Monday, August 9, 2010
Kelly and Sterling headed off with Casey to fly to Kansas last Thursday, a trip they've made many times before but always on a direct flight.
Now there are no direct flights between KC and Austin, and even though the plane change was just at Love Field, we were nervous about their negotiating it all by themselves. After thinking it over, we decided to send Casey, the Ranch Case Manager, along on the first leg to do some real-life training.
Don't think I've never tried! On many a flight together I would stand with Kelly at the Arrival-Departure boards doing everything but twisting her ear to make her look at them and locate our next gate. All I ever got were eye-rolls and sighs of exasperation. Moms don't get no respect!
Casey, however, enjoys an exalted status here at the Ranch among the Ranchers. If Casey says it you can count on it then it's right and it's true. Casey is their wise counselor, slayer of dragons, advocate, Jewish mother and Dutch uncle all in one. Because she performs these roles with elan, humor, and compassion they love her. And they listen to her.
So off they flew.
I called Casey late Thursday to see how things had gone. She said that--somewhat surprisingly--Kelly had taken the lead in locating the flight and the gate. The most confusing part turned out to be distinguishing between the arrivals and departures screens.
Yesterday they returned. I'd told sister Carolyn to tell them to meet me in the baggage claim area. In other words, I would not get a pass to meet them at the gate. I wanted them to figure it out.
A few minutes after the plane landed my phone rang.
"Hi!" said Sterling. "Where are you?"
"Downstairs in baggage. Where are you?"
"We here," he said, irrefutably.
"You need to find the escalators and come down to where you get your bags."
Five minutes later the phone rang again. "We not find it."
"Ask someone at a desk to help you," I said. I was determined not to intervene by alerting someone upstairs to direct them.
Several minutes later the phone rang again.
"Where are you?" I asked.
"Looking you talk on phone," he said impishly.
I turned around and there they were, grins wide as--yes--Kansas itself.
They already had their bags. It had been 30 minutes since the first phone call.
Our plan worked out to be, all in all, a great success. Small steps open up big adventures.
And we're getting there.