The trip home to Winnipeg started out great, Dawn picked me up before 7 am to take me to the Philadelphia airport, and I was checked in, through security and at my gate by 8:30. There had been recent stories that you needed at least 2 hours to get through security but I took less than 10 minutes. My first flight left on time and we actually arrived in Minneapolis 25 minutes early—that’s never happened to me before. The next flight left Minneapolis at 3:20 destined for Kansas City, and here’s where the perfect flying day began to unravel. Approximately 15 minutes before we were due to land the pilot announced there was a tornado near KC airport, and we were being diverted to St. Louis. Just before landing there, he announced that one of our engines had been shut down. On our approach down the runway we were escorted by 4 fire trucks—I guess in case we didn’t stop in time. We deplaned, and began the wait for the next flight. Our current plane was inoperable until maintenance did repairs. So we waited. About an hour later, we were told that a plane arriving at 9:30 would be available to take us to KC. Delta provided us with snacks, water and ordered about 60 large pizzas to feed us. I called the Kelly’s who were waiting for me in KC-they had been sent to the Tornado shelter at the airport. They were going to go to out for supper and then to their hotel to wait. At 10:20 when we were suppose to depart on our new flight, we were just starting to board. We then had a number of other delays the first was that the number of passengers on the plane didn’t match – so the flight crew had to do a physical count. The next 3 delays were weather related—a thunderstorm had surrounded the St. Louis airport, so the ground crew were sent inside, next the flight plan had to be changed and uploaded onto the plane’s computer and when this was complete the ground crew was once again shuffled inside because of the storm. Finally at about 11:30 we started to pull away from our gate, and were in the air before midnight.
We finally arrived in KC at about 1:00, over 8 hours late a long travel day! Robert Kelly was a very welcomed site at the airport, He took me to the hotel where he provided me with dinner from the Outback Steakhouse. I slept a few hours, and left the hotel in my car and headed north up I-29 for the Canadian border, which I reached at about 6:30. I was at my house in Winnipeg, shortly after 8 pm—another long day. My tenants were gone for the weekend and had graciously allowed me to stay at the house where I had to search for the things I required for Grand Session, which I had packed away some 7 months earlier—Do you think I could remember what box I had packed them in?
On Saturday, I started on a list of errands that needed to be attended while in Winnipeg. In the evening I went to Erin and Jason’s to share some of the gifts had been collecting along the trip for them and especially the pirate’s booty for Jack.
Once at home, I had a short visit with our neighbours, Dave and April.
Sunday morning, I had to be at the Canad Inn for a 9:00 breakfast and then practices. Wasn’t able to check into my hotel room until after 1:00 . Shirley Gibson, my page/personal assistance for the session went out for lunch and took the third member of the team—my baton along with us.
Sunday night was the Church service we three, went out for drinks dressed alike.
Monday was more practices in the, morning, followed by lunch where I saw my Missouri friends and members from my former chapter.
The afternoon and evening consisted of the informal and formal openings. Lots of marching, and it was a late night almost 10:30 by the time the last introduction was done. Tuesday was the business, the memorial service, elections and more eating we pulled apart ticket books for an upcoming raffle that evening
Head table at the banquet.
Wednesday brought the recognition of 50 year plus members—three of the members had actually first joined OES in Washakada chapter, which was the chapter that was in my home town- Swan River. At the Teddy Bear’s Picnic lunch, I finally got to sit with the Kelly’s and visit. Wednesday afternoon was the farewell speeches
and in the evening was the installation of officers and I had the duty of being the installing Marshal, reciting the memory work that I first started learning while travellng down the Tennessee River back in November.
All the walking /marching had done a number on my left knee and by Monday afternoon it was starting to bother me, I purchased a brace and wore it for practice and will wear it for the installation as well.
The installation went fairly smooth, and then my duties were finally finished and I could celebrate by having a few drinks. On Thursday I spent a few hours at work and then did some errands, laundry and repacked for my trip back to New Jersey. Had supper with my tenants, and had a visit with the neighbors. Will be flying tomorrow morning to Philadelphia via Toronto.