Nov 25, 2007

Things That Go So Well and So Wrong...

Mary Ann and I had a wonderful time together in Orlando. We got to see all the Meads -- David, Laura, Canon, and Sister-in-law Joni -- and even got to talk to Great-nephew Forrest, who is studying at the London School of Economics as part of his undergraduate program at Pepperdine University. Nephew David's Parents-in-law, Jack and Elaine Bell joined the family for Thanksgiving dinner. Laura and David had outdone themselves preparing a feast. David made sure we all got to try his wonderful oyster dressing. It was just one of three or four different dressings that complemented the turkey and the rest of the trimmings. I know that there were at least three kinds of pie for dessert. It was a memorable meal. But when the taste of the food has long been forgotten, I will remember most David's prayer of gratitude and the overwhelming sense of thanks that I and the others felt. We don't all get together very often, and I think the thoughts of family and gratitude were the most important part of this Thanksgiving.

Friday, Mary Ann and I showed up at David and Laura's at lunch time (timing is everything!) and enjoyed some of David's marvelous Turkey/Andouille gumbo. Wow! It was spectacular! Later, after some obligatory TV college football, several of us got together -- Mary Ann and I, David and Laura, Jack, and Elaine, for a wonderful Turkish dinner Friday evening at Bosphorous Restaurant in Winter Park. It was a great meal in an environment quiet enough to permit conversation. We really enjoyed the food and the company. Does this begin to sound like an eat-a-thon?!?

On Saturday, Mary Ann and I slept in and relaxed. We did go out to a mall briefly to pick up a couple of items and then to a soup-and-salad place for a quiet dinner, followed by one more visit to David's home to say our goodbye's. We were back at the hotel at a reasonable hour and did most of our packing. Mary Ann set the alarm for 3:15 AM to ensure we had plenty of time to get ready, drive to the airport, return the rental car, check our bags, make it through security, etc.

I awoke and looked at my watch. It was 5:30! We had both slept through the alarm. To an outsider, it might have looked like a Keystone Cops movie as we frantically washed up, finished packing and checked out. Everything at the airport went beautifully as well. Mary Ann recently had foot surgery and is wearing a "boot" on one foot. After I had checked in, I went over to find her at the Delta counter (we were flying on two different airlines to different destinations) and found her sitting in a wheelchair that some kind attendant had provided.

I wheeled Mary Ann up to security and we proceeded through a special wheelchair line without a hitch. We were at our departure area in time to have a cup of coffee before I took her down to her gate and proceeded to mine. My plane left right on time (AirTran) and I arrived in White Plains 15 minutes early!

Back at my hotel in Connecticut, I was reflecting on what a perfect weekend it had been when I removed the computer from my briefcase only to realize it was Mary Ann's! In the process of taking our computers out to go through security in Orlando, we had switched them. I immediately called my bride at home and we made arrangements to ship them to each other tomorrow. The devil is indeed in the details!

In spite of this minor glitch, we had a wonderful holiday. We hope yours was as enjoyable.

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