Monday, December 24, 2007

Holiday Highlights

Feliz Navidad Amigos,

I have been in Missouri for the past few days celebrating the holidays with family and friends. There was no snow in the Ozarks this holiday season, so I will have to be content with watching it snow on television or in the movies this winter. It definitely won’t happen in Phoenix!

This year’s holiday adventure began as I was trying to get cleared to catch my flight out of Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport on the 19th. The good folks at TSA managed to find a reason to collect my shaving cream and toothpaste, even though I thought that I had met all of their insufferable criteria. (The plastic baggie that I had them in was too big, as were the containers. And, for all of you future travelers out of Phoenix, it’s not the amount of toothpaste in the tube; it is the amount that the tube was designed to carry.) Sky Harbor is one place where you do not want to argue with authority figures. Last September their airport security caused the death of a woman when they handcuffed her and left her alone in a locked room. The lady was inebriated, supposedly, and spoke impolitely to the airport cops. After they left her alone, she choked to death trying to squirm out of the handcuffs. Turns out she was a wealthy, well-connected socialite from New York. Whoops! That’s gonna cost them an airplane or two!

My second holiday adventure occurred at Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport, a former cow pasture located just outside of Bentonville, Arkansas, near the little crossroads of Highfill. Highfill International, as it is lovingly referred to by the locals, is a relatively new airport that was put together about a decade ago by the Walton’s, Tyson’s, Hunt’s, and other assorted aristocrats of the area. My Dad arrived there on the 19th to pick me up. There was a parking space right in front of the terminal, which he thought was great, so he parked there and went inside. (My Dad is eighty-three. It takes a great deal of effort for him to walk, and he can hardly hear at all.) When I met him in the airport I heard an overhead announcement describing his truck and saying that the owner needed to get out there immediately. I put on my best smile and went out to resolve the situation. The lady with the ticket pad was already writing and refused to show any holiday spirit. I had her bring her supervisor outside and proceeded to give them some of my holiday spirit. Total price: $20.00 - and I don't regret a single peso! There is no doubt in my mind that Santa Claus will leave chicken poop in her stocking this year!

Adventure number three happened the next day after I had torn apart my Dad’s house searching for my car keys. I had left my car at a park and fly (The Parking Spot) in Phoenix, so I didn’t need them; I just wanted to know where they were. After a long, futile search, I telephoned the Parking Spot and asked Stephanie, the sweetest lady in all of Phoenix, if she would check my car and see if I had left the keys in the ignition. I gave her time to check and then called back. Stephanie replied that my keys were in the ignition, and that my car was still running – thirty hours after I had left it there! A Parking Spot driver was eventually able to get into the car, turn off the engine, and retrieve my keys. I will be nominating myself for the Darwin Award this year!

My final adventure occurred on the night of the 22nd as I was trying to leave. Winter storms were flirting with the Ozarks, and I made a decision to go to the airport the night before my 5:30 a.m. scheduled departure. I didn’t want to take the chance of having my Dad get out in bad weather. A friend took me to Highfill and I spent the entire night listening to taped TSA warnings about all kinds of ways those sneaky terrorists might bring their evil to Arkansas.

Three of my New Year’s resolutions are to always use the Parking Spot in Phoenix when I fly, always be polite to the Gestapo at Sky Harbor, and never fly into or out of Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport. Of course, there is a good chance that my next trip home will be by Greyhound, or in my amazing little car that can idle for thirty hours!

There were many happy times woven into this holiday. I saw all three of my children and both of my grandchildren. Tim, my youngest, informed us that he is engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Erin, which is great because we all love Erin! Boone, my oldest grandson, announced that he had given two girls diamond rings for Christmas. He bought them at the dollar store. I saw my sister, Gail, and two of her kids, Tiffany and Justin, and Justin’s wife, Lisa. I had lunch with some of my old co-workers, and ran into some others at the county courthouse. And I was able to visit with old friends Mertie Harmon and James and Patti Carroll. A lot happened in just a few short days! Now I will relax and spend the rest of the holidays with a few other good friends - both paperback and hardbound!

May '08 bring Peace to us all!

Pa Rock

1 comment:

molly. said...

Just a sidenote..
It snowed in Phoenix last year. It was mixed with rain and didn't "stick" to the ground. But it made the news! So keep an eye out, you never know!