Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mindy is a Gift That Keeps on Giving!

How else can you describe a kid that keeps you on your toes?  Here's the story:

Several weeks ago, Mindy told us that it was unlikely that she could get off work to come home for Christmas.  Ever the optimist, I booked her flight for Christmas Eve anyway (returning the day after Christmas).  I gave her a deadline of December 17 to let me know one way or the other.  All along, she kept saying that she felt bad asking for time off since everyone wanted off for Christmas.  And when she handed the business manager her request, she said he just laughed.  

On the Monday after Thanksgiving Mindy called me to whine that she wasn't getting any days off for the next two weeks.  I immediately responded, "That's ridiculous!  You need to tell your boss that you need a day to take care of personal business (besides her car issues, her brand new dryer hasn't been working for months)."  She quickly cheered up and said, "Oh, no, mom, it makes me feel really important!  I just wanted you to feel sorry for me!"  I swear, if she was standing in the room, I would have smacked her.  After that, we discussed the possibility that if she was working so long and hard, that surely she would get Christmas off. (Her longest day was 5:30 a.m. to midnight---but she averages 12 hour days. Butch and I figure that the great salary she makes really averages out to about a buck 65 an hour).

Last Wednesday, as I was sitting at Stephanie's for 4 hours waiting on the plumber (yes, we're back to those kinds of duties again), Mindy called to say that she couldn't come home.  Although I didn't ask, I knew that she didn't ask.  I think she knew they would have said "yes" and then she would have felt guilty.  I swear, if she was standing in the room, I would have smacked her!  When I got home, I was happy to be able to change her flight for Christmas day, but unhappy that the first flight was booked.  That meant that she wouldn't get home until after noon.  Oh well, better than nothing.  

After much discussion with the family, we decided to completely switch all of our festivities around---no small feat as it involves changing things with the "in-laws" and "ex-laws" with the Lapps and Jacksons.  We got it all worked out.  

On Saturday night at 11:30 p.m. Mindy called to say, "Mom, guess what?  I'm off on Christmas Eve!"  I swear, if she had been standing in the room, I would have smacked her!  Here I am at midnight, keeping my fingers crossed that I could change her flight.  I guess God really wanted her home with us because I was able to book her on the earliest flight. Yippee, we were all happy!  We went about re-arranging all of our plans back to how we usually do things:
Christmas Eve
Big breakfast in the dining room
Santa of the sleigh
Clean-up and food prep for the evening
Family movie (this year A Christmas Story)
A Christmas Story trivia game
Fun, food and gifts begin
Late night poker game

Butch got up this morning first---a little before 6 a.m.  I got up shortly after and was reading in the living room in front of the fireplace when the phone rang.  Not unusual as Mindy always calls to let us know if her plane is on time.  Butch answered and I immediately knew something was wrong.  He kept saying, "Mindy, Mindy, calm down.  I'll have your mom see what she can do.  We'll call you back!"  She missed her flight!  She was sobbing that her phone, upon which she had set the alarm, battery died during the night, thus didn't go off.  She was hysterical and she couldn't do anything with Southwest online.  I swear, if she was standing in the room, I would have smacked her!

I got on the phone to discover that there were still some seats available on the 10 a.m. flight (thank you God).  There was a slight catch, she had to check in by 9 a.m. as Southwest has a 2 hour grace period for no additional charge.  The woman told me that they are very strict about the time limit. Not wanting to take the chance that the few remaining seats would be gone, I was willing to pay $172 for the flight. The agent told me that I really didn't need to do that as there were plenty of seats.  (Side note:  Southwest is by far the best and easiest airline to work with---cheap and flexible and you don't have to pay for luggage! How is it that the other airlines can't follow their business model?).

We called Mindy back with the good news.  But, I swear, when she gets here, I'm going to smack her! After that, we're going to have a very, merry Christmas!  I hope you all do too!!

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