The world’s worst photographer strikes again.
Karl and I flew into Vancouver yesterday.
The day got off to a rough start. We had decided to spend the night at Helen’s new apartment in Syracuse because it was closer to the airport, so Bud drove us up the night before.
I set my alarm for 4:20 AM, but woke up at 4:12 on my own. Got dressed. Stuffed my pjs back in my suitcase. Gathered my belongings.
My wallet was NOT in my bag.
My wallet — which contained my passport and driver’s license and credit cards and cash and everything I needed to travel with except my clothes and my toothbrush.
(Well, I forgot my toothbrush, too. Helen had a spare which she gave me.)
My wallet. I knew I had it when I left Greene. I had double-checked. I must have left it in the car.
Panic panic panic panic — I couldn’t even dial my home phone correctly — panic panic panic panic — “Calm down,” said Helen.
I called home. It took forever for Bud to answer (or so it seemed) but I’m sure he was sound asleep.
Helen was thinking clearly. “We still need to get Karl to the airport,” she said, and kept moving in that direction
Finally Bud answered. I explained the problem. He went to see if he could find it. Yes, it was in the car. He would meet me at the airport.
At 4:43 AM we left Helen’s apartment. “Are you feeling anxious?” she asked.
“Um. YES,” I replied.
I was worried about the fact that travelers are supposed to be at the airport 2 hours before an international trip. I knew that was impossible.
Okay — I would be at the airport — outside.
I asked the woman at the ticket counter. “They’ll start boarding at 6:30,” she said. “As long as you’re at the gate, you should be fine.” It was then 5:10 AM.
I gave Karl the papers he would need if I didn’t make it. He rode the escalator alone to the security checkpoint. As I watched his back disappear onto the second floor, I prayed a little prayer for him. Surely he was feeling anxious about this too.
A coracle moon reminded me that I was not unmoored. I was glad I could see it from my bench.
I pictured Bud screeching around the corner and zooming up to the curb, but he didn’t. He calmly pulled in and put down the window so I could grab my wallet and run. I didn’t do that either. I thanked him and leaned in to kiss him. He was my hero.
The rest of the trip was uneventful. Flying to Chicago. Going through the space tunnel. Flying into Vancouver. Then waiting in long, long lines to get through customs and get a student visa for Karl.
I was exhausted.
Which may explain the lousy pictures.
As we finally entered the main lobby of the airport, we walked a broad gauntlet of suited men holding signs with people’s names on them, trying to connect with expected arrivals.
And there was Sam, holding a sign for Karl and me.
Yes, I covered the lens with my finger.
Yes, his eyes are closed.
I didn’t try to take another snapshot.
Until this morning. And I still cut part of the picture off.
A family nickname for Karl is Juicebox. I’m not really sure why.
Not really sure why that wine box is there either. ;-)
But I’m glad we made it to Vancouver.