Nance‘s birthday, but she wasn’t home, so I didn’t wish her a happy birthday. Let me take a moment now to say “Happy birthday, Nance!!!!”

So, the spud got on the plane to California just fine, and several hours later called me from her grandparents’ home in California to let me know she’d arrived. I guess I can relax until June 15th, when she’ll be flying from California to Rhode Island, where she’ll stay with her father for a week before she goes to Maine. Saturday morning we were standing at the ticket counter while the ticket counter lady did her thing – printing out tickets, making me fill out the “Unaccompanied minor” envelope, making sure the spud had a big goofy-looking pin stuck to her shirt that signified that she was an unaccompanied minor – and while we were waiting, they searched her suitcase, and she turned to me and said, her voice echoing through the airport as she spoke as loudly as possible, “AT LEAST THEY KNOW I DON’T HAVE A BOMB IN MY SUITCASE!” For an instant I thought of running away from her as fast as possible, with the intent of disavowing all knowledge of the child or who she might be “Who, her? Nope, never seen her. Yeah, I heard her say something about a bomb in her suitcase. Gotta go, bye!” Instead I settled for making the big, horrified bug-eyes at her, waving my arms wildly in the air and hissing “Shhhht upppp!” “What?” she said. “It’s not like I HAVE -” “SHHHHHT UPPPPPPPP!” I hissed again, horrified. And to my relief she did shut up. When we were walking away from the counter and there were no other people within earshot, I said in her ear “You do NOT need to even THINK the word “bomb” when you’re in an airport!” Naturally, she wanted an explanation. “Why? How come you shouldn’t even say the word? Whyfor? Howcome?” “BECAUSE I SAID SO.” Fortunately, that still works. We got to the security thingy (that’s the official name) where they send you through the metal detector, and they’ve changed it now so that about 10 feet in front of the metal detector/ x-ray machine, there’s a guy at a podium who looks at your ticket and (in my case) temporary boarding pass and gives you a stern “I know you did it! Just admit it!” look designed to make the guilty person break down in tears and confess all. From there, Podium Man (Podium Man, Podium Man, doing the things a podium can…) can direct you either straight ahead to the x-ray/ metal detector, or to the right to a small enclosed area. He directed me to the former, and the spud to the latter. I was through the metal detector and my purse through the x-ray machine in less than a minute, and I stood and waited for the spud. In the enclosed area, they patted her down and then led her to a spot where they wanded her down. The pin on her shirt – the one indicating to all and sundry that she was an unaccompanied minor – set off the wand, and the wand lady made her take it off. Once she’d been wanded and cleared, they got her belongings from the bin they were sitting in after going through the x-ray machine, and thoroughly searched her bag. And then finally, after finding no contraband items, no bombs, no guns, no knives, they let her go. I waited with her at the gate until the gate agent took her to the plane, and then I watched through the window until they shut the door to the plane and started backing away from the gate. And then I went home and said to Fred “Now I can walk naked across the bedroom without worrying that she’ll be standing in the doorway watching me, and will be scarred for life!” It’s oddly quiet around here.
Sunday, we drove to the Cathedral Caverns – which Fred visited a few weeks ago with the spud – and took the tour. It was pretty cool, all in all, and I impressed myself by not bitching about the fact that there was so much hilly walking. For some reason I’d assumed it would be a fairly level walk, and it very much so was not. But my legs were apparently just relieved that I wasn’t going to make them lift weights, and cooperated, thank god. At the end of the tour, when the guide turned all the lights off, was my favorite part. As I said to Fred later, “That’s how dark I wish I could get the bedroom at night!” I found it oddly soothing. Possibly I wouldn’t have found it quite so soothing if the guide hadn’t been RIGHT there, ready to turn the lights back on, and also if I hadn’t known that Fred had a flashlight in his hand. But I swear I could have curled up with a blanket and napped for a good long time.
Pet store kitty pictures from yesterday are here.]]>