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Monday, February 25, 2008

running away from home

i'm running away from home. in mid renovation. the cabinet maker doesn't come for another month, and the mess is getting inside my head. can't do much about it till the cabinets come in a month so i'm escaping.

As I stroll aimlessly with my cart of luggage through the Edmonton International Airport, I enjoy the first free time I’ve had in months. I find a comfy seat and pull from my spiffy new suitcase (the first real luggage I’ve ever owned – a lovely set of tone-on-tone chocolate bags I hope to get a good deal of use from in the coming years) ….. I pull from my elegant bag a book brought from my local library for this express purpose. My librarian would be mortified to know the book is flying to Ottawa with me. She’s very possessive about her books. Hates to see them leave town without an official escort. Especially in my hands, as I’ve been known to leave more than one treasured tome all alone in the wide world, with no way home. It’s a habit that somewhat offsets the financial benefits of a library membership – it might be more cost effective to buy the books I want to read. My local library charges me far more than the value of the lost item, in an attempt to guarantee their books’ safe return. I sigh, fork over the cash, and think of it as a donation… both to the library, and to the finder of the book, who I fervently hope appreciates the gift. Neither, however, proffers a charitable receipt for my generosity.

Hours later, having read half the book, I go for another stroll, in search of an electrical outlet to plug my laptop into, as its charge is very low after surfing and checking emails last night and this afternoon. Having very little experience with airports, I’m not sure if this is typical, but after cruising the entire length of the building, the only outlet I can find is behind a Conquest Vacations kiosk, which is unmanned at this late hour. How do the maintenance folks power their floor sweepers and scrubbers? Surely it’s not all done by broom, bucket and mop? In a building that probably uses as much electricity per day as the small town I live in, there are no electrical outlets? Bizarre!

I’m on my way to Ottawa, for a week’s visit to dear friends who moved there last summer, from Calgary. I’m a sort of surrogate granny to their small children. As they’re moving back to Calgary in March, this is my last chance to visit them in Ottawa. Yes, it would make more financial sense to visit them in Calgary, which is closer to home, but Calgary doesn’t have the Rideau Canal. Since I first learned of its existence, I’ve wanted to skate the Canal. I guess you could say it’s on my Bucket List. And I had enough air miles to do it @ very little cost. So I’ve been counting the sleeps.

Of course, traveling on air miles, my selection of flights is less than optimal. Hence the long wait @ Edmonton International. But after the hectic pace of the last few months, being ‘stuck’ in an airport for 9 or 10 hours with nothing by my laptop and a good book is no hardship at all.

as i wait for the plane, i see workers with brooms, buckets and mops.... they really do keep this huge place clean w/o mechanical sweepers etc!!


susan said...

I spent some time in Ottawa but never in winter so didn't get to skate the canal and now I'm pretty sure the knees are no loger up to the challenge. I hope you have a great time.

You've been added to my blogroll - sorry for the delay :-)

Gary said...

Nice journal entry! Have a good trip and enjoy the canal.

Whatcha reading?

lindsaylobe said...

I trust all goes well with your renovation, it's a good idea to move out!

I can relate to your Airport experience.

We recently took a plane trip to Sydney and because of an accident on the way, missed our flight, having to wait another 5-6 hours before departure.

On the return From Sydney we encountered torrential rain on the way to the airport which closed it temporarily. Eventually once ready to depart, we were further delayed for several hours whilst an inebriated passenger was escorted from the plane, with further delays locating baggage.

As you say Airports are not friendly place for delayed travellers.

Best wishes

grannyfiddler said...

susan - it's a beautiful thing, skating that canal... like sliding through history. had a marv time. coming soon to a blog near you! i've just noticed the edit toggle, and added some of my blogfriends as well. she can be taught!

gary - thanks. it was a nice trip. i've decided my next trip to Ottawa will be in Autumn, and i'll kayak the canal. it's a beautiful city. at the time i was reading The Assasain's Song, by M G Vassanji.... and What On Earth Have I Done? by Robert Fulghum... and something else much less memorable, which i've already forgotten the name of. ...and all the books made it safely back home to the library.

LL - i'm usually fascinated by airports, and the people in them, but the return trip was hellish... turbulence, delayed planes, lost luggage, and, to top it off, i ended up stranded outside a locked airport @ 1 a.m. tearfully waiting for a cab that never came. a sweet girl who worked for WestJet, just getting off work rescued me.