Archive for Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bad luck strikes again during recent Texas vacation

February 17, 2011

It has become very obvious to me that we shouldn’t plan to take vacation trips anymore. Maybe it is just plain bad luck but things haven’t gone well with our travel plans. The past two planned events have had some unusual setbacks.

Before last May, we always took great trips and everything went according to plan. We have visited most of the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, Central America, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom, and all went well. Other than extreme cold in England, we had no complaints.

That all changed in May when we were within a couple of weeks of a trip to the Holy Land. I had a stroke and that plan was shelved.

Last week we planned to fly to Texas to visit our daughter and family. Melody was receiving an award as the Teacher of the Year for the Allen School District. In addition, we were going to be able to see granddaughter Kelsey perform as a freshman cheerleader. How could anything as simple as that go wrong?

Now, I’m sure most of you think there would be a problem with me getting to and in the airport. Well, that really wasn’t the hard part. Kansas City International wasn’t difficult at all and there were no problems. Of course, there is quite a bit of walking, but I can handle that all right. Certainly some of the security rules seem unusual, but I guess they are necessary.

I got the full body pat down on the way home, but it really wasn’t invasive. I found the security personnel to be courteous and professional. Since I still use a cane, I was allowed to get on the plane first, which was nice. One of my main complaints is the unrealistically high prices at concession facilities inside the secure areas.

Arrival at Love Field in Dallas was fine, too. Since it was Super Bowl weekend, the airport was decorated with Green Bay and Pittsburgh colors. There certainly was a festive atmosphere for arriving fans. We were on time and, again, there was a very long walk, but the first hint of trouble was seeing the ice on the tarmac as we taxied to the terminal. Then the drive to Allen was challenging with slick, icy roadways and I noted that most of the parking lots were vacant and looked like skating rinks. The DFW area was recuperating from an ice storm, which had resulted in several school closings — a rare occurrence in that area.

That night the weather forecast called for a dusting of snow. By morning, that prediction of a “dusting” turned into a six- to eight-inch snowstorm. Now in Texas they don’t plow residential streets, and, in fact, most cities don’t even own snow removal equipment. Snowplows were borrowed from west Texas and were shown clearing the freeways on TV newscasts. In addition, it was bitterly cold with temperatures in the single digits. There were many reports of frozen and broken pipes. That, coupled with auto accidents, kept my insurance agent son-in-law busy.

Melody was scheduled to receive her award during an Allen professional hockey game in their new arena. Of course, that was postponed until later in the month. Certainly that was the first disappointment for us. As is the case with most parents, there is nothing better or more exciting than seeing your child honored.

For the most part we were snowbound on Friday and Saturday. Thanks to the magic of modern communication, Donnie was able to work from home even though travel was virtually impossible. By Friday, schools had been closed a full five days. Most of the news was about the frantic preparations for the Super Bowl. Certainly they were battling ice, seating problems and other woes. The only saving grace was that it was an outstanding game.

By Monday, the sun was out and the temperature was hovering in the mid-40s, so we were looking forward to Kelsey’s game that evening. But, again, disappointment raised its ugly head and for a reason known only to school officials, the game was canceled. That meant both of the events we were looking forward to attending were gone.

The good thing is we had a wonderful family visit and that is worth more than any award or game.

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