Saturday, December 10, 2016

getting there

The getting there is easy enough -- I think to myself. It's the leaving part that's hard.

Why leave?-- the usual Ed question.
I can't live just in the shadow of the people I love (though sometimes that sure seems like a fine way of living).

Hello snowman. Give up your hat and scarf -- you're going to get a big fat layer of snow soon!

farmette life-1.jpg

Breakfast. Yes, yes, Snowdrop and I gave ahah a haircut last night!

farmette life-4.jpg

As I pack and get the farmhouse prepared for a week of neglect (Why not wait to tidy it when you come back? Don't you want me to leave you a neat space? You are seriously asking me this?), I glance out the window. No sign of snow yet, though the parade of hungry winter visitors has begun. It's really cold out there!

farmette life-8.jpg

And then I'm at the airport and it all should go smoothly enough, though I have a tiny bit of unease, since online check-in was not available for me for inexplicable reasons.

The Delta agent has the answer for the block on check-in and it isn't one I expected.
Your passport expires soon.
I know that. I just haven't had time to renew it. I've been on the road a lot. But it doesn't expire for another two and a half months.
Unfortunately, the countries you chose to travel to do not grant entry if you have a passport expiration within the next three months.

I knew this to be true for China. But for Europe??

Of course, I'm saved. I have my Polish passport. I whip that out and am safely checked in.
What if I hadn't had a Polish passport?
We would have sent you home.

Smooth from now on, right? Yes, until I arrive at the TSA for luggage screening. As I have TSA precheck, this should be straightforward.

It isn't. My carefully packed carry-on is completely unpacked as the agent (having not a whole lot to do as I am the only one in line) searches for the "suspicious item" she identified on her screen.
There! She says with satisfaction. Open it!
It's a present...
You have to unwrap it.
They're chocolate bars. Plain old chocolate bars (I am very unimaginative in the type of small gifts I take with me to Poland these days... gone are the days when something from America was coveted, unique, unobtainable otherwise).
Unwrap it please! -- the TSA agent says this impatiently and I am tempted to remind her that she has no one else to attend to but I bite my tongue and do as I'm told. She examines each Gail Ambrosia chocolate bar very carefully. (Gail is our local chocolatier... I assume her bars are wrapped in normal stuff!)
Okay, you can wrap and pack up your suitcase. Unless you want me to do it.
I look at the mess before me.
Thanks, I'll do it myself.

And now I am once more so very lucky, because my flight takes off minutes before the official storm warning goes up in Madison and as we land in Detroit, I see on the screen that the later flight I should have been on is now greatly delayed, so that I would have missed my connection to Europe for sure.

But this is travel. You always learn something, you're sometimes inconvenienced, and if you're me, you miss your people back home terribly.

And yet, tomorrow I'll be in Warsaw and yes, it is worth all this to get there.