Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Port St. Joe Thanksgiving

It all started out well enough... I made it to the airport, and had just checked my luggage in, and I realized that I left my phone in the car.  One of my neighbors, Panama, had dropped me off already, and I didn't even have a way to ask him to bring me my phone if I wanted to.  Thankfully, God has been recently revealing to me how much I rely on technology on a daily basis, so I (reluctantly) asked God to help me see this as an opportunity to be able to just be, me and God, no need (or ability) to communicate with anyone else.  

As I was checking in, also checking in was a single mom with 3 of the most obnoxious kids I have been around lately, which says a lot, when you consider my profession of choice.  It goes without saying that they were on my flight.  As I was walking to my gate, I stopped at the California Pizza Kitchen, which is of course, where they stopped to eat as well.  When I arrived at my gate, they arrived at my gate too, with the youngest one singing loudly about how he was going to drink the toilet water.  Really.

The upside to my wait was that they called me to the desk and they had my phone!  Panama had noticed in the car and brought it back.  Thanks!!  I had already begun to dwell on the practical implications of not having my phone - the only numbers I have memorized are Nicole Judd and Nicole Wilson.  I don't even know my dad's new phone number.  So, it worked out well that I was able to get it back before I left.  

On the plane, the turbulence was so bad and so sudden, that the flight attendant spilled my water all over my library book, and the rest of it went all over the front of my pants so that for the rest of the flight, it looked (and felt) like I peed all over myself.  Nice.  

Due to the weather, our flight was late departing from Raleigh, so we pulled up to the gate in Atlanta with only 30 minutes to spare before my next flight departed.  This actually gave me only 15 minutes, since these days they don't let you on the next flight any later than 15 minutes before the departure time.  Something about security... Of course, I was in almost the last row of the plane, so I had to wait for EVERYONE else to get their bags and stop and reminisce about in flight stories with people and talk baby talk to every single baby on the plane (of course, they weren't really doing this to such extremes, but it felt liek it to me).  Once I finally got off the plane, I only had about 8 minutes to make it to my gate.  I turned into crazy running girl - like something from Home Alone with "Run Run Rudolf" playing in the background.  I don't think Jes Peters reads my blog, but I wanted to shout out her quote, "Running with a backpack!" to let people know.  I ran and ran and ran, and ran some more - up and down a few escalators in which I literally had to climb over someone's suitcase, because he just would not move.  I asked first, and he said, "You can try," so I did.  This whole time all I could think of was Gena and her story about missing the flight to Scotland because she stopped to tie her shoe.  I kept saying to myself, "DO NOT STOP.  DO NOT MISS THIS FLIGHT BY 3 MINUTES."  Atlanta to Panama City flights are hard to come by in the evenings.  I finally made it to the gate, sweating and unable to breath (this paints a nice picture).  I made it to the gate at 8:23 pm, and it was supposed to depart at 8:36 pm.  They let me on the plane, and I made it safely!

On Tuesday, I woke up right after my dad left for work, and since I don't have a car here, I called Ms. Vicki (she was my mom's best friend, and I consider her a good friend of my own as well...) and she came to get me, and we caught up and talked for a few hours until my dad got off work for lunch.  

My dad and I went to Pepper's, the local Mexican restaurant.  Roberto seated us.  This is a very important piece to the story.  After we sat down, my dad says, "Alicia, I have a story to tell you about him... When I was getting my haircut about 2 years ago, Jolene* told me that he died.  The whole town mourned his death, because everyone knew him.  Everyone talked about it for weeks, and he was greatly missed."  At this point, you can imagine I was confused, seeing as how Roberto was the one who welcomed us into the restaurant.  My dad continues, "Well, last month on Halloween, I was walking down Reid Avenue, and there he was!  He wasn't dead!  He just left town for a few years, and came back."  Ha!  This little anecdote portrays the very essence of Port St. Joe.  For 2 years everyone thought this man had died, and he actually just went to Miami for a few years.  Oh, what a magical place I grew up in.  We talked to Roberto about it for a minute, and we all laughed a lot.  I told him since he had such a good experience, I am not thinking about pretending to die to see if anyone misses me.  Then I realized I would be sad if no one did, so I changed my mind.  (I am greatly resisting the temptation to write about that one episode of Friends right now...)

Wednesday, we drove up to Tallahassee to visit with my Granny, my aunt Susan and her husband Gary, and my uncle Carey.  I hadn't seen any of them in about a year, so it was good to catch up.  Later that night, I caught up with some of the Geoghagans, and then I went back home to continue the 30 Rock marathon my dad and I tried to complete by the end of the week (we were unsuccessful at watching the entire first season - but Christmas break is coming, so we'll continue it then.)

Thanksgiving Day was good - we went driving on the beach in the morning, and then we ate lunch with Glenn, Vicki, Bill and Ruth, and then on to another house for dessert (very, very yummy).  I got to meet the infamous "Johnny and Moses," my dad's new kids.  Well, not really, it's sort of like a "Big Brother" program, and they like to hang out at his house.  They are really sweet kids, and they were really excited to meet me, which I thought was nice.  

This morning, we ate breakfast with most of the Geoghagan family (minus Mr. Dennis) and most of their significant others (minus Benjamin).  We had a great time laughing at old memories, and we relived a few hilarious moments from Rachel's wedding in May (Katie singing bass, just to name one) :-)  I enjoy that family a lot.  

My Florida Thanksgiving was great.  I have so much to be thankful for!