"To a Fallen Elm" by John Clare, 1832

Trip Start Oct 04, 2009
Trip End Oct 20, 2009

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Where I stayed
Marshall on the Park Adult Living

Flag of United States  , Texas
Sunday, October 4, 2009

So excited about the trip that I woke at 3:45 and packed a few last minute things.  It turned out to be fortuitous, because a little after 4:00 Uncle Bill called to say he couldn't access the internet to check me in for my non-rev American Airlines flight to Hartford.  I suggested that I access it for him via my computer, which he thought was a good idea.  By 4:30 I was checked in online, and decided I may as well stay up and leisurely prepare for my departure at 6:00.  It had rained steady all night, and was still going strong, so it was nice to feel that Chris could take a little extra time getting me to the airport.

I took the computer this trip, and had no problem getting it through security, after checking one bag (even free of charge!) at the reservation desk.  With ample time to spare, I walked down to the terminal food court and picked up a diet coke for the flight.  Although the flight was fairly full, apparently in part because of a large family that was flying on bereavement passes, I made it on as the last passenger called from the stand-by list--whew!!!

The flight was smooth, thankfully so as I was crammed in a middle seat between two other women.  I got tickled walking down the jetway as I passed a large square hole cut-out that led down a dark shaft with a sign underneath that read "late bag chute".  I could just imagine some baggage carrier throwing a suitcase down there and muttering "that'll teach her to come late").

As we taxied down the runway, the flight attendants had a pow-wow and decided that the mother and child sitting one row behind the emergency exit was unacceptable, and proceeded to make 5 people move in order to rectify the situation, all while we continued to taxi.  The co-pilot stood at the door of the cockpit and did not look pleased.  It took about 10 minutes in all, given that the baby's carseat got stuck and couldn't be budged without three people working on it.  It was actually quite humorous.

We landed at Bradley International Airport 15 minutes early, I walked straight to my bag after making a pit stop, and walked right outside where Jan & Jack were waiting to pick me up.  It was so good to see them!  They gave me a quick driving tour of Wethersfield, then we had a chance to chat in their snug apartment before driving all of two blocks to visit their neighbors Marcia and Jim who were throwing their annual Beer and Brauts (short for bratwurst) party.  It was held in the front yard under huge elm trees, with tables laden full of salads, drinks and, of course, hot dogs and burgers.  We had about 20 people in all, and had a wonderful time just talking and enjoying the sunshine filtered through the fall leaves.  One guest, Monica, from the Netherlands, was especially interesting.  Between her 79 years and stories full of wars and travels, she kept us all entertained.  I also met two Aetna employees, Jerry & Jim Tangney, who had been with Aetna for many years--in Jerry's case, 35!  Of course, they were very interested in knowing about my husband, a fellow Aetna employee.

After the party broke up we drove back home, showered, watched TV and talked until late.  Jan retired to an air mattress in Jack's room, while I took her little bed in the other room.  The Chinese pistachio tree outside my window made the loveliest sursurring in the breeze, and I fell asleep almost immediately.
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