All of Us!

All of Us!
Finally! All together with enough time to spare (??) to capture a picture of all six of us in the same spot, same time. Now this is a precious photo! I tried to get one last year for our Christmas card and didn't succeed. So when I had the chance I threw out the lasso and rounded everyone up (at my niece's graduation party) to grab a couple snapshots. My oldest son, Casey, and his girlfriend Nika are on the left; and my youngest son, Brady, and his girlfriend Jenne on the right; that leaves Bob and I in the center. (Bob is the one who doesn't look very happy about having his picture taken!!)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Shari' Bucket List: Check One Off for New York City

I have a confession to make – okay, now that I think about it, I think I have started out this way before in some of the other blogs. I’m beginning to sound like a repentant Catholic in a confessional or a politician caught with his pants down ... so maybe I should change my discourse and instead say ... I have a statement to make.

I have never flown before. Hmmmm...maybe I have mentioned that before. It all pertains to my paternal grandfather’s untimely death in a small, single-engine plane crash in 1968. I was young but still remember the catastrophic event very well. Because of that, I have been somewhat afraid to fly. So most of my travels have all been by car.

In less than two weeks, I will change all that by hopping on a jet plane and flying to New York. Another checkmark on my bucket list.

Now bucket lists have become a familiar term since the movie, “The Bucket List” with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholas. I think that it made people become more aware of their mortality and what they want to accomplish in their perusings of life on this Earth. Many may not actually sit down and write out a detailed list of their bucket list, but most merely do what I have done – grasp a mental picture of the things you want to do and put it on that imaginary roster of things to tick off once you have accomplished them.

On this trip, I intend to grab my imaginary pencil and check off quite a few things. Those that I know for sure are: (1) Flying, check; (2) New York City, check; (3) a Broadway play – in this case, I’ve already bought tickets for Wicked (check); which will be playing at (4) the famed Gershwin Theater, (check). Now to accomplish a few more checkmarks, I am hoping that our schedule fits in (5) Statute of Liberty, (6) Empire State Building, (7) 9/11 Memorial – I know that since the Memorial inside is booked up for that week that I may not be able to get inside to see that, but I will be able to at least walk around and view the outside areas, (8) Central Park. Now I have a few more things that The New Yorker and New York Magazine have suggested, so that will be just a little more frosting on my cupcake if I get to those, too.

I’m hoping that I can spend my time wisely but still be able to gawk and ahhhh over lots of other things. My mental plan for the plane trip is already the following: (1) first-and-foremost, hopefully, not to get air sick, (2) to take pictures flying out, flying in and the clouds, etc., along the way, (3) I’m taking my IPad so that I can do a little reading of any books I may have downloaded that I have started, (4) I’m taking hardcover books that I have bought and want to read – Son of Stone by Stuart Woods and my new memoirs of Jacqueline Kennedy book by Caroline Kennedy, (5) my laptop is coming along so that I can download my pictures along the way to document my trip and share with others, plus I can write some new and finish some old blogs along the way. A bit ambitious for vacationing, but I am never one to sit still too long, unless, of course, I am reading or writing.

Now, having said all that, my camera intends to be my best friend on this trip. I am thankful that my son Casey and his girlfriend Nika will be there to guide my along the way and share the wonderful memories I hope to incur.

My biggest fear – is not really flying per se – but getting through security at the airport. I bought a new suitcase that will hold at least half of Manhattan (if not all) which Casey has not seen yet but I could hear the wince in his voice when I told him about it. All his fault, though, really. He is the one (aided with a few comments from Nika, too) that said I need to pack less going out, leave more room in my suitcase to bring things back after shopping out there. I am never, never, ever a light packer, so my compromise was – (you guessed it) get a bigger suitcase. I also purchased a matching carry-on bag that will fit my laptop, my IPAD, my camera, some food, my jewelry, one book, my diabetic supplies, and other “necessities.” I know that once I get through security I need to get a bottle of water and a bottle of orange juice. I’ll pack some candy bars and fruit for the possibility of a diabetic low while on the plane. The orange juice is always my “go-to” but I want to have a backup plan.

I’ve already viewed and noted the TSA’s list of what-to-do’s and what-not-to-do’s when going through security. It was noted that since I am a diabetic, I need to have all my diabetic supplies (which by the way are not limited) displayed in a quart-size see through baggie and that I must tell the first security officer at the beginning of the line that I am a diabetic and have diabetic supplies items that need to be viewed. So I know it will take me a little longer to go through security. Casey will have already flown to New York the week before, as we will be going out during one of his weeks working in New York. So, Nika drew the short straw and will be my flying companion on the way out. I’ll start to experience anxiety the minute we get out of the cab at O’Hare Airport, unless Casey’s friend, Blake, drives us – then it will be probably before I get out of his car because I am sure he will have to tease me a little on the way. So, the possibility of going into a “low” while standing in line, the odds are highly in favor of a yes on that subject. Having said that, I’m not even out of the car or standing in line yet, and I’m already anticipating stress. Next will come making sure I have my e-ticket info with me. (Better get that put on my checklist right now – yes, I am very, very anal – I have lists upon lists for packing, etc.!!) ( that I am thinking about my lists, I better make sure I also put down my e-tickets for Wicked too – list is getting longer!) Okay, where was I – oh, yea, at the ticket counter. Getting my ticket, then going to stand in line to go through security. This is where I hope I don’t run into any problems with my insulin, etc., because if something gets broken there, I’m in a world of hurt. Now, I understand that the TSA workers are not the Gestapo. In fact, we have represented a few, but it is what you see or hear on TV, movie, etc., that always puts a little bit of apprehension in lining up for the TSA firing squad. It may not hurt at all. Maybe better to expect and be prepared for the worst, that way I will be wildly surprised and appreciative.

If I make it through security with no mistakes in my packing, etc., I will be a happy camper, errr, flyer.

When I first was planning this trip, I wanted to take the Amtrak train out. Only because I love to see the country. I’m in a car driving around almost every single day of my life. I love to look around and see what is out there. Probably comes from growing up with a father who loved to take Sunday drives, drive at speeds not exceeding 30-40 m.p.h. because he was always looking out the window admiring what this farmer was doing, what the weather was doing, and what amazing things God had created to see on each trip in the car. I’m the same, so that apple didn’t fall far from the tree. But since it would take a day-and-a-half to get out there by train, I decided to forego it this time and do the plane both ways instead of just on the way back. I’m hoping that by looking out the plane window, I can see some of the little things we take for granted while standing on the ground and looking up. This will be exciting.

I’m just hoping that while I’m climbing up the air ladder a little closer to God, that he doesn’t come up with anything too exciting – because, frankly, I’ve put that to the back of my subconscious mind. I’m looking forward to trying to get through a few more items on my bucket list first so he better not mess with that.

A man never wants to mess with a woman’s list – not a good idea at all!!!