Friday was my birthday, but it was also the day that I had to fly out for my uncle’s memorial services in Iowa, so I knew it wasn’t going to be a cheerful day. I just had no idea how bad it would actually be.
I had a flight out of SFO at 9:45 connecting in Chicago that would have gotten me into Des Moines at around 6 local time. That would have given me a little time to hang with the fam before the memorial on Saturday morning. I thought it was a decent arrangement.
What I forgot to count on was the crazy mid-western weather patterns. It turned out that there were some thunderstorms and tornado warnings in Chicago. We were loaded onto our plane in San Francisco, and then sat there on the runway for close to two hours. Of course I missed my connection at O’Hare, so I ended up spending two hours in the airport bar. I struck up a conversation with some folks around me. One couple was leaving their six kids for a much needed week long vacation in Florida. They were really nice. Another fella bought me a beer for my birthday.
Finally I got to board a plane to Iowa, but of course, it sat for thirty minutes on the runway, too. I finally landed in Des Moines about 10:30. I got a rental car, and headed out for my aunt’s house. The thing is, though, that they had been having some heavy rainfall in the area, and I was told by my mom when I got to Iowa that there were “some closed freeways” because of the flooding. But of course, no one could say exactly where this was, and/or a way around it. This was news to the guy behind the rental counter. He gave me a map, though, not a very good one.
Of course, I got lost. I called them to let me know, my mom doesn’t know anything about where i am, so she’s just stressing me out. Even my cousins who had spent a considerable amount of time there both growing up and as adults couldn’t guide me in. I stopped and asked for directions at a gas station, but the attendant also couldn’t help me. Finally after checking another useless map at the gas station, and piecing together what my cousin was able to tell me, I thought I knew what I was doing, and I headed out again. By some miracle of luck, I ended up meeting up with the highway beyond the flooding, and I got in to the hotel where I was staying with my mom and my aunt just about 12:15.
That was the longest, most miserable day ever. I decided that the universe owes me one for that birthday.
We’ll be celebrating officially this Friday. Hopefully the get together goes off without any of these kind of hitches.