Those 70ish girls…Pt. 2 – Airport Anxiety

The Gathering Pt. 2 – Airport Anxiety by Valerie Halla

One of the perks from attending these “Reunions” with my cousins and Gus, is that I hear new stories and jokes. The best part is being with Gus, Mary and Bill because they’re a boatload of fun and we deeply love our family, especially our late Grandma and Grandpa Sanderson and Murdo history. Oh, and we laugh a lot when we’re together, big snorting, teary eyed laughs and giggles. The Side Stories that come along with our visits get us off track, however, these stories are tops.

As we get older, it becomes more difficult to travel and navigating around airports is a challenge. After an hour drive through traffic, I got to San Jose airport and checked my bag being told to remove my iPad from my luggage. Everyone knows the battery can leak – except me – but I could carry it onboard the plane. Next I went through security and the alarm kept going off. The nice TSA officer had me take off my earrings, then my necklace, and the beeping continued . His assistant came next to help. They had me remove my Apple Watch, but alarm was still beeping. The gal finally had me remove my big boots which had metal buckles and it worked. I was free! I passed. I got my jewelry and boots back and got my purse, cell and iPad off the belt thingy. Then I was off to find my gate and sit waiting for the cattle call to line up with strangers and wait some more. (There’s a ton of walking involved at airports so I advise going into training shortly before your planned flight.)

The flight was fine as I sat crammed in the middle seat between two ladies and one chatted about books since I sat reading mine. She was entertaining plus an ex- flight attendant so she spoke of her many trips to interesting countries. It helped pass the time. We got to Phoenix and already had lost an hour but I was happy to just deplane without a heavy bag to lug as I waited for others to pull theirs from the overhead compartments trying desperately to not conk anyone on the head.

More walking, fast paced walking. Many folks pass you if you’re not at an Olympic style speed. I retrieved my bag downstairs after waiting by the wrong carousel for ten minutes. I did spot a Starbees right next to the carousel and went there to buy a hot tea and revive my energy. MG texted as she deplaned in another terminal. I also tried texting and calling Bill and Gus as they drove from Ontario, California.

I texted Mary to meet me at Starbees by Carousel 4 in my terminal and that I didn’t want to be the first one to get lost. (I was having airport anxiety, with occasional panic attacks, followed by hot flashes.)

We were on our phones talking when she strolled down the aisle from her terminal into baggage claim. I saw her and we both said, “I see you!” Some people saw us and laughed. I saw her cute red plaid bag at first bouncing along on her shoulder and her darling face and black curly hairdo. The first thing she said was, “I’m scared. I just realized that I am the youngest one of the four of us here!”

I replied, “You’ll have to do most of the work, but it’ll be okay. Come have a cup of tea and something to eat and we will talk. My treat.” So we ordered and sat at a small table and caught up on our last few weeks with MG shedding the stress and work she has done selling a house, moving out in a surprise weekend vs a week, having furniture delivery delayed and just getting in vacation mode again. We laughed a lot and enjoyed our tea and breakfast sandwiches and got ready to meet the guys in about 90 minutes out on the sidewalk at Sky Harbor after a quick trip to the restroom. Our boots looked great and as we know, those boots were made for walking. Thanks, Nancy Sinatra.

MG- *** can you tell your great story about losing your brief case or files and having a guy named CM return them to you? I can’t do justice to it but it fit our situation because we kept looking at cars coming through that tunnel and thinking they were Bill and Gus picking us up!

Years ago, I took a late night flight from Milwaukee to Dallas and didn’t realize until the next morning that I didn’t make it home with my briefcase. I waited until I got to work the next morning before calling the airlines, assuming I had left it on the airplane. While I was trying to get through to the airline, another call came through from a guy who said he was riding the shuttle to the parking lot when he spotted a briefcase laying on the seat. My card was inside, so he decided the best thing to do was to call me and tell me he had it. As a matter of fact, he said he was going to be driving right past my office, and if I would meet him out front in about 10 minutes, he would drop it off to me. I was all kinds of grateful until he said, “My name is Charles Manson.”

I held my hand over the phone and whispered to my coworker, Carol, “Isn’t Charles Manson in prison?” She nodded, yes.

I grabbed Carol by the arm and informed her that she was coming with me to wait for Charles Manson to bring me my briefcase. I pulled $5 from my wallet to give the guy for his trouble.

Soon, a guy drove up, and I waved for him to stop. He rolled his window down, and I shoved the $5 in his face. He seemed offended. I said, “Do you have my briefcase?” He didn’t answer. He just looked at me, so I asked him if he was Charles Manson. He said, “No, lady!” And then he rolled up his window and sped off. I must have looked confused when Charles Manson drove up right behind the other guy and handed me my briefcase. He didn’t want the $5 either. He didn’t seem a bit weird and didn’t have spooky eyes like Charles Manson, the murderer. He probably thought I looked all kinds of weird, though.

7 thoughts on “Those 70ish girls…Pt. 2 – Airport Anxiety

  1. lifelessons February 21, 2023 / 11:00 pm

    You gals are lookin’ good!!!


  2. lifelessons February 21, 2023 / 10:59 pm

    It’s beyond me how anyone ever could have followed Charles Manson. Guess I’m stating the obvious?


    • Valerie Halla February 25, 2023 / 7:36 pm



  3. grinchy44 February 21, 2023 / 10:37 pm

    Great stories! Gus and I arrived in Ontario at 4pm today. We had a great time!


  4. Valerie Halla February 20, 2023 / 10:02 pm

    You’re a great storyteller! I’m feeling better now but I’m having airport withdrawal symptoms.
    Maybe some NY cheesecake will help.
    Thanks dear Cuz.


    • Mary Francis McNinch February 21, 2023 / 10:07 am

      I love this, but will have to write about your blogger training anxiety. I had no idea there was such a syndrome or that you suffered from it, Cuz.


  5. Anonymous February 20, 2023 / 9:39 pm

    Pretty scary moments there!!!


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