I went home alone for the holiday this year. Flew from Nashville to Albany, New York the day before Turkey Day. No traffic, no waiting, no problem checking my suitcase.
I was carrying a small tote bag, my purse and an extra large Titan umbrella for my sister to give her friend for Christmas. Getting ready for the security, I had my driver’s license and boarding pass ready for the first highlighted “OK” from the first checkpoint. The second checkpoint was the conveyor belt where I laid the umbrella, the tote, my shoes, purse and sweater coat. I was sent into the beam-me-up-Scotty tube where I really wasn’t sure what was going to happen. I was instructed to “stand on the yellow foot prints and do this.” So I did. I held my hands up in surrender as if I was being arrested by Hop-Along Cassidy. The scanner whoosed in front of me. “That’s it?” I said to the not-so-happy security lady. “Yup, c’mon out.” That’s when I saw a guy come at me with a wand; I refused eye-contact and he walked right past me. I’m a pretty tough broad.
I walked over to the conveyor and started picking up my stuff when a guard came up to me with his arm extended. “Are these yours?” “Mine?” I asked demurely as I looked at my driver’s license and boarding pass. Shit! “Y-e-e-e-s-s. Where’d you find them?” He pointed to the beginning of the damn conveyor belt. “You want’m back?” Smart-ass. I grabbed them and asked if he’d like to follow me around the airport until I got on my plane. He didn’t think that was cute. So I thanked him and hightailed it to a bench where I could gather my wits and my ID. My shoes were on, my ID and boarding pass were in my purse, my sweater jacket was on, the tote was dangling from my hand – phew – I walked down the concourse, got a coffee, browsed the bookstore and had a couple of books I was interested in as I texted Ter to let him know I made it through security without a problem. “I even have the umb” Shit! Where’s the umbrella!? I shut off the phone and hurried out of the bookstore into the concourse – with the two books I hadn’t paid for. After returning the books before security got me, I headed to where I thought the umbrella must be. On that damn bench; but nothing was on that damn bench. The main security pen was close-by. I rushed it, peeked over the top, spied my umbrella on a desk and said, “Hey! That’s my umbrella. Right there! Mine! It’s mine!” The guard, with a gun on his waist, turned and looked at me and then at the umbrella. “This? This umbrella?” Smart-ass! “Yes, that umbrella. It’s mine. I left it on the bench over there and my sister is giving it to her friend and if i don’t bring it to New York she’ll kill me and it cost $40.” Needless to say, they handed it over.
I did not let that umbrella out of my sight the rest of my trip – only when I had to put it up in the overhead storage on the plane. I was blessed to have sweet, young ladies as seat partners who reminded me to get the umbrella as requested when they sat next to me. I was relieved to throw it in my sister’s car when she picked me up in Albany. Phew! “Wait until I tell you the umbrella story.” Oh, how she laughed on our way home.
We pulled up in front of her house (this is where the bricks enter the story), we get out the suitcase, which I insist on carrying myself, the umbrella, which I also insist on taking and Ally grabs my tote. The suitcase is in my left hand, the umbrella in my right. I have all new clothes on. I turn from the car, chatting with Sissy, stub my shoe on the highest brick and get propelled forward by my suitcase which is leading the way to doom, the umbrella is pointing at the house, I’m seeing a concrete landing or muddy landing in my future and I choose mud.
Sissy thought I was so excited to be home I was in a hurry to get into the house. She almost wet her pants from laughing when I took the dive into the mud. “I thought you were rushing on purpose. I would have helped you if I knew you were falling.” Of course, she was laughing so hard I had a hard time understanding her. (Every time she told the story at a gathering of family and friends during the week she had to run into the bathroom)
So, we decided to fix the bricks.
Cousin Bob came out and helped our dainty stone work by pounding and cussing them instead.
The umbrella was not hurt.