NAVIGATING THE MAZE, PART 2: Winding Around and Around…and AROUND!


Jeff’s coming home from his two-day trip to a POWUR conference in San Diego! Oh, happy day!

Only one hitch: the plane will arrive early Monday morning. Well, one thing you have to know is that neither one of us is an early-riser. We wake up around ten and eat breakfast at noon. So, in order for me to meet his plane on time at 5:09 a.m, I set my alarm for 3:30 a.m to allow time to take a shower, fix my face, and choose my outfit. Since the route to the airport is still fresh on my mind, and Jeff has said the plane would arrive at Terminal E, all I need to do is get there and follow the road to “arrivals”. Check, check, and check. Gotcha.

On second thought, make that, “don’t gotcha”.

6:10 a.m. — I  awake with a start, wondering why it’s already so bright, outside. I glance at the time. Yikes!  Jeff must wonder where the heck I am! Sure enough, there are five messages from Jeff.

“I here.”

“Where R U?”

“U ok?”


and, finally, “Phone battery going down.”

So, while I’m trying to wake up, I call him to say I’m on my way as soon as I throw on some clothes.I have no idea why my alarm didn’t wake me up.

“No hurry, babe,” he says. “Just get here soon as you can.”

So I throw on my clothes, brush my teeth, and grab my purse. This time, I know which exit to take and which lane to be sure I’m in. Before I know it, I pull up in front of Terminal E and text “Here.”

So where is my hot and sexy husband?

“No, you’re not,” he replies.

Ack! Okay, Kim. Circle around, again.

Well, anyone who has been to DFW Airport, recently, can understand. There is no such thing as a quick turn-around. After finding my way out of a tunnel of construction and winding up almost to the toll gate, I see a lane way over to the left marked “Return to Terminals”.

Thank you, Jesus, I whisper, as I scooch on over to the left.

A bell clangs in my head.

“Round Two. We’re going to get it right, this time.”.

Alas and alack, minutes later, I wind up in the same place: “Departures”.  Where did I go wrong, I wondered. I flogged myself a couple of times and smacked my forehead, just for good measure.

As I take the other fork on the “Arrivals” and “Departures” ramp , I choose the path I didn’t take the first two times.

Now this is looking familiar, I’m thinking, as warm fuzzies encircle me. But it gets even better when I see Jeff approaching. I’ve finally done it right. After he throws his bag in the back, he comes around to my side to let me out and drive us home.

Out of curiosity, I pull out my phone which I had set for 3:30 a.m….or so I thought. I had even double-checked it. But, after two nights of sleeping fitfully and alone, I should have known better than to trust my foggy brain.

On our way home, I pull out my phone and check the time I had set for the alarm. I was halfway right. I did set it for 3:30…P.M?  With love and understanding in his bloodshot  eyes, Jeff chuckles. “My bride,” he says, patting my knee.

So here we are, back at home.  I have survived another harrowing trip to DFW International Airport. As Jeff snores, upstairs, I’m downstairs in my recliner, Mac in lap, mighty thankful I’m alive to tell the tale.


NAVIGATING THE MAZE: Winding Around and Around at DFW Airport


In all the months Jeff and I have been married, we’ve been together almost all the time. I can count the number of nights we’ve been away from each other. Exactly one, when he did “Opa-duty” that turned out keeping him overnight at his daughter’s house when I had to teach.

But recently, an opportunity for a two-day meeting in San Diego cropped up. What he stood to learn from this two-day stint could greatly improve our lives and our pocketbooks. It sounded like exciting stuff!

So, yesterday morning, I hitched up my “big girl” bloomers and drove my husband to DFW International Airport for his flight. The night before, we agreed (sort of) that I  find my way back home easier if I drove him there, to begin with.

*Slapping forehead* What was I thinking?

You must know, up front, that I believe in starting out early, giving myself plenty of turn-around time, in case I goof up. So, before bedtime, I set the alarm for 5:45 a.m. so we could make it in time for his 8:50 a.m. departure. Early, much? You bet! Still, I’ve learned, particularly when it comes to flying, that it is much easier to be early and have nothing to do but hang around rather than zipping down the road and swerving around traffic that had the nerve to be on the road at the same time we were.

It was one of those situations. The same sunglasses that shielded my eyes from the sun also blinded me to the dashboard of our car. When I was glancing at the dash, I needed to be watching the roads which zigged and zagged.

On the way there, I remembered  why I hate driving to the airport. Left turns here and right turns there are not gradual; they are sharp, immediate, and, too often, after-the-fact. Invariably, I’m always in the left lane when I need to be in the right.

Before we left, Jeff warned me that he was not a good passenger, no matter who is in the driver’s seat. Must be a “dude” thing. Anyway, I believe him. As tears stung my eyes, I had to remind myself, “He’s just nervous, Kim. Nothing personal.”

So, we  made it all the way to the South Entrance toll booth, So far, so good. But when we pulled up to the arm that was supposed to swing up and let us through, it didn’t. The attendants ignored us until my usually-sweet-tempered hubby whammed on the horn and yelled, “Hey, you over there! Get over here and help us!”

Yes, I’ll admit I’m a chicken-liver about driving anyone to the airport. In fact, the times I’ve flown out, I’ve either ridden the TRE (“alphabet-soup” for Trinity Railway Express) or hitched a ride on Super Shuttle there. Even my own sons, knowing how I shrink from the idea, have driven themselves to the airport.  I can usually find my way home back.

Key word:  “usually”.

While driving around and around in the parking garage “labyrinth”, I got hopelessly and claustrophobically lost while trying to find my way out. Instead of the South Entrance, exit, I wound up taking the North one through Grapevine. But, hey, by then, I was on my way home after depositing Jeff in time his 8:50 a.m. flight. He did make it, didn’t he?

Nope. I no sooner got home when he texted me. “Missed plane. Waiting for another flight.” The important thing was, he cooled down and I realized I had lived through it.

The best part of all was getting his text. “I’m sorry. I love you.”

That said, which airports do you particularly hate and why?