1992 Nikiski, Alaska
Have you ever had a dear friend that is such a delight to be around? Have you ever flown with a friend that goes on wonderful trips with you and you have so much fun that you end up laughing ever time you mention, “Bernie and Airports.” Everyone should take a trip with Bernie – what fun – well most of the time!
“Hi Bernie I am going to go see my sister Ginger in Colorado and my sister Elaine and the rest of the family. You wanna go with me?” Bernie lived in Colorado before her husband King, moved her unwilling body, soul and mind to ALASKA! When I first met her, she was an unhappy lady! It was so hard for her to adjust. She had such good friends in Colorado and she hated to leave them. I will always be grateful they moved to this area, because my life has not been the same since.
“OH sure I will go with you” she replied, “that would be so much fun — when?” We made all the arrangements and called relatives with our details and made the reservations. The day finally arrived for us to fly off to Colorado! But first we wanted to stop in Seattle and visit with my friend Jo Anne who had abandened me a long time ago and moved to Buckley, Washington.
We flew out of Kenai to Anchorage, on a small plane with too much luggage, the bulk of which we had transferred straight to Denver. We also had carry-ons with wheels, stuffed full that we pushed, pulled and shoved around. We called them wheelies. We also had great big purses with long straps that slung over our shoulders, weighted down with too much junk.
Our arrival in Anchorage was uneventful, after all, what can happen on a twenty minute flight? When getting off a plane in Anchorage, they stop the plane outside the terminal gate, open the airplane door and you are on your own. You retrieve your own “wheelies” out of the luggage compartment of the airplane and push and shove it into the airport. After all this is carry-on luggage. You become the luggage handler. Already I am having trouble with my big purse with a strap to long and a piece of over stuffed luggage with wheels on it.
Bernie, observing me and having trouble herself, stopped flat in her tracks inside the terminal, turned to me and said “These darn purses are in the way, here is how we are going to this, so that they do not hang off our shoulders and hurt our backs and everything will be easier to carry. She grabbed my long strapped purse and begins to wind it around and around the handle of the wheelie carry-on. She unclipped on of the clips to shorten the purse strap and reclipped it up tight to the handle of the wheelie luggage. Houdini could not have gotten it untied, let alone a purse snatcher! She did the same to hers.
Happy that we solved our problems we went off down the hall jabbering to each other, we arrived at the big airport cafeteria. She quickly stopped, “I’m hungry , are you?” Before I could say yes or yes, she was in line ordering fruit, roll and a juice. I do the same, but want coffee too.
She pushed and shoved her wheelie luggage through the little lane to the check stand, fished in her purse tied to her wheelie luggage, got out her money and paid for her food.
I look at my purse, that Houdini tied in knots and cannot get my hand into the purse to get to my billfold. I start to untangle the darn thing, ending up unclipping the long strap to my purse, to which the whole purse unwinds and starts to fall on the floor, which caused me to jerk up on the long strap. I eneded holding my arm high in the air over my head, so my purse would not fall on the floor. I bent down and retrieve my purse, got my money out and paid for the food and apologized to the waiting crowd behind me.
By then I am just a little embarrassed and a whole bunch agitated. I push, pull, shove the wheelie-thingie through the little slot-lane past the cash register, getting to the first little table just as my purse falls on the floor again. I was still holding the end of the long strap, I jerked up on it so it would not hit the floor again! I retrieved the purse again and flopped it on a little table. I try to get my red faced self and my luggage and purse in order.
I looked up to see where “my friend” Bernie was. She was hiding over in a corner next to the table, laughing so hard she had her legs crossed and tears running down her face. She pointed and broke out in a loud laugh, then bent over in hysterical laughter that made everyone turn and look at her and then at the person she was pointing at. ME!
I look at her wondering what was so darn funny. It was then I looked into the eyes of a gentleman peeking over his newspaper sitting at the same table I had slammed my purse down on. He immediately hid behind his paper and Bernie started laughing all over again.
I slung the wayward purse over my shoulder with the end of the strap and pushed-pulled and shoved the wheelie thing over to her. By that time she was in the booth with her head on the table in a total laughing heap.
I arranged my things so I could sit down and get out of the “lime light” and ask her what was going on, when I realized had left my food on the poor gentleman’s table. I went back to get my food and the gentleman and his newspaper were gone!
I shuffled back to laughing Bernie. She tried several times to tell me what happened Through the hooting and laughing she finally filled me in on her hysteria.
It seems I had yanked on the purse strap at the cash register and slung it around, just missing the gentleman at the table by inches. He pulled down his paper and looked at an unaware me, pulled his paper back up and hid behind it. I NEVER saw him! Then I slammed my purse down on his table, never realizing he was within inches of me.
Bernie saw the whole thing! She could have come to my rescue, but she was incapacitated by her laugher. My agitation melted into laughter and I finally saw the humor in my slinging, flying purse. We laughed uncontrollable and everytime we looked at each other it triggered Bernie’s giggle button and we were both a melted into a mess of laughter.
I do not remember eating anything! Between the squeals and bouts of laughter, we realized we needed to get to the boarding gate for Seattle. It was time to push pull, shove the wheelie thingies to the gate, so we could finally be on our way to Seattle where my good friend Jo Anne Wahstrom, was picking us up for a short visit at her home in Buckley. It was good to see her! That was the first stop and then on to Denver.
Next week: Our arrival in Denver, Bernie’s purple hat and my Mom.
Have a grand August. I love Alaska!