta Pot 101 class.  It is my mother's FAVORITE CLAY POT.

Several plants from my mother's amazing garden (I can't call it a was in it's entirety a garden) made the move to Lubbock in some of her most coveted clay pots.  She  carefully chose the pots from her collection of at least 37 terra cotta pots.  The FAVORITE CLAY POT is pictured below.  I won't point it out to you.  By the end of this cathartic tale, you will know it well. 

Only one of the transported specimens, the blue plumbago, survived the cruel winter of Zone 7 here in West Texas.  Whatever was planted in the FAVORITE CLAY POT simply went to sleep sometime in late November and never woke up when the warm sun of Spring tapped its stiff, brown branches.  The loss of the plant was magnified tenfold by the huge chunk that fell off the side of the FAVORITE CLAY POT.  

"Oh, Mom!  Looks like the old pot couldn't take the cold West Texas winter.  I'll get Alan to help me haul it to the dumpster," I said having no idea the tempest that was brewing in the FAVORITE CLAY POT.

"It can be glued back together!" my feisty mother insisted, "Once when we had a bad storm in Waco, a limb fell on a pot that I really liked and broke it.  My neighbor got some special glue and glued it back together.  It was good as new!"

The thought of wagging that rather large pot filled with old dry potting soil with the roots of the deceased plant exposed on the "open air" side, dumping the dirt, cleaning the pot, shopping for the right adhesive, figuring out how to clamp the pieces of the pot together while the adhesive dried...I think you get the picture.  I am one lazy daughter.

"Mom.  That's a pretty big piece.  The pot has other cracks in it that are threatening to bust wide open."

"Yeah, but it can be glued. Once when we had a bad storm in Waco, a limb fell on a pot that I really liked and broke it.  My neighbor got some special glue and glued it back together.  It was good as new!  Besides, it's my FAVORITE CLAY POT."

For several months I totally Goldilocks-ed the project.  It was too cold outside.  We had too much going on to deal with a broken pot.  I was really busy planning the Maui trip.  It was too windy.  (In Lubbock, Texas, "too windy" constitutes a valid excuse.)  I needed to rest up from the windy day.  I needed to wash my hair.  The sun was in my eyes.  The 2011 Drought has left me feeling lethargic.

Alas, the day arrived.  No more excuses.  The weight of dutifully repairing the FAVORITE CLAY POT had been dangling over my head for too long.  It was time to pony-up and be a good daughter.  So, Alan helped me load it up into the back of the Suburban along with all the other pots on Mom's porch that needed to be dumped and replanted.

Once home, I turned the pot over the big trashcan in our driveway to dump the dirt.  Ka-blooey!  Another big chunk dislodged and thunked into the trashcan breaking into pieces.  I gathered up the pieces chanting, "I-adore-my-85-year-old-mother-I-adore-my-85-year-old-mother-I-adore-my-85-year-old-mother..."  Then, I hosed down the pieces and set them in the driveway to dry completely.

Once they were dry, I gathered the pieces.
I rounded up all of my gluing supplies.
Then, after about 30 minutes of gritting my teeth and convincing
the first piece to stay in place, I completed my mission.
Well, almost completed.  Turns out one vital piece of the puzzle is missing. 
That blankety-blank terra cotta pot.  Now, I must call Mom to deliver the bad news.  Her FAVORITE CLAY POT breathed its last at 3:38PM this afternoon.  I can already hear her.

"Have you emptied the big trash can in your driveway to see if the piece fell all the way down to the bottom under the grass clippings?  I'll bet it's there.  When you find it, I'll bet that you can glue it in place.  Once when we had a bad storm in Waco, a limb fell on a pot that I really liked and broke it.  My neighbor got some special glue and glued it back together.  It was good as new!  I just know that you can fix it!  It's my FAVORITE CLAY POT!"

Friday, July 15, 2011

Photographic Evidence

Bryce texted me this picture a couple of weeks with the caption "Reed busted on his bike."  At first glance, I thought that was his knee minus a kneecap.  It's actually his arm.  Minus an elbow.

Then, the mother in me studied the picture further.  Standing alone in my kitchen I laughed out loud and did a little happy dance.

Tilt your head ever so slightly to the left and study the top left corner of the picture.  REED MADE HIS BED!!!  

Now, direct your attention to the lower right corner of the picture.  THERE ARE NO DIRTY CLOTHES PROTRUDING FROM UNDERNEATH HIS BED!!  That's my college boy!  He's maturing!  

He and Bryce came home for the weekend a few days after I received the picture.  After expressing appropriate motherly concern over his boo-boo, I told him that I was proud that he had become a bed-maker.

"I figured out that I kinda like a clean room.  It's more relaxing to hang out in.  So, I try to clean it every 3 or 4 days.  That's usually when I make the bed."

Baby steps. Now if he can just learn how to answer his cell phone while riding a bike.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Maui: The Finicky Eater

During our week in Maui, I was surprised to discover that my little mother has become a very picky eater.  She is the woman who raised me on Brussels sprouts, asparagus on toast covered in Hollandaise sauce, and chop suey.  I was proud to be the president of the Kinzbach Clean Plate Club.  Bring on the vegetables!  Bring on the experimental Helen Corbitt recipes!  Set the table!  The Hawaiian Stuffed Bell Peppers are almost done!

The very first meal she had in Maui was the BLT served at the Hyatt's poolside restaurant.  "That was one of the best BLTs I've ever had!"  She was not especially fond of the tarro chips that came with the sandwich.  No ahi poke "nachos" or sesame seared ahi for the Meems!  Bring on the bacon!  Which brings me to breakfast...

Mimi LOVED the "free" breakfast that came with our hotel package.  I must admit that though I am not a breakfast person, the buffet was truly impressive.  Each morning, I went through the line to fill her plate with her requests:  scrambled eggs, toast, pineapple ("and whatever other kind of fruit they have"), some of that "fruity cake," and THREE pieces of bacon.  I have learned that the way to a senior citizen's heart is through the "free" buffet.

One morning we were up and at 'em at 7:00AM for our drive up the famed Road to Hana.  We reached Hana just after noon and began to consult my Yelp iPhone  app for a great place to lunch.  The highest rated spot was the 5-star "Uncle Bill's Lunch Wagon" which was actually a beat up bus aka "kitchen" parked on the roadside with a couple of picnic tables in front of it.  Uncle Bill's was closed.  We finally decided that we would try the Thai "restaurant" promising Mimi that she could order a bowl of plain rice.

The sign looked professional.

This was the restaurant.  The cooler on the left was where you got your drink.

This is one of the chefs.

It took great effort to help Mom navigate the gravel and steps into the...uh...eatery.  "I want a small dinner salad," she said as Kelly and I read over the white board menu.  "Mom!  This is not a 'small dinner salad' kind of place!  How about a bowl of rice?" I replied.  "Hmm. That doesn't sound very good to me.  But, all right. I guess."

At that very moment, I spied a big Tupperware tub full of chopped lettuce.  "You ready to oh-der?" the lady asked.  "Do you think that there is any possible way you could take some of that lettuce and make something that resembles a small dinner salad," I asked.

There are good people wherever you travel.  My heartfelt thanks to the lady at the roadside open air "Nutcharee's Authentic Thai Food" restaurant.  According to Mom, that was a really good small dinner salad.

It was here that I decided that if Mom's bucket list included a trip to Hong Kong, I was going to put my foot down and remind her that Pei Wei isn't one of her favorite places to eat.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Maui: Mimi and the No Fly List

My husband, Alan, is the ultimate vacation planner.  He keeps a pile of travel books on the floor next to his side of the bed.  Sometimes he sits outside in the shade with our 10"X14" spiral book of Mapquest maps - the one with "detailed urban maps" and a "comprehensive index" - pouring over the map of Utah planning yet another trip to Arches, Zion and Bryce.  If he plans a month-long trip to Europe, he can tell you a great lunch spot for the 3rd day of the 2nd week that is next to the hotel metro stop.  "They make a great croque monsieur there!" 

During an anniversary trip to NYC, he called ahead for reservations at the River Cafe months in advance.  About a month before our trip, he wrote a letter to the restaurant manager explaining that since we would be dining in his fine establishment on the evening of our actual anniversary, we would love to have a table by the window so that we could dine with a view of the lights of NYC.  We arrived to a smiling hostess who greeted us with "Right this way Mr. Lackey!  Your window table is ready!  Happy Anniversary!"  He does an amazing job of handling all of the left-brained as well as romantic details so that my happy little right-brain self can come along happily skipping.  Lolly, lolly, lolly!

The trips with my mom are "all me."  I arrange the flights, hotels, tours, entertainment, ground transportation, Mimi's scooter rental, yada, yada, yada.  Alan makes a special trip to Barnes and Noble to select guide books for me to peruse.  He ends up reading them.  I'm more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants traveler.  For the Maui trip, I called up a friend at a travel agency for help with booking the air and hotel package.  It was a total and complete luxury.  She even made our luau reservations.  Ahhhhh-LO-HAAAAAA!

The night before our flight to Maui, Mom, Kelly and I spent the night with my dear friend, Jill.   Jill is an old hand at transporting people to and from her house in Allen to DFW.  She knows the traffic patterns, the shortcuts, and the correct lanes.  She didn't even make fun of me when I said that I wanted to be at the airport at least 2 hours early because Mimi is a slow walker.

And so, the next morning we arrived at DFW a full two hours before our 12:15 flight.  Smooth as silk was our commute from Allen, TX.  Jill pulled up right in front of the curbside check-in for American Airlines where there was absolutely no line.  We all hugged, thanked, and took pictures of our precious hostess.  "Bye, Jillie!!  Aloha!!" we called as she pulled away from the curb!  

The porter gathered up our luggage and then our photo IDs.  We stood at his little counter laughing and talking about luscious fresh pineapple and dancing the hula.  He tagged Kelly's bags.  Then, my bags.  Then, his brow furrowed as he typed furiously on his keyboard saying, "Hmmmm."  It was at this precise moment that I began to pine for Alan and his slick travel acumen.

"Well, Ms. Kinzbach (that's Mimi), it looks like there's some sort of glitch in the system.  We'll have to take your bags inside to check you in," he said.  "Hmmmm," I said.  We were two hours early and there was absolutely no line at the American Airlines "third class" check in counter.  Trying to relax, we laughed and wondered if Mimi was on some sort of bad boy no-fly list.  Ha! Ha!  "Mimi on a no-fly list!?  That's a hoot!  Yep, that little woman can take you down!!  She's got a travel umbrella, and she knows how to use it!"

At the counter, Man Behind Counter typed in mom's name.  "Hmmm," he said.  My heart began to beat more vigorously.  "I see that Carolyn Lackey and Kelly Brewer are ticketed passengers.  We have no record of a ticket for Helen Kinzbach," said he.  "Huh?!" I said as sweat quickly sprang out on my forehead and the theme music to the Twilight Zone began to swirl around in my very confused mind.  "Nope.  There is no ticket for Helen Kinzbach," Man Behind Counter repeated.  I whipped out a printout of our flight information that my travel agent friend sent me and showed him the seating assignments on the front page of the printout.  

"See...there she is.  Helen Kinzbach - row 34 seat B.  She has a seat on the plane, so she has to have a ticket," I explained slowly like he was a 3rd grader foggy on how to carry the one in multiplication. "Yes.  I see that she has a seat assignment.  I also see on my computer that she has no record of payment," he countered equally as slowly.  For the first time, I actually turned the page over and read the rest of the printout.  Ticket for Kelly.  Ticket for me.  No ticket for Mimi.  I threw up a little bit in my mouth.

Man Behind Counter advised me to call my travel agent.  Quickly, I dug my cell phone out of my purse and dialed her up.  She asked to speak to Man Behind Counter so I handed over my phone.  They chatted, and he handed it back saying, "She wants to talk to you."  Gulp.  My TA apologized profusely for the mixup and told me that she had to call her ticket broker because the ticket was supposed to be in the AA system.  "I'll call you RIGHT back!" she assured me.  Begin humming the Final Jeopardy "think" music while you envision Kelly escorting slow walking Mimi WAY across the cavernous ticketing area to a seating area.  "Does this mean I don't get to go?" Mimi asked over and over.

As I waited for my TA to rescue Mimi, I stepped away from the counter but hung really close to Man Behind Counter .  I didn't want him to forget about Mimi and the Bucket List Trip to Maui.  People trickled in, checked their bags, and walked around me casually chatting as they meandered over to the security line.  We had PLENTY of time, but I happen to suffer from Pre-Flight Anxiety Syndrome.  My heart begins to race in the airport parking lot.  I get all sweaty palmed until all of my "party" has made it through security, been to the bathroom, bought magazines and snacks, and is seated obediently by the gate preferably in the seats closest to the boarding door.  Capitalizing on my PFA Syndrome, Alan usually waits until the plane begins boarding before trying to keep a straight face while saying, "I'm going to go see if I can find today's Wall Street.  Hold my boarding pass."  Hardy.  Har.  Har.

"It should take a little while for the ticket to enter their system," my TA said as she explained the computer glitch, "Call me if there's a problem!!"  After about 10 minutes of standing there shifting from foot to foot while obsessively checking my watch, I eased over to Man Behind Counter and told him that if the problem couldn't be resolved quickly, I would just slap my credit card down and buy Mimi a ticket.  By golly, my mama was getting on that plane to Hah-Y-Yah!  "Uh, ma'am, you really want to wait until her original ticket is in the system.  Otherwise, you'll have to pay today's price for the ticket as opposed to the price you paid last November," he said trying to calm me, "It's all going to work out."

Over the span of about 40 minutes since we hugged Jill goodbye, we finally had Mimi's boarding ticket and headed towards the security line.  As we marched towards the security line, my TA called me to again apologize profusely for the unnecessary delay.  She had gone through some of the upcoming trips of her customers, and the glitch had effected some of them as well.  Because of Mimi's experience, she was able to identify and rectify their missing flight tickets.  I assured her that nobody was hurt and that we would be in Maui sitting on the beach within a matter of hours.  It was all good.

As I handed Mimi her boarding pass, she looked at me and asked, "So, does this mean I get to go?"  Yes, Meems.  You get to go.  That is if you're not forgetfully carrying a concealed weapon or a suspicious 6 ounce bottle of shampoo.  You are GOING to HAH-Y-YUH!  

PS.  The glitch with Mom's ticket happened somewhere in the vast belly of the AA computer.  Thank goodness for a travel agent who figured it out and got 'er dun!!!


Meems had a very special visitor this weekend.  Our friend, Laura Ard, flew down from DC to spend time with her.  Laura lived next door t...