When I was busy humming "Who knows? Could it be?…Somethings coming" the other day, these things were definitely not on my list of hopes and expectations:
-Bud needs emergency surgery.
-The biggest storm front of the year cuts across the Midwest.
-The temperature drops 48 degrees in 5 hours.
So, here I am, back in the U.P. of Michigan, a few doors down the hall from where my mother died in March. And that’s the good news. I was at O’Hare airport for 30 hours waiting to get a flight out. With only three small commuters a day it’s already sketchy trying to get out on short notice; with the bad weather moving east, things went into a downhill slide and then came to a screeching halt. The most annoying part is that they just keep pushing back departure times by an hour here and an hour there, as though they have any idea of when a plane might come or go. Pretty soon all 3 departing flights are scheduled to leave "in an hour, give or take an hour." People (like me) who are anxious to go start wait-listing themselves on all the flights in hopes of getting any flight. For a while I was getting by teaching a couple of fellow travelers how to knit. Then I made the mistake of going to both the airport Chili’s and the Cinnabon place. Then, one by one, the flights got canceled. Lengthy lines formed for re-ticketing. At one point, with a new ticket in hand, I took a cab home, fed the cats and slept for a couple hours and then went back. All the same passengers were there and the cycle was starting all over again. Since commuters all go from the same general gate area confusion reigned as departure times overlapped and everyone raced back and forth to see where they were on each wait list. Tempers flare, carry-on bags gets heavier, cell phones go dead. In the end it’s just a crap shoot. I got out around 10:30 last night with a short layover in Madison- the earlier 6:10 pm flight I was ticketed on never did go. By the time I picked up a rental car near midnight it was too late to visit at the hospital, so Bud was surprised to tears when he saw me first thing this morning. He said, "Well, I sure didn’t need you to come, but I’m sure glad you did come, darling."
He’s going to be fine as soon as he gets rid of a bum gall bladder. With him, less is more- he’s already down numerous parts, including his bladder to cancer 30 years ago. I forget that, because he goes full tilt maintaining his outermost Lake Superior house in the woods through rain, shine and 300 inches of snow each year. He’s a sturdy and independent man and proud of it. I think he was hoping his symptoms were related to the smoked turkey sent up for Thanksgiving but once he was doubled over in pain and started turning bright yellow, he had to concede that a trip to the doctor was in order. And, of course, they kept him and then shipped him 150 miles further from home to Marquette General. So here we are again, back at the hospital where we have a love-hate relationship with the very elevators.
They can’t just take it out through laproscopy so tomorrow he’ll have a more major surgery and then a few more days here to recover. The MRI showed that the initial obstruction has passed. Today is a quiet gray day. I can see the dark deep expanse of Lake Superior from the window here and it’s bleak. Nevertheless, it’s pleasant enough, just sitting here chatting with periodic interruptions for vital signs. Each time a new nurse comes in Bud introduces me and announces, "This is my daughter. She’s a psychologist. Isn’t she pretty? Really, she’s my step-daughter but (turning to me) you don’t mind if I call you my daughter, do you?" "Certainly not, I’m honored" I say. And then Bud says, "But you got all your brains and looks from your mother!" This is our script and we run through it repeatedly and then laugh. Bud is napping some and he’s pleased to have my computer with all the photos of family to look at. He’s also going back in Hoss’s archives and laughing until it hurts.
Back in the BIG weather department, Chicago is under a storm advisory with ice and snow and wind expected well into tomorrow. I did have a weekend planned with blogging friends- we were going to do up the town to a fare-thee-well. At this point I’m clueless about a return flight but who knows? There’s always something coming…