Wednesday, March 25, 2009

All My Bags are Packed...I'm Ready to Go!


No matter how busy I am, I know there is a part of me that needs to be (as they say) the recipient of the first oxygen mask. I've learned the importance of being able to breathe.... so that I can still help others. I've learned to take time to change priorities and do things for myself..... just because I really, really need to.

I decided while previously in Alaska, that I really NEEDED an ID wallet. I sat waiting to take off from the Juneau, Alaska airport last year...sitting next to my legally blind mother, who also has moderately advanced Alzheimer's....and waiting for the rest of my family to return from their 'frantically trying to fit a lot in' trip to a store while I sat out my 2 hr security wait. They left my mother with me at the airport...so I could spend every last minute with her and because shopping is just too hard on her, anymore. I was happy to be with her and happy to be able to just sit!

Even though Juneau is the capital city of Alaska, our airport is quite small, the waiting area is even smaller yet. But now the Juneau Municipal Airport has been upgraded.... to having two floors and an escalator. My mother and I were lucky to even find two seats.... but those two seats were right by the top of that escalator.

As I watched people going up and down, down and up, running up against the flow, running down, even faster than the flow, and then of course, some of them...even trying to beat the flow by going against it. And I thought about all of the challenges and dangers a simple escalator poses...and how it's almost a metaphor for the hectic pace of our own lives.

Little did I know, that 1 1/2 hrs. later, I would be in that frantic flow....at the top of the escalator, frantically praying that someone...anyone I knew.... would come sit with my mom. I was about to miss my flight. And there are only two flights out to Seattle a day. And this was the second one.

I heard the first call for passengers to board. Not go through security...board. I heard the final call for passengers to board...not go through security which I hadn't done yet...board.

And then, my prayers were answered...here comes my desperately, frantic brother...running as fast as he could up the escalator to meet us. I barely had time for explanations or time to hug my mom and tell her that I loved her... before I had to run...as fast as I could... another 20' to security. When I got there...well, have you guessed it yet?

No I.D.

A ticket, a purse, two carry-ons, a bag of 2 oz or less liquids all ready to set out.... and no driver's license. They were holding the plane for a babbling woman with no photo ID.

I babbled about having had it at ticketing...just 2 hours before.... that the agent could identify me... that I had all kinds of credit cards to prove who I was....but nope, no driver's license photo ID. And they HAD to have it. And I couldn't find it!

By that time, I'd babbled, dumped, searched, babbled some more...the tears were starting to back up and flow over... but no photo I.D. And they did not have happy faces. And someone pushed the secret button on me, too! You know, the one that says...'we've got a problem' and 'passenger going berserk' and 'no photo Id.'

I knew then, that I needed an ID wallet and I'd wear it around my neck...just like a Quilt Guild badge ID and then maybe, next time...I wouldn't be surrounded by 4 TSA agents...all with 'very serious we mean business' faces.

And yes, I made myself breathe, and yes, I finally found my driver's license...sandwiched between some credit cards in the wrong place in space and time. Just exactly like I often am.

I learned from that lesson at least...my oxygen mask is firmly in place. Ta da...my newly created ID wallet.

I may have been too tired to think, or follow any directions on any pattern...but I still managed to make one! And somehow, best of all, I managed to find the time...just for me, for something I wanted and needed to have and to do.

North to Alaska...early tomorrow morning, with my photo ID AND my ticket, both together and ready... in the right place...for all of the right times!



(And I can also use it at Quilt Guild...with my membership card, some cards to share and a pen and a tiny tablet in that outside pocket on the back!)

12 comments:

  1. ...and for a while there I was holding my breath for you. I'm glad you have this for yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Okay, now I've got to go make me one of those. Have a safe trip, and enjoy the time with your parents as I'm sure you will. Although I know it can be a lot on you taking care of them, so take care of yourself too. Will be thinking of you, Donna

    ReplyDelete
  3. Breathe, Michele, breathe! I could only imagine your frustration at the airport. This trip will be smooth sailing... well done! I am praying for a safe and peace-filled journey home.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Safe trip. Take care of yourself and don't forget to breathe!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wishing you a safe trip too! And BREATH!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Such a simple solution to help ease the journey. Safe travels.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a great idea! No digging around looking for it in your purse, no stress, immediately handy!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've gone to the airport before without an id. I felt like a fool, but with all the other pieces of credit cards, etc., and my young daughter vouching for me, they went ahead and gave me a ticket and took my luggage. Very smart of you to make an id wallet, and a pretty one at that.

    ReplyDelete
  9. My heart goes out to you!! You are so right, this little bag will take care of all those "important documents" needed when traveling!

    Safe travels!
    joanne

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow, what a story and scare. And your solution in making this great travel tool is a brilliant way to ensure peace of mind in traveling. I wish you and your family well on this trip.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I was just wandering and landed here.

    I don't know you, but I'm proud of you. Not only for your family challenges, but how you learned from a difficult situation and turned it into a positive action. And then you were generous enough to share it with others.

    Thank you.
    Darilyn

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow, what a GREAT idea, I can't wait to make one!! I just found your blog and love it, nice to meet you!

    ReplyDelete

Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon. Leave a comment and your blog will be visited, as well!