The bulleted breakdown of our last few days of hellacious travel… and it will still be longer than most of you will want to read, but that’s okay, because it’s my blog and I’ll cry if I want to! Believe me, I’ve become a pro at that over the past few days.
*Friday – Receive last minute phone call from a company in ND – they want my husband to work for them, and he needs to be there on Monday. Since we’re both currently unemployed, this is great news, so he says yes! We buy a last minute ticket from Denver to ND b/c it is $700+ cheaper than flying out of our home airport last minute – since we have friends in that area, it’s totally worth the 350 mile drive up there… or is it?
*Saturday – Run around doing errands and buying supplies he’ll need to work in -40 degree weather. Lots of packing and organizing to do.
*Sunday – Drive 200 miles to our friends’ house. Have a great dinner and stay at their house for the night. I cry because it’s our last night together for a couple of weeks. Actually, I cried a lot.
5:30am: Get up at the ass crack to drive the 150 miles to the airport. I don’t shower – just throw on some jeans and go b/c that’s fucking early. Also leave my overnight bag and prometrium behind b/c I figure I’ll be back in Eagle by noon. It normally takes 2h30 – we left plenty of time, but thanks to blizzard conditions, thick fog, and horrid traffic, it takes us 3h15. About 30 minutes out, we get nervous about him making the 10:30 flight in time, so we call their headquarters for a flight update and they tell us the flight is delayed by 2 hrs. Shitty, but good, b/c that means he’ll make the flight no problem!
9:30am: Arrive at DIA. Instead of dropping him at departures to immediately check in, C rides with me to the parking garage and we walk in together (you know, b/c we were just told we had plenty of time!). This takes us an extra 20 minutes or so. Stop by to drop off his checked luggage before we have breakfast together to kill time and are informed by the ticket agent that the flight has been UNdelayed (is that even a word?!) and is boarding in 15 minutes. No way in HELL he’ll make it through the DIA security line on Monday morning that quickly. !^&^@#*%&
They say they can try to book him on a flight departing an hour later… but “that flight has been downgraded from a 29 seater to an 18 seater, so they’re already bumping people.” Um, yeah, no thanks. Obviously he wouldn’t have gotten on. They can they can book him on the 6:30pm flight (8 hrs later)… which put him into nowhere, ND at midnight. NOT ideal, but at least here’s there, so we agree. He gets the go-ahead from the new job to check in a day later.
10:30am: Leave airport with C to kill time for awhile… I have a mini-meltdown on the phone to my Mom. Get it together enough to drive, but am still driving with tears rolling down my cheeks. Hyperventilating, anxious, sad, overwhelmed….you name it, I was feeling it, and I couldn’t stop frickin crying. My husband orders me to pull over at the next exit, because you know, he was afraid I wasn’t in any shape to drive or something. Sheesh!
Randomly continue to cry during lunch. Can’t figure out if it’s because of him leaving, because I feel like it’s my fault he missed the flight, because I’m worried about missing a dose of my meds that are currently 150 miles away, or a combo of all three. Google “prometrium side effects” and realize that a lot of women have reported the crazy mood swings and emotional chaos as side effects. Now ya tell me. C is now afraid to leave me. I keep reassuring him that he can go – I’ll be fine! We kill a little more time, then head back to the airport. It’s freezing out, still snowing, and generally crappy weather, and we both feel like I should get back to Eagle before nightfall and get off the roads.
1:00pm: Drop C off at the airport again. Feel bad leaving him with 5 1/2 hrs to kill before his flight, but don’t know what else to do. Call Oak and continue to have a mini-meltdown. Trying to get my shit under control.
1:15pm: Meanwhile, C calls me. Again. The original 10:30am flight he was on never took off. “Mechanical issues” – whatever that meant. It was going to be cancelled after sitting on the tarmac for hours. The 11:30 flight was delayed… and delayed…and was about to be cancelled. His 6:30pm flight was already delayed to 7:45. and things weren’t looking good for that flight either. If I don’t go back for him, he’ll most likely be stuck in the damn airport overnight, so I turn back around. Again.
1:30pm: Pick up C…try to figure out what in the world to do now. Don’t want to drive 150 miles back to our friends’ house to get all of my stuff b/c we’d have to turn right back around the next morning to try to get him on the 10:30am flight again. Call around to a few friends to try to figure out who to stay with. We’re running on 4 hrs of sleep, exhausted, and just want a nap. All of our friends are working instead of answering their phones (darn friends!), and all of their houses are locked (crazy city kids). In the meantime, we end up going to a Walgreens to finagle 3 pills of the prometrium to get me by until the next day noon when I could get back to my pills that were in my bag in Eagle.
FYI – if you ever need to do something like that and your insurance is refusing to cover, have the pharmacist call and ask for a “vacation override” – that’s what this guy did and it cost me $12 instead of $25 for the three pills. Every little bit helps!
3:00pm: Drive to my cousin’s house on the northwest side of Denver. Haven’t heard from her or her husband, but we figure they’re our best bet. It’s currently below zero, STILL, so we do what any rational couple would do in this situation – we find the first dive bar within walking distance of their place (only 2 blocks!) and immediately set about making ourselves locals. $1.75 drafts and a warm building to hang out in – sold!
6:30pm: Cousin’s husband got back to us – he just finished up work and is going to come meet us. We have a beer with him, then take him out to dinner as a thank you for letting us crash at their place (my cousin is in her final year of residency and was on call, so sadly we didn’t get to see her). We are drunk and exhausted early, so we crash out and sleep for 9+ hours. Bliss!
6:30am: Wake up feeling refreshed, but still anxious about the day ahead. Will he get out or won’t he? Every area school is closed because of cold – the high in Denver is supposed to be a record -4 degrees. We drive out to DIA and it’s -12 (not including the windchill). That is COLD. On the upside, it’s warmer than the -30 it currently is in ND. My poor husband. 😦
8:00am: C checks in and drops off his checked bag. Ticket agent said it’s so cold that the de-icers might not work on the plane… entirely possible we’re facing more delays and cancellations. We have a nice breakfast and debate about what to do if this flight gets delayed or cancelled. We’re both seriously considering just getting in the car and going back home. Nothing seems to be going our way with this job/travel.
9:30am: C goes through security in preparation for his 10:30 departure. I cry. Again. I sit by the departures board and read blogs on my phone to pass the time, because there’s no way in hell I’m leaving the airport again until I know he’s in the air! His 10:30 departure comes and goes… finally at 11am he calls and says he’s boarding, so I head out.
12:30pm: You guessed it. C called again. They were supposed to be on a 15 minute layover in NE for their plane to refuel (tiny turbo-prop plane), but they had de-planed everyone for maintenance issues.
1:30pm: Finally, they’re re-boarding. At this point, C is barely going to get into ND in time to get to the new job’s main office before they close. This is important for later – that office is also 2 1/2 hours from where he’s supposed to be working at 6am the next morning, but they had told him they could get him a ride from one town to the other. We’re both stressed out about the timing of things. Meanwhile, I’m stopping by our friends’ house to pick up my things. I’m in 3 day old clothes and cannot wait for a hot shower and clean underwear.
3:30pm (4:30 CST): C arrives in ND, but realizes it’s a time zone ahead of what he was thinking. He calls the office to make sure they’re open, and gets the answering service. They closed early for some reason so he won’t be able to sign all of his final paperwork. All of the hotels in town are full (all 8 of them), and they won’t give him a 1-way car rental to drive 2 1/2 hrs to his buddy’s house (who got him this job – he works with the same company). He calls me, at his wits end, ready to lose his shit…it’s 40 below, he’s in the middle of nowhere, it’s been three days of traveling, and everything is crumbling around him. I’m still 100 miles from home and can’t help. Feeling super unhelpful and feel awful for him. Meanwhile, I’m talking to him instead of watching the road and miss my exit. Only caused a 15 minute detour, but still, I am SO over this.
4:00pm (5:00 CST): At the last minute before the car rental desk closed, the lady working said she’d give him a one-way rental for $200. UGH. I told him to do it – he needs to sleep somewhere! C then calls his buddy to tell him what’s going on…. his buddy says no way, no how, this is ridiculous – why should he have to drive 2 1/2 hours tonight…then BACK up Wednesday to fill out paperwork and then back down? He makes phone calls, figures out the guy he needs to sign papers with is still in the office (they had just turned off phones for the day). Said to come on in! Looks like things are looking up. Meanwhile, I’m talking to C about all of this and forget to stop at the damn gas station (I knew I was super low). I look down 5 miles past the last one (and 25 miles from the next one) and see this…
|Yep, had to turn around and back track, AGAIN.|
4:15pm (5:15 CST): C talks to guy at job. Guy realizes that girl who was supposed to PREPARE the paperwork hadn’t done it before she left for the day. Remember, this was supposed to be done on MONDAY, so who in the hell dropped that ball?! Guy apologizes, but has no other options for C…. looks like he’s going to have another long day of driving tomorrow to get this straightened out. C starts the drive down to his buddy’s house (also near where he’ll be working).
5:30pm (6:30 CST): C calls. He’s exhausted. He’s tired of this entire journey. He just wants to be home. OH, and he just backtracked 30 miles b/c he thought he’d taken a wrong turn BUT HE HADN’T… so he just added another hour of driving to his evening. I feel so bad for him I could cry. And I do. *sigh*
6:00pm (MST): I finally pull into our driveway. So thankful to be home, and praying C is off the road soon.
|About 2 miles from home I pulled over to take this… wow, it’s really winter right now!|
7:30pm (CST): C texts – he’s there. Finally. Safe and sound. 54h30 after leaving our home. Turns out driving would have been faster. Who knew?
Currently, he’s returning the rental car to the airport in the town he just drove to tonight. Tomorrow morning, he’ll borrow his buddy’s car and leave about 6am to drive the 2 1/2 hours BACK up to the town he flew into this afternoon. Hopefully the paperwork will be ready to sign, then he’ll drive back DOWN and hopefully meet up with the crew around noon. They work 6am-6pm shifts right now, so theoretically he could still possibly get a half day in tomorrow (you know, to cover the extra rental car and gasoline costs from the past 24 hours – ridiculous!!). Theoretically. But we all know how things go, and after the last three days, we aren’t holding out much hope that things go smoothly tomorrow. All the same, I’m spending tonight and tomorrow praying that they do – my husband could really use a break right now, and I’d really appreciate any thoughts and prayers you could send his way.
I love you so much honey. Thank you so much for sacrificing so much for us lately. You’re an amazing husband!!
What a week.
*UPDATED 7:30am Wednesday*
Just talked to my husband – it’s currently 10 below and feels like 32 below up there. Ouch.
Just googled weather where I’m at – it’s currently 19 below and feels like 19 below. What’s worse?
We figured out why we had the time zone snafu yesterday – check out this map of ND:
We didn’t realize that the town he flew into (will.iston) was in CST and the town he’ll be working near (dickin.son) was in MST. Why in the world wouldn’t the whole state be one way or the other?!
No way in hell am I going outside today unless absolutely necessary. I hope you all are safe and warm wherever you are!