When Miles and I landed in Chicago for our connecting flight home yesterday, I turned on my phone to discover a text from Corey: Your flight has been canceled. In a previous life, this is when I would have begun to panic and melted into a pile of crushed cheerios beneath my seat. But I had just flown 4 hours with a baby who napped the whole time. What could possibly bring me down?
I talked to the ticket agent to weigh my options. Here is what the airline offered as a solution: We could send you on the next flight back to Oakland!
Discouraged, I opted out and found a rocking chair (had to keep that baby asleep) and called my family to think of a real solution. There were a couple of thorns in the way of a safe return home, not the least of which was that I was wearing a tank top and my jacket was tucked neatly in my luggage, which I was not allowed to access until it arrived in Pittsburgh. Further, since we had rented a car seat, I had no means of leaving the airport except via rail or bus. Or airplane.
Our eventual solution was to hop on the next flight to Cleveland, where Corey would meet me and bring us home. This ended up being the best idea because I learned Pittsburgh's airport would remain closed for several more days. I started getting a real picture of how bad things were back home when Responsible Dave texted that he'd been skiing on 5th Avenue.
As Miles and I hid, locked in the family restroom and lounging on the floor I "disinfected" with a paper towel and hand sanitizer, I got increasingly worrisome messages from home. Our street was impassable, packed with 2 feet of snow. Dave had to drive his Subaru as close as he could get and Corey hiked a jacket and car seat into it before they could head out to get us.
My flight to Cleveland was completely filled with persons in my exact same boat and I spent a lot of hours in a sort of holding tank at the Cleveland airport waiting for my heroes. As each person there was slowly gathered by a family member or else heard news that help would not be able to arrive that night, I grew more and more thankful to have such an amazing husband and friend.
We slowly crunched our way home over snow-packed roads while Corey applauded the wonders of all-wheel drive. Long after midnight, we got to the end of the passable roads and Corey scooped Miles into his jacket, zipped him in tight, and headed toward our house.
At the end of the ordeal, I am left with nothing but gratitude. I feel so fortunate that Miles handled the extended air travel with ease, that I have such good friends who jumped to help us, that Corey didn't even think twice about spending 6 hours on a rescue mission to reunite with his baby. Now, who wants to help us recover my belongings from the cargo hold?