Many of you know that in our religion, when someone turns 8 they get baptised. This is a pretty big deal and so mom, dad, and I made the trek to NYC for S's big day. Now some people love to travel, my brotherinlaw Travis for example. He loves airports, planes, sitting at the gate with his laptop looking really busy and important. If they ever need a volunteer to give up their spot and get a free flight, Travis is their ace in the hole. Most of us tolerate travel and then there is T. Gordon Lewis who HATES to travel.
By nature dad is a borderline pessimist and always plans for the worst case scenario; but, I have to hand it to him, in the past years he has really worked to change his way of thinking by reading books and meditating etc. That said, when he gets into travel mode or when anyone in the family is going to make a trip, all his study, hard work and behavior modification zips out the door. He just can't help it.
My first real insight into his condition was when we were in Brazil picking up Rand from his mission back in the late 80's. Footloose and fancy free with my Farrah Faucet hairdo, IZON shirt and GUESS cropped jeans, I wondered why dad was sleeping with his money belt, plane tickets, and passports in the locked hotel instead of putting it in the safe.
Dad always "sets the departure time" for leaving for the airport and then 15-25 minutes before said time announces in his priesthood voice "okay, let's go". For those of us [mom and myself included] who generally allow less than needed time to get ready, this announcement induces fear and panic. As mom always declares "your father ALWAYS moves up the time"
Well, the trip to NYC was no exception and since this was dad's 2nd airplane trip in 4 years due to his chronic back condition, he was in true form. It started with the following email on Wednesday the day before departure:
Our flight tomorrow leaves at 12:16 pm. If we plan for check in 1.5 hours early and for outlying parking, which requires taking a shuttle, we need to leave Boulder at about 9:30 am. Will you come up to 655 or should we pick you up?
You know how stressful it is for me to get your mother out of the house anywhere near time, I have to count on you to be here when we agree, not 10, 20, or 30 minutes later. Do you want us to give you a "wake up call"?
After checkin, he distributed our tickets in order to navigate security but before we walked to the gate dad collected mom and my ticket. I looked at him and said "can't I hold my own ticket" and he shook his head.
At the gate he kept saying, "we don't have a plane yet". As they moved the departure time back 15 minutes every 15 minutes he got more and more uncomfortable.
We ended up arriving about 1 hour late so he relaxed a bit.
Dad and I were coming home Tuesday and mom was staying until Saturday. Monday was very grey and rainy in NY and Dad kept doing something on the computer. At 4pm he announced "well Laura, the flight that we are on tomorrow left 2 1/2 hours late today". He was already in travel mode. We decided we would leave for the airport at 12:30 for our 2:30 flight - we were loaded and on our way at noon.
The trip home was without incident and with each mile closer to home, dad seemed to relax. Our bags were the first to come down the carousel and dad said with surprise "wow, I guess the premier check really works. I've never gotten my bags that fast". We got to long term parking and were on our way.
In the car on the way home Dad said "well we left at noon NY time, it is now 6pm Colorado time which means 8pm NY time, so it took us 8 hours with very minimal delays". It was a statement that really didn't warrant a response. I think he was just surprised that it went so smoothly.
Can't wait for our next trip!!!