Kathy and Barry arrived at the Houghton County Airport (CMX in case you’re looking up airport codes) in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula yesterday afternoon. Their first boarding passes declared they were bound for ORD. (As some of you might know, ORD stands for Chicago, USA.)
As Kathy and Barry approached the airport, they noticed it was snowing–again. Here it is late April. They think it is far too late for snow. They think it should cease and desist–immediately. Houghton County airport sits atop an unprotected hill north of Hancock. The wildest snows and the most ferocious winds blow here. Fliers be forewarned.
Barry said, “We’re not going anywhere.”
Optimistic world-traveler Kathy replied, “You can’t think that way when you travel. Anything happens. Let’s just wait and see.”
They enter security. Kathy gets patted down, gently. She doesn’t mind. The security folks at CMX are the kind of people you want to take home for dinner.
After an interminable wait the loudspeaker cackles, “Folks going to Chicago on Flight–(whatever the flight was)–your plane has been diverted to Wausau (Wisconsin) because of the wind and visibility. Once there they will decide whether they will return to this airport.”
Barry looks at Kathy. Kathy looks at Barry.
They decide for Kathy to re-trace steps backwards through the security and gates and talk with a ticket agent. The security folks allow, with a friendly smile.
The ticket agent says, “I am sorry. If this plane doesn’t go out today, you’ll probably have to wait until next Tuesday. This weekend is Michigan Tech University graduation and all the flights are overbooked.” (That is exactly one week away.)
It doesn’t look good, does it? Kathy re-traces her steps back into the security area. Kathy and Barry sit. Barry takes out the camera and starts taking pictures because optimistic Kathy is starting to feel pessimistic.
Suddenly–just when all hope is waning!–a plane lands!! Out of the blue. No announcement or anything. It’s THE plane for Chicago! Turns out it never went to Wausau at all. It was in the friendly skies, circling three times above CMX, trying to decide when to angle downward between snowdrops and wind gusts. It lands! Fifty passengers are happier than happy.
Barry and Kathy and forty-eight other passengers board the little jet. Then wait. And wait. And wait. Beyond the allowable time to meet one’s next connection. The de-icer machine comes out and sprays the jet with green de-icer to eliminate built-up snow and ice. Then it sprays with orange de-icer. The salt trucks are spraying the runways, out in the distance.
Finally, it looks like the plane will rise in the sky. But will it STAY in the sky? The flight attendant gives us a stern talking-to: “Ladies and Gentlemen, I cannot stress this enough. Put on your seatbelts, buckle them tightly, and Do Not Leave Your Seats until if and when the captain takes off the “fasten seat belt sign”. It was a bumpy turbulent trip in, and I suspect it will be the same leaving.”
Ahhh, what confidence the passengers now have in the flight! Everyone buckles in tightly and watches the snow envelop the plane. Will the plane rise? Will it make it to Chicago? Will Kathy and Barry arrive at their destination, along with the other forty-eight passengers?
OK, OK, readers, Kathy is just teasin’ you all! We’ve safely arrived. Our second plane was delayed two hours before leaving Chicago, so we arrived here at 9:30 p.m. and fell asleep by midnight (Kathy, that is, fell asleep by midnight). But that’s another story. Stay tuned. I have flower pictures for you blooming in the folder, awaiting to usurp the spring snowstorm and flight melodrama.
Until soon…from somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon line.
P.S. for some crazy reason Kathy can’t get the comments to work even though she’s checked the appropriate buttons! Will try again later…
P.S.S. 4:12 p.m. After reading the WordPress forums for ten minutes, she finally discovered a backhanded way to turn on comments. Phew!