As anyone in or near Chicago knows, Tuesday, December 23, was a day of snow, snow, snow. News reports revealed that 400--or up to 700, depending on the report--airline flights from Chicago were delayed, and my flight to Tulsa was one of them.
It was snowing lightly at daybreak, and the weather news was not good. However, I had faith that the limo service I had engaged would get me to Midway Airport. The driver came as scheduled, and he was very helpful. Picture me trying to maneuver my walker, pull a suitcase, and carry a small travel bag and a purse. Having four hands would have been useful. The driver, a tall young Italian, had to carry the bags to the van and escort me through the ice and snow and help me get in. I avoided falling.
On the way to midway, we saw a lot of emergency equipment, including fire engines, and saw a rollover accident. Meanwhile, the snow kept falling. I arrived at Midway in plenty of time, and got the help I needed: a wheelchair and a boarding pass. Security was time-consuming, due to my recent knee replacements and my lack of agility, but I got through that too with the help of the wheelchair pusher.
As things turned out, our plane could not get in because of poor visibility and was diverted to Columbus, Ohio, and the airport was soon shut down, as I sat in the wheelchair and watched the windows turn white with snow. Eventually, the airport reopened, and I could see long trains of snowplows going everywhere, as well as de-icing trucks working on the few planes in sight.
As it turned out, we eventually got on the plane, only to see the snow begin falling again. I was afraid the the airport would close down again, and that we would be stranded overnight. But thanks to a truck labeled "Iceman 14," the plane was deiced and eventually took off for the first stop, St. Louis. It was raining there, not snowing, so there were no further delays on the way to Tulsa. However, the plane was at least five hours late.
I was so happy to see my niece, my grandniece, and my brother at long last! They kept track of the Chicago airport saga on line, and avoided a long wait at the Tulsa airport. My niece's husband has still not arrived from Texas, where he was on a job assignment. Apparently, the national air system hasn't quite recovered.
Christmas season travel can be brutal, but I'm happy to say that all turned out well for me. I hope that all of you who dare to travel this season have equally happy outcomes. I still love Chicago, in spite of the weather. And spending the holiday with family is priceless.