Tuesday, July 15, 2008

We Leave Home. (Sweden, part two)

The time between the concept of going to Sweden and the actuality of going to Sweden evaporated as fast as a ten year old's money at the State Fair. A friendly acquaintance, Crystal, would be going along. I had known Crystal for years, and admired her whippets. some of whom were cousins of some of my whippets. Crystal is the best friend of one of my best friends' best friend. When she expressed an interest in going, I was thrilled. I would get to know her better, and we could share hotel rooms on the nights when we wouldn't be staying at Lisa's. Plus, it would be great to have company on the plane rides and the whole notion was just a thrill.

Crystal, Lisa, and I had long email planning sessions, and phone calls, counting every penny of the trip to make sure it was in our budgets. And in January, I booked my round trip ticket on SAS, and our first night's hotel room in a hotel which Lisa found in Old City Stockholm. I was a little reticent about leaving Bill with all the dogs, especially Giacomino who was thirteen at that point. Maria was doing great at the end of her twelfth year, so no worries there.

By the week before we were to leave I was in full blown Separation Anxiety Psychosis. Yes, I suffer mightily from SAP. I am the Poster Child for SAP. I was convinced that leaving Bill with all the dogs was grounds for divorce. I would throw us into Financial Ruin. The dogs would not survive without me for nine days! What had I been thinking? (To be fair, I must tell you, dear readers, that Very Old Dog was now over fourteen and much more fragile, and Maria was thirteen and a half and gotten quite rickety herself.) I had spent more than I could afford, helping my son get established in his new business. I would have backed down and cancelled all the plans, but that would have doubled Crystal's costs and how creepy would that have been?

Giacomino and Maria [Laurie Erickson photo]

Lisa to the rescue. She asked if I might bring some of my martingale collars, flat collars, and some Fancy Fannies Whippet Panties. "Oh yes I shall!" I thought a minute. "Hey, do you think anyone would want my book?" I sewed like a maniac for the next five days, borrowed a generous neighbor's huge suitcase, packed it full, kissed my sweet husband and my dogs, and left at six in the morning.

I picked Crystal up at ten, and we got to Chicago right on time at one-thirty. We (eventually) found the farthest-out economy lot, and boarded a bus, and then a train to O'Hare's International Terminal.

We checked in, only my suitcase was seven pounds overweight, which would have been an additional fifty dollars. Crystal to the rescue! She had oh-so-wisely packed an extra, empty, fold up bag to bring goodies home. She whipped it out of her suitcase, I loaded it with eleven pounds of collars and books, and zoom we were off to the gate. (I like to think the folks waiting in line behind me were thinking kind thoughts, like, "Oh look how quickly that woman is trying to rip things out of one bag and throw them in the other, so as not to keep us waiting any longer than necessary." Sure they were.)

At the gate, we marvelled at the shear ginormity of the Air Bus which awaited us. Crystal remarked as how they'd probably board the Very Old People and folks travelling with small children first. As she spoke, we were studying a map of Stockholm, using Crystal's nifty lighted magnifying glass on a rope. We burst out laughing, with the realization that we would probably qualify for early boarding!

Crystal, the map, and the lighted magnifying glass

And then I let out a shriek of panic. "Oh Crystal! I didn't switch my ticket over to the other credit card when we checked in! Oh no. There's not enough room on the credit card I made the reservations on. Oh what do I do?"

Crystal looked over her glasses at me, furrowed her brow, and tilted her head. "They wouldn't have let you get this far if it didn't go through. Patience, you paid for that back in January when you booked the flight."


Well, dear readers, it felt like my fifty-seven pound suitcase had exploded off my back and burst into a million blessed sparkling twizzles.

"I paid for that in January?"

"Yes, didn't you see it on your statement?"

"Oh I don't remember June, much less January. But it's paid for?"

"Yes, and so is the hotel room you reserved."

"Really? Honestly?"

Oh, dearest of darling readers, I cannot tell you the lightness of being I enjoyed as I skipped down the chute onto that big, shiny Air Bus. I would not be the cause of our Financial Ruin. Paid! It was already paid! I do not pretend to be an Understander of Things Financial. I am but a Writer of Stories and a Hugger of Hounds. I'm sure I looked at my January credit card statement, but that whole concept of PAID had eluded me. My plane ticket and first night's hotel bill was already PAID. What a generous Universe!

This was going to be a fun trip after all.

to be continued... click HERE

hug your hounds


  1. LOL Patience, It should be easy selling you stuff cos it seems like you dun even check what you are paying for when you pay. hahaha



  2. My muzzer said to tell you that my Aunt Marie (we are gonna see her this weekend!) is 93 and refuses to board early. She says it is for "senile old folks who can't find their way down the aisle." Drives Muzzer Crazy.

    And what a wonderful gift, to find that the trip was already paid for. See, you plan good surprises for yourself, too.


  3. w00f's Patience and all...heehee u sound like my mama, she coodnt member how to access her answering machine..use to make me sooo mad when people called me middle aged...guess ima use to it now..

    b safe,

  4. Hope to see you out soon queen of jet lag!

  5. Your outlook on life creates such good stories!

  6. Now your pal Crystal sounds like the kind of traveler we all need to have around! How cool she had an extra bag for you, but even cooler your ticket was already PAID!!!!!!

  7. Oh Patience, I love your silliness! That whole "I can't believe it's paid for" thing had me roaring with laughter (in my head, as I'm at work and must keep myself under control). You were so excited it's almost as though you believed someone ELSE paid for it!

    On to the next part of the story ...


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