Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Good to Be Home!

It feels like I was gone three weeks, not just three days. When our car pulled into the driveway, Silk was standing at the gate. As soon as she saw me, she started calling to me. I got lots of good horse snuggle. Siete was in the barn and as she walked out, I instantly noticed that she was limping on her back left leg.

As soon as I greeted the rest of my family and things settled down, I went back to investigate. My husband and daughter said that she had been walking normally all day. I picked out her foot, expecting to find an abscess, but couldn’t see anything. Worrying, I went to bed with the intent of calling the vet or the farrier in the morning. Strange, but when I came out to feed her, she was walking normally this morning. I was relieved, yet my gut feeling is that she’s having another bout of Lyme Disease. We shall see, and I am going to call the vet tomorrow to discuss what’s going on with her.

On a happier note, I had a great time while I was in St. Louis. I am not going to talk about what I was videotaping until the show is done and there’s an airdate. The highlight of my trip was meeting the Budweiser Clydesdales and Dalmatians up close and personal. I got sweet horsey kisses from Jake, the biggest Clydesdale in the world. He is enormous with the most beautiful gentle eyes. The Dalmatians, Doc, Mickey and Barley, are adorable, friendly and well trained. I think that if there’s such a thing as reincarnation, I want to come back as a Budweiser Clydesdale. They live a pampered life of luxury for sure.

And now, I’m going to do a little riff on the trauma of air travel in this country. When I got on the plane at LaGuardia, we had mechanical problems. There was an hour and forty minute wait squished in on the plane. I thought that I was going to miss my connecting flight and that I would have to drive from Chicago to St. Louis. Landing at O’Hare, I learned that my connecting flight was also delayed, but about to take off. I ran full out down the entire length of Concourse H and got on the plane just before they shut the door. Coming back, I missed the big storm and tornadoes that went through Chicago on Monday night, so I thought that it would be an easy return.

The flight from St. Louis to Chicago is only forty minutes long, but when we got in the air, the pilot came on with an announcement. He asked if anyone who had been a Boy Scout or a Girl Scout noticed that the sun was on the wrong side of the plane. That’s because we’re going west, not east, he told us. There was another storm so we were being routed in the opposite direction and then up north. The good news was that we had just fueled up, so there was no chance we’d run out. That also meant they could keep us flying in huge loops across Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin for almost three hours. Of course, I missed my connecting flight. When we landed, the airport was still like a refuge camp from the night before when everyone got stranded. People were sprawled out in makeshift beds on the floor. It was jammed. Several hours later, I managed to get on a flight. The lady next to me had been there since the night before. She spent three hours during the worst of the storm in a plane sitting on the runway. It had been very scary, and then, they were finally allowed to go back to the terminal to sleep in a chair or on the floor. So, I had actually been lucky, I guess.

But, really, what has happened to our once wonderful air travel industry? Remember when you could just get on a plane and go straight to where you were going in two hours instead of having to spend eight or ten hours struggling with the routine disarray that I just experienced? They even charged me $15 to check one piece of luggage. I don’t mind all the crazy taking off of shoes and putting cosmetics and toothpaste in one little plastic bag and dumping everything electronic out into a too small plastic bin. I can understand and even appreciate that part for safety’s sake. But everything else about flying has become a nightmare. And it costs more than it ever has. My husband reminded me, “Welcome to my world. Now you know why I’m so tired and cranky when I get home from a trip.”

Too bad we can’t just hitch up a wagon and let a team of Clydesdales pull us to where we’re going.

12 comments:

Grey Horse Matters said...

The air travel sounds like a nightmare, remember the movie, "Trains,Planes and Automobiles", sounds like you were close to experiencing something like that. I do not like to travel by plane anymore it seems to get worse every month.

Hope Siete is fine and it's not Lyme's again.I'm sure they are happy their Mom is home again.

I had the chance to meet some Clydesdale's in Virginia and their foals, and I can say they were the most adorable friendly horses I've ever met. I'm a sucker for the big horses, but these were beautiful.

Ewa said...

Dear Victoria,
What a flight! sun on the wrong side - what a joke. scary!
Good to be home :)
Greetings,
Ewa

Saddle Mountain Rider said...

Air travel is just one more indicator of the loss of the age of innocence. For years we blithely traveled from point a to point b and then the "crazies" and fanatics start hijacking and using planes to destroy our life and culture. So we end up losing another part of our serenity and freedom. It saddens me beyond words.

Pony Girl said...

Hee, I love the hitching the Clydesdales idea! Can't wait to hear what you were working on when it airs!

Ah, yes, plane nightmares. Seems like every time I fly (only once or twice a year!) there is some kind of "mechanical" problem. I think they just make that up because they can't get clearance to fly out due to delays and they figure people will accept mechanical problems because they don't want the plane to have issues. Anyway, sounds like you had a nice welcome home, too! The best kind! ;)

the7msn said...

You've just reinforced my commitment to never leave the state.

If the Clydesdales have anything to do with the show you're producing, what a lucky girl you are! They're the only reason I watch the Superbowl.

Hope you're able to figure out what's up with Siete soon.

billie said...

The first farm we looked at had a resident Clydesdale - who was for sale - and we considered buying him if we bought the farm. He was a complete sweetheart. And HUGE.

Your trip sounds like fun - although the plane business sounds exhausting. I haven't flown in several years - the last flight almost did me in. I'm glad you're home. Hope the lameness gets sorted out quickly.

Callie said...

Hope Siete is ok! I know the air travel bit. The delays are horrible all the time now! The few times we've traveled, we've had several hour delays!

Twinville said...

My husband and I worked for the airlines for over 15 years and don't miss the chaos at all.
He retired from UsAirways several years ago, so we now have lifetime free flying benfits, albeit, space available.
When I used to work for the airlines, I often just jet-setted all over the place on my days off, anywhere in the world.
First Class really was FIRST CLASS, and it felt wonderful being treated well, even in coach.

Now with security, deregulation, the fees that airports charge airlines, the cost of operating an airline, the cost of fuel, etc, etc...it's just a nightmare to fly.

We don't pay anything to fly, but because the airlines have cut flights and grounded airplanes to save money, there are rarely extra seats available.
And waiting at gates, dealing with the hassle and long lines through security, the running through terminals, the late flights, the cramped airplanes, and not even being able to take your own water bottle on board (sheesh!) make it so flying has become very unpleasant.
With my family of 5, we would rather drive then fly, if we really want to travel.

I hope train travel becomes more fashionable and available. I've traveled on trains and the old romance and luxury that used to be felt with airplane travel is still alive on the rails.

M. C. Valada said...

That's another reason why I haven't gotten on a plane in almost 7 years. What hell.

The Clydesdales are indeed wonderful. I've gotten up close and personal with the Budweiser Clydesdales and their Dalmation who have been the Rose Parade. There's an opportunity to watch all of the horse entries in the parade a few days ahead of time at the L.A. Equestrian Center. Even my husband, afraid of his place in the food chain with horses, was willing to scritch these gentle giants. We also always stop by to see them at the L.A. County Fair, where they are on display and do maneuvers every year.

Can't wait to see your show.

Strawberry Lane said...

Welcome home! So you almost hugged a Clydesdale! How great is that?!

Air-travel! Sad to say, it has become a nightmare. I'm still recovering from a trip to Denmark two years, ago.

You are right, air travel sure was different in the good old days. I recall traveling with my parents where we dressed up for the trip. (I suppose that dates me pretty good!)

Yep, agree with you. Let's hitch up the wagon to a "Bud".

Strawberry Lane said...

By the way, saw your suggestion at "Smellshorsey" for giving meds to her sick horse, Buddy.

Vanilla yogurt, salt, molasses with the medication. Didn't know that trick. Making note of it.

deejbrown said...

We are not meant to fly. Really.