Yay, Petunia and I made it home. It feels so good to be here. I was surrounded in such peace when I walked in the door last night. Yes, last night–I’ll get to that in a bit. I slept in my own bed, and I’m sitting on my rocking chair, Tuney at my feet, and my wireless keyboard on my lap. The music is playing. Beanie is off to the side. Coffee on my entertainment center beside me. I’m home, home, home!
I honestly don’t remember what I wrote about graduation, but I’ll go back and read it again, and if anyone wants more details, let me know.
My classmate, Dawn, and I, flew out together, both coming back here to Colorado. A volunteer for GDB drove us to the airport and made sure we got our bags checked and that someone came to escort us through security and to the gate. Since I had Petunia with me, I couldn’t do the auto imaging booth thing. There wasn’t anyone to hold her, and it’s not the responsibility of airport personnel to do so. So, we went through security the normal way. Again, as with the trail during class, Tuney was excellent. One of our instructors had told me that Petunia got the gold star for airport behavior on our workout there, best behaved dog. And the trip home was no exception.
Dawn and I are both afraid of flying, and we were both stressing badly over the fact that Colorado was under a winter storm warning. Before we left campus, I went to her room and suggested that we pray. We did, and it really helped. I felt at ease about the trip for the most part from then on. So, once we were at the gate, I felt like we’d probably get home. But I had a little concern over the fact that we were flying on a commuter jet. Would it be worse flying over the Rockies in a snowstorm, worse than a big jet? oooooo, shiver.
Dawn and I had hoped to be able to sit together again, but since it was a commuter jet, there rows only held two seats, and there definitely was not enough room for two big dogs. So we sat same row opposite side of the plane.
The first guy who sat beside me was pissed about having to sit with my dog. There just wasn’t anyway to keep her out from under his feet as well as mine. But he was rude in how he dealt with it. I understand that not all people are going to be thrilled at the idea of sitting with a dog. I get that. But he said something like,
“I can’t believe they sold me this seat! How am I supposed to sit here?”
Well, he and his wife were flying together but somehow didn’t have seats together, so she convinced the man sitting by her to switch, and a much nicer man came to that seat next to me. His name was Terry, and he’s a firefighter. He was traveling somewhere else, and he was a great flying companion, friendly, loved Tuney and a little talkative, which of course, made my trip comfortable.
The takeoff was one of the gentlest I’ve experienced in a long time. There was no turbulence going out of Portland, and the rest of the flight was almost completely smooth. We got some bumps as we neared Denver, and as we descended, but it wasn’t anything like what I expected. I thought that little plane would be bouncing all over the sky. I’m not sure how many seats there were, but there was only one flight attendant, so you know it wasn’t big.
When we arrived, we weren’t at a jetway, but at a ramp. It was outdoor–commuter flights area–and it was pretty steep and narrow. The pilot, whom Dawn and I had already thanked profusely for the smooth trip and soft touchdown, walked ahead of me, helping me get off that ramp. He handed us over to the escort who had come to help us get to baggage claim, and that’s where things fell apart.
First of all, they sent one person to escort two people with dogs. So, she decided, without informing either of us, just to take me partway and then go back for Dawn. And then she took off running, dragging me through the airport! I wasn’t having Petunia follow or work at that time, because this woman would not have talked to me to keep me oriented and to ensure Petunia was going where we needed to go. So, I was holding her arm, heeling Petunia. I kept asking, “Where’s my friend; where’s my friend?” She’d mumble something and keep on running. I tried to tell her to slow down. I told her I had walking disabilities too and I couldn’t run that fast, but she just kept going. At last she stopped by a man with one of those carts and mumbled something about going back for Dawn and took off. The cart man was kind, helping me climb in and get Tuney settled. When Dawn finally arrived–mad as hell and quite vocal about it–the cart man told us he was taking us to a central location where two people would meet us and take us the rest of the way!
When we got there, two people were available to escort us, which made things so much easier. They actually had a wheelchair, and I took them up on it! I was sore from the first lady dragging me, and I wasn’t sure about how well I’d manage Tuney while standing on the train through the airport. We got safely and happily all the way to baggage claim, and I gave the woman who escorted me a huge tip, because she was such a treat after that first person.
So, Dawn’s husband had offered to take me home, since we live near each other, but Becky was bringing Bianca home to me, and she said she and her daughter and grandkids could pick me up at the airport. I thought that made sense since she was going that way anyway, so I took her up on that. Dawn and family left when they were sure Becky was with me. And Becky and I went out to meet her family who were driving around till we came out. Petunia did beautiful work in the airport then, by the way!
So, we met Becky’s family and we got beanie out so I could greet her and then let the dogs say hello. I almost cried seeing my old sweet dog again. Then we got in the van and started what we thought would be a quick trip home!
Hmmm, should I leave it here? Do we all want a cliffie? Oops, wait, this isn’t a fic, okay, if you insist, read on.
Well, Laura, Becky’s daughter, started having car trouble right before they got to the airport. The oil light came on in the car and they had to stop and add oil. And when we left the airport, you guessed it, the oil light came on again, and there was a sort of burny smell. Oh dear, oh dear. We stopped at a gas station to get more oil, but Laura, rightly, knew she didn’t dare drive or try driving to Longmont in that condition.
We found a Walmart auto center place and drove there. It would be a while before they would look at the car, so we went in and hung out. I was starving, having not eaten that day; Petunia needed to relieve; it was snowing … crazy crazy day. This Walmart happened to have a subway in it, that’s subway sandwich place. Becky and I walked over there while Laura waited. I got a yummy turkey, bacon, avocado sandwich. Sigh. You know, my stomach did its bad thing from about mid first week and GDB, so I really couldn’t enjoy the incredible food. And now, here I was, back in Colorado and gobbling down a Subway sandwich. Ah well. Oh, and of course, Tuney got to relieve as well.
When we got back to the auto service area, Laura told us that they said she could not drive the car. So she and Becky thought for a while. At last they decided that Becky would take a cab to the airport to rent a car–we weren’t far from the airport–and Laura would get a tow truck. She also found someone to pick her and the kids up.
Did I mention that Laura also had a ten month old guide dog puppy with her? It was quite a crew of us, hanging out in the Walmart auto service area. lol.
Finally, Becky came back with a rented car. We loaded me, Petunia and Bianca, my stuff, Bianca’s stuff and we were at last on the road to Longmont!
We pulled up to my condo at about 8 PM. So, I’d arrived in Denver around 2:30 or so, and I finally got home at 8. Oh my.
I let Petunia go out in the yard, brought her and Beanie in and let Tuney explore the house. I fed both dogs, unpacked some things, got the computer set up and relaxed. It was amazing to go to sleep in my own bed.
And today, our new life begins.
Stay tuned here for Tuney Tunes and other cool stuff! Thanks for following our journey.