Archive for December 4th, 2015

Late on a rainy, windy Monday night I had to venture out to the airport to pick up some family members. The last time I was in an airport was 1996. A frequent flier I’m not. In fact, I am not a flier at all. To get me on a plane today they would have to knock me out, box me up, and then retrieve me with the rest of the baggage at the destination. Trust me, I have solid reasons for my phobia. From the early 1970s up to 1996  I tried many ways to deal with it. Finally I just gave up, accepting that planes, airports and I were never going to mix well.

So it was with trepidation that I set out at 11:30 pm to meet the plane that was supposed to land at 12:30 am. Fifteen minutes away from the airport I received a text that the plane was delayed. They were on the ground at some Midwest airport where heavy snow was falling and departures were not happening. They would text me again to let me know when to expect them.

They were supposed to be returning from Florida and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what they were doing in the Midwest. There was nothing I could do but navigate around and around the airport trying to find a parking area as the jet fumes began filling the car. Planes were taking off and landing regularly, exhaling more fumes into the air.

Jet fumes and I were always at odds. They give me wicked headaches accompanied by nausea. When I found a parking spot (the cost of which was extortion pure and simple), I and my bag of knitting ran across to the terminal.

Much has changed at airports since 1996. Certain behaviors are no longer tolerated, such as running with a bag over one’s shoulder. It gets unwanted attention from men wearing uniforms and carrying assault rifles. It was raining. Of course I was running. I had no raincoat because I was expecting to just pull to the curb and pick them up.

Before I was allowed to enter the terminal the men in the uniforms and guns rummaged through the bag, held up my knitting needles and yarn and asked, “What’s this?” My life, I said.  Then they asked for ID, then what I was doing there.

Inside  were more men in uniform with guns. I’ve been in countries with military governments and they had less visible guns and uniforms. I found the information desk, got an explanation of how a plane from Florida winds up in a major snowstorm in the Midwest and was told what gate they would be arriving at, should they take-off, and where I could wait.

Despite the two Extra Strength Tylenols and anti-nausea medication I was getting a headache and nauseous. My brain was starting to feel like the radiation brain I got during my cancer treatment and the same way I feel after being injected with radioactive dye for MRIs. Foggy, very foggy.

So I took out my knitting and looked at what I’d done so far. I was using a sport weight variegated hand painted yarn that had been gifted to me. I had decided to make a simple fichu. The yarn was working up nicely and there was no pooling of colors. It looked great. I had knitted about 40 rows. I admired it through the fog in my brain. Then I did the inexplicable. I swiped it off the needles and ripped the entire thing back.

I don’t know why I did that. I can only say the fog in my brain from the jet fumes was to blame. I spent the next three hours casting on and ripping back, trying to get the yarn to knit up the same way it had before. No luck. Just when I was at the end of my rope both with breathing in the jet fumes and casting on again, their plane arrived.

The yarn that was the fichu is now becoming a pair of socks. I have no intention of ripping anything back.


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