Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Stitching Therapy

I was so stressed last night that I sat down and pulled out my stitching and worked on it while Dave and my mother worked at packing around me.

I left home at 10.30am to drive out to the airport and pick up Mum, who was coming up to help us with the move. There had been some fog around Auckland that morning and Dave had suggested I check if Mum's flight was actually coming before I left. I looked at the flight information on the Auckland Airport website and it said it was, just a little late, so off I went.

I was a little dubious when I drove over the Harbour Bridge and there was fog under me, but the sky was clear and I was still 45 minutes or so from the airport so I kept going.

I got to the airport to find it fog-bound, full to overlowing with people, queues out to eternity and no reliable information about what was going on.

About 15 minutes after it was supposed to land, the flight board finally declared that Mum's flight had been cancelled. I called my father, who said he'd left the airport after she got on the plane. He decided to head back home and see if she was there. She wasn't. I got Dave to check our home landline to see if there were any messages. There weren't.

After some discussion, we decided I'd wait to see if the next flight from Palmerston North made it through and if she was on that. About half an hour before that one was due to land, planes finally started getting in and out. The Palmy flight arrived about 1.30pm and there was no sign of my mother. She's a diabetic and it was well after lunchtime by then, so I was beginning to get rather worried.

My father drove out to the PN airport to see if she was there. Once again, she wasn't. He's far, far more paranoid about her diabetes than anyone else and he was getting even more worried and cross that there was no-one around at the airport to give him any information. In the end he went back home and got on the phone to try to find someone at Palmerston North airport who could tell him something.

I got in the queue for Air New Zealand information. As this was the same as the queue for ticket booking and heaps of people needed new flights I didn't expect anything to happen fast. Which it didn't.

Just as I got to the front of the queue, Dad rang me back to say he had been told the flight had been diverted to Rotorua and the passengers had been put on a bus to Auckland. I finally managed to confirm this with the Air New Zealand staff member at the information counter. Clearly the lines of communication are far from perfect as it took her ages to track all the information down and then needed to ring the Rotorua airport to find out when the bus had left. All kudos to her; she did a great job on what must have been an enormously stressful day.

The bus had left at 12.30pm, and the woman suggested it would get in about 2 hours later. When I phoned Dave he said that was a ridiculous estimate and it would take more like 3 to 4 hours for the drive up from Rotorua.

So I finally tracked down the bus stop and sat out in the wind to wait for it as I figured Mum would have no idea I was still at the airport waiting for her and I didn't want us to miss each other.

In the meantime, Dave had phoned Marcus' daycare to see if they could keep him past his usual home time of 3.30pm until I could get back there to pick him up. Dave couldn't really do it since I had the car. Fortunately, they were quite willing to do that, so I could stop worrying about him. (Thank goodness it was a daycare day and I didn't have Marcus with me for the whole, stressful day. That would have made it much more stressful.)

The bus driver did a great job, arriving at the airport a little after 3.30pm. I found Mum, and happily found out she'd had enough time to get herself some lunch and wasn't having a hypo from low blood sugar. We got her bags, said goodbye to the potential Tall Black (NZ basketball team) she'd been sitting next to and headed towards the carpark.

We got caught in some of the rush hour traffic, but fortunately we were just ahead of the worst of it and we manage to pick Marcus up about 4.45pm, only 1¾ hours late.

That's why I was sitting on the sofa stitching while Mum and Dave packed a box or two each. I so needed to wind down and I figured doing the calm, repetitive actions of cross stitch would help. I did thank goodness; I don't need another day like that in a hurry. And the lady in Defender of the Kingdom is getting some hair, which I'm sure she's pleased about.

To look on the bright side...
Hooray for cell phones.
I got a reasonable amount of my book read.
Marcus was safely at daycare and not having a meltdown with me.
The pilot of Mum's plane, when told to go into a holding pattern, decided to do it over the Central Plataeu, so Mum and her fellow passengers got to enjoy the beautiful spectacle of the central mountains covered in snow while they waited.

I think you probably already got the down side.


AnneS said...

Oh boy, that scenario sounds sooooo familiar to me ;) (from the other side of the fence, though) Glad you all survived the experience in tact ... what would we do without our stitching at times like these? :D

Andie said...

Hi Kerry :)

I am sorry that you had such a stressful day! At least it ended well! I sent the kids up to their Dads on Saturday and their flight was cancelled too, their plane couldn't get out of Wellington to go to Christchurch because of the fog! It takes awhile but they are pretty good at sorting it aren't they?! I am enjoying watching your progress on Defender of the Kingdom! Just been looking through Character Creations..... oh my! I'm a gonner LOL