On Sunday (two days ago) I had to be in Reno for a 1 pm Book Club discussion. The book group had picked Frog Prince last summer as it’s May selection and I’d agreed to attend the discussion as a visiting guest author. Even better, this was my mom’s book club and it meant a great deal to her.
My flight itinerary had me departing early Sunday morning on a 7:00 am flight and returning early Monday. Saturday night I stayed up late working, packed my things, double-checked to be sure I had pens and bookmarks and goodies for everyone in the group and went to bed, setting my alarm for 5:15.
Sunday morning I wake, roll over, think about how rested I feel and then look at the clock. 6:17 am.
But my flight boards at 6:40.
And I’m a twenty plus minute drive to airport.
And the next flight to Reno doesn’t land until the book club meeting is over.
Oh my God. Oh God. This is my mother’s group. This is a big deal. They’re even catering the lunch. I have to make this flight.
I dive into the jeans and top I’d laid out, belt my belt buckle as I ran down the hall, grab my travel bag at the top of the stairs, hurl puppy chow into the puppy’s bowl and run to the car.
Backing out of garage I see clock on dash. 6:23. Flight boards very very very soon. I’m not going to make it. How can I make it?
I have to make it. And it is Sunday morning, and the freeways are virtually deserted. I drive fast, so fast I can’t print it here, but it’s totally illegal and the Meatloaf song Bat Out of Hell has some serious meaning.
I’m thinking, I have boarding pass, airline knows I plan on taking this flight, I’ve only got carry on so I just need to get there, drop car, go through security, and dash through terminal to get to my gate.
I’m not going to make it.
I have to make it.
As I fly towards terminal doing my 85 miles an hour speed, I’m thinking there is a valet parking at airport. I’ve never done it, not totally sure where it is, but if I try it, and leaving car running and toss keys to attendant, I won’t have to search for parking. Increases odds for maybe making flight.
I go to valet, don’t even ask price, I scream ‘my flight is leaving now!’ and run.
I run with my two carry on bags (okay, they’re stacked, on wheels) but I’m running and pulling them as fast as I can to hit security. Security is backed up so far the line snakes past Starbucks, creeping halfway through terminal.
Being Jane That Flys A Lot, I have the highest tier status with Alaska Airlines which means when I fly them I get to bypass long security for shorter VIP line. Elitist, I know, but when you fly as much as I do, shorter lines are always a plus. I go to short VIP type line and it’s long, too. But I wait, I get through, I go through security not even checking watch. Now I’m running again, hauling bags after me and wishing cardio conditioning was a little better. My gate is the very last gate on the C concourse. I started over by the D concourse and it’s a lot of running. In fact, I haven’t run for a flight quite like this since I was a senior at UCLA and late to make my American Airlines flight to Dallas for a final management interview. I ran that time, too, and sadly I was wearing a dress and heels. At least this time I’m in jeans and flip flops.
Running running people stop and step back for me. I’m running so fast I feel like it’s a prison break and people with guns are chasing me. But what’s really motivating me is THIS iS MY MOM’S GROUP. Can’t let Mom down. Can’t can’t can’t stand my mom and her group up.
I reach gate. No one else is boarding. They’re closing door. They let me on. I sit down, sweating profusely, buckle my seat belt, glance at my watch.
I did it. I can’t believe it. I made my flight. And no, I didn’t comb my hair, wash my face or brush my teeth yet today, but hey, I only woke up twenty-seven minutes ago.