Last week was certainly an eventful seven days in my life, not to mention the lives of my oldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson.
I mentioned the birth of our fifth grandchild, Paige Marie, in last week’s column, but hadn’t learned the half of it.
Everything was planned for Paige’s arrival April 25. We even changed our flights on a couple of occasions to better suit our commitments at work, while still making it to Frisco (that’s Texas, not San Francisco) in plenty of time.
Then the text came flying into my phone telling us Paige had other plans.
Just like her mother, she decided to enter the world on a Tuesday – a “paper day” in my world.
After coming to the realization Paige had arrived, on her terms, we calmly boarded our flight out of Corpus Christi, with plans to change planes in Houston, and continue to Dallas.
Due to the weird weather across the country, many flights were delayed, including our flight out of Corpus Christi.
That didn’t present a problem because we still had plenty of time to make our connection.
However, when we pulled to the gate in Houston, my wife jumped up and said, “Let’s go.”
I said, “What’s the rush? We have more than 30 minute to spare.”
She basically told me I was “mistaken”, which was a slap to me since I take great pride in being our travel agent!
Then she showed me her boarding pass for the connecting flight.
She was booked on a different flight to Dallas.
I would have relinquished by “travel agent” title had I done something wrong, but I knew I didn’t mess it up.
The reason I say that is when my wife and I fly together she flies free because of her Southwest Airlines’ (SWA) Companion Pass.
I book all our flights the first time, but if we have to make any changes, I call and talk to a SWA agent.
The bottom line is the agent somehow booked us on separate flights, which I could never do via the website due to Companion Pass rules (i.e. – it’s called Companion Pass, not “Next Flight” pass, for a reason).
My wife was anxious to get to the hospital so I told her just to take the flight she was scheduled for and I’d meet her about an hour later at Dallas Love Field.
When she was about to board, the SWA agent got on the microphone and said, “Grandma”.
My wife didn’t hear, so I ran her down. They were trying to get us on the same flight (my later one).
That didn’t work out so my wife boarded and I headed to get something to eat.
All of a sudden, again, on the microphone, the same agent calls out, laughing this time, “Grandpa”.
I immediately turned around and she told me to hurry up and get on the same flight my wife was on.
There was one seat.
The story doesn’t end there.
I boarded the plane and began my stroll down the aisle looking for the lone remaining center seat.
There were no seats.
The flight attendant asked, “Sir, you can’t find an open seat?”
I tried to make a joke about being an Aggie, and that I might have just missed seeing it.
We traversed the aisle together and came to the joint conclusion there was no empty seat.
Then, out of nowhere, she came up with the bright idea of asking the mother and father with an obvious under-two-year-old child if they had bought a ticket for their child.
They said no, had to put the child in their lap, and I had my seat.
Talk about feeling bad. It seemed like “Move that child from his seat so this grandpa can sit”, but it worked out well.
We both had to get our carry on bags checked, after boarding, which was another first for us. It also delayed us getting to the hospital.
The day we flew to Dallas was the day the first floor of one of the parking garages flooded, damaging 20-plus vehicles.
The woman sitting next to me told me she had flown to Houston the day before, and had originally parked on that level, but moved to the third level because the parking spot was “too tight” for her vehicle.
I have no idea if she was telling the truth, but she seemed relieved, and it sure fit in line with everything else that was happening.
We got to the hospital and had a nice visit with the Wilson clan, sans grandson, who had already gone to sleep.
The next day we got up, drove their car to the hospital, and took Uber back to their house so they could make the trip home together as a new family of four.
That afternoon (Thursday) was spent admiring our newborn granddaughter and playing with our grandson.
We had an 8 o’clock flight home that night, which would put us back in Rockport at midnight … if all went well.
We arrived at the airport and the board said “Flight 5 canceled.”
I had to get the paper out that night.
Then my wife said, “Where in luck, our flight is 55, not 5.”
Later on we noticed Flight 5 was actually the first flight out the next morning, so I was making a Plan B (how long will it take to drive home in a rental car) for no reason.
Our flight home was more than an hour late, but we didn’t have to change planes in Houston, so I knew we’d make it back to Corpus Christi that night.
We got back home a little after 1 a.m. Friday morning.
Luckily, I was in good shape with my stuff for the weekend edition, which had to be at press by 6 a.m. Friday morning.
It was a crazy whirlwind trip, but it didn’t compare to my granddaughter’s birth.
My daughter woke her husband at 1:07 a.m. Tuesday, April 23 and said it was time to hit the road for the hospital.
Paige arrived about 40 minutes later.
She is, of course, precious as can be.
What a week!
Until next week, have a good week.
Mike Probst can be reached at email@example.com.