Well, yesterday was short all right, but last night made up for it. I'm typing this on three hours of sleep. All day, I figured I'd be dozing on the couch when Annie came rolling in the driveway about midnight. Instead, I was behind the wheel when Annie came in the driveway at 1:30 this morning.
Turns out her ride home from Spokane Airport could still be sitting in San Francisco Airport this morning. Around 5:30 last night, I called Annie to make sure everything was still on schedule. She'd just learned from her friend Ann Miller about her frustrating flight problems in the City by the Bay. So, around 7 p.m., Kiwi and I took off down the road for Spokane with plans to pick up Annie at around 9:30 p.m.
A few minutes later, my cell phone rang. As usual, I fumbled in the darkness looking for it. Annie was calling to tell me that her arrival would be closer to 10:30 instead. Rather than turning around, I decided to stop at Costco in Hayden Lake and pick up a pumpkin pie for Christmas dinner. I knew I could also kill some time at Krispie Kreme. Bill always likes his Krispie Kreme donuts, so I could bring a smile to his face by picking up a box for his breakfast.
Then, Willie returned an earlier call I'd made to him. When I mentioned stopping at Costco for pumpkin pie and later told him he ought to come and stay in Sandpoint tonight, he indicated it would be worth the drive for some of that pie. So, I bought two pumpkin pies and the biggest pecan pie I've ever seen.
I knew I needed Cool Whip so decided to pick that up too. The smallest quantity they had was the 4-pack of squirt-on whipped cream. So, we're set for pudding, pies, face-decorating, you name it. That's how it is at Costco. In fact, my mother still has leftover bags of cereal to feed her birds from Kevin's last cereal run. You always get much more than you need when you shop there, but it makes you feel good to be well-stocked.
At the Krispie Kreme stop---Kiwi's first-ever---she knew fun times were ahead. Rather than her usual snoozing on the floor, she sat at full attention watching my every move as I walked in and bought a dozen donuts. She seemed quite pleased with this new addition to her diet. Not a crumb left on the seat.
Upon arriving at the airport, I knew I still had some time to kill. So, I just moseyed on in and took my time checking the monitors. That was good. The Southwest flight from Seattle would now arrive at 11 p.m. So, I walked the full stretch of the airport inside and out.
In my wanderings, I got to see some cops cuff some thugs outside the baggage area. I also ran across some former students and Sandpoint friends and enjoyed short visits with each. When it seemed like it must be time for Annie to arrive, I joined the crowd, huddled in the airport lobby, and sneaked a peek at the monitor.
This time the arrival time read 11:25. So, my friend Glory Whittaker, who figured she'd be still sitting when I was long gone, had a nice surprise. She left 20 minutes before I did and wished me well on my wait. From what I could see, all flights were late last night.
In fact, the situation was beginning to remind me of 21 years ago on Dec. 21, 1984, when my brother Jim and I drove in to Spokane on a very wintry night to pick up Bill after our house fire had summoned him home from Louisiana earlier than expected.
We waited until 12:30 a.m. that night only to learn that Bill was stuck in San Francisco until the next day. Jim and I (who had one set of clothing to my name) spent the night in the Ramada and waited until 12:30 the next day for Bill to finally arrive. We bought a black comb in the airport gift shop and shared.
Fortunately, Annie's flight did finally arrive at 11:35, just ten minutes late from being 25 minutes late from being two hours late. Not bad for holiday season at the airport.
She's sleeping soundly as I type. Kiwi's getting anxious to go out and chase her Folgers cans, and I'm thinking about how much Folgers it's gonna take to make it through the day until Willie shows up and we cut into that Costco pie.
Note: My latest "Love Notes" column and a feature story about rodeo star Rowdy Buechner can be viewed under "Love Notes" at (www.mariannelove.com).