Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Pre-Retreat (Indiana Journey)

Of buses and airplanes, I don't need to say much. Every trip has its quirks, but this one did go pretty smoothly, at least until I got to Chicago. I've only taken one other flight to the U.S., and that time I had a connecting flight in Detroit, our arrival from Toronto was late, and I barely remember anything about that except rushing through the airport. But squeezed in there somewhere, I must have gone through Customs, and so that second flight was a domestic one--no Customs.

This time I was flying nonstop to Chicago, and (of course) forgot about the fact that when you go through Customs, by the time you've been x-rayed and screened and everything else, you're sort of booted out a side door into the non-security part of the airport. The trouble was, I was supposed to meet someone from a domestic flight (you see this now?) at a pre-arranged spot in the security area, and I didn't have a phone, or enough American coins to use a pay phone to call either her or a third person who was picking us both up. The other tiny problem was that I knew her only by a photograph, and real live people can look quite different, so I wasn't a hundred percent sure who I was watching for!

I tried to think on my feet (literally, as I was dragging around my luggage), and tried a couple of different approaches to get an escort pass or at least a little help in connecting with my friends. Nope, I was not getting back in there and nobody very official seemed much interested in helping Find My Party. (I am not blaming airport employees, they have to do what they have to do.) Finally I asked an employee working in the baggage area of My Party's airline, and she got it right away. She let me use the phone in their office to call our Third Person, and it turned out that she was parked almost right outside the door. So we all connected up and, really, it hadn't been that long a delay--it just felt like it at the time.

So...over the next day or so, everyone on our team finished arriving.
Emily 'Ma' Bear: I'm afraid we're running out of room. Two of you will have to sleep on hangers on a hook on the wall.
Gonzo: What a fabulous idea!
Animal: Love hanger! Love hanger! (Muppet Family Christmas, 1987)
No hangers, but we were kind of all over the place.

Janice: [bringing out a basket of Christmas cookies] Hey, everybody, look what I've got: Christmas cookies!
Cookie Monster: COOKIE!
[gobbles up the whole basket, as Animal watches in amazement]
Cookie Monster: Oh, thank you!
Janice: Who was that strange blue creature?
Animal: Dat my kinda fella! Ahahahahaha!
Our charming hostess
Some of us made cookies. Some of us cut flowers. Some of us wrote names on calling cards name tags. Some of us cooked meals. Some of us cleaned up. We all ate chocolate.

Next post: The retreat!

(All images from A Muppet Family Christmas, 1987)


Dawn said...

I wasn't at Ma Bear's house, but this analogy seems most appropriate from what was described to me at the retreat. And the reminder of Cookie Monster and Animal is a soothing memory for which I thank you, Mama Squirrel.

Silvia said...

Aw, ladies, you are so much fun. "El monstruo de las galletas", ha! memories of my "Barrio Sésamo" (Sesamo's Hood) childhood in Spain. In Mexico and Latin America, you would have had "Plaza Sésamo" (Sesamo square), and in the States and Anglo places it would be Sesame Street.

Anne, you always manage to write with humor and warmth. A pleasure to read your deep thoughts and your lighter ones. I don't know if you made meals to feed the body, but you were quite the stir of all that boiling pot full of ideas to feed the minds of those ladies.

I am waiting for your paper book release, but NO PRESSSSURRRE, I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm really truly fine. (sniff... I am not :()

Mama Squirrel said...

Silvia, in Canada we started out with American Sesame Street (any Spanish I know, I learned there!), but later they added Sesame Park, because "Canadian kids don't play on the street."

The print book will be on Amazon any day now. Really.