All You Can Do is Laugh…

“You’re moving to Paris? How lucky! How fabulous! How romantic!”  It is a resounding “Oui” to all four statements, but I believe that genuine excitement begins when we actually get there~The trials getting our family and things transferred can certainly taint the idyllic scene that plays in all our heads when we think of moving to the City of Light.

After our “Beverly Hillbillies” exit from Southern California, my Yukon packed to the gills by a former Tetris champion, Liam and I  stopped in Tucson to see my family.  Two Thompsons, twelve moving boxes and nine suitcases encroached on my parents’ house, which is already full of an Air Force career of collectibles, baubles and heirlooms…and two dogs.  My goal was to sort, share and donate things from the moving boxes and repack the suitcases while enjoying time in the Old Pueblo.   With the SoCal exodus,  Wade headed to Brussels for meetings and would return to Tucson midweek to join in the  family festivities toasting our new adventure.  I had forgotten he had two suitcases with him…and all the accoutrements from our two cars.  Our time with family and friends was fabulous but the last 24 hours was spent trying to pare down and fit everything in our six suitcases~only to have things grabbed and shoved into the (already overstuffed) carry-ons, because each portmanteau was slightly overweight.

Arriving at the Tucson airport is usually an easy experience, except when the Griswald-Thompsons arrive. Playing musical suitcases with the scale as the judge meant a quick purchase of yet another large suitcase to at least temporarily resolve the overweight problem…And that’s when we were told that the airline made a mistake and we were allowed a little extra weight with Wade’s ticket and we didn’t need to buy the extra suitcase.  Did I mention we got to the airport an hour before we were to fly?

With forty minutes to takeoff, we raced to security.  Apparently we made the security guard grateful he had all his required training as I hear, “Holy ****, is that what I think it is?”  Well, yes, despite my husband’s nonchalant attitude of, “no big deal, I get randomly searched all the time”, our carryons managed to contain a hand carved knife, a box cutter, a wine opener and a Leatherman.  All these little trinkets were previously well ensconced in the checked bags, having been set aside during the move and then panickedly shoved into the suitcases. Liam’s meticulously packed backpack was pulled aside for the the dangerous six sided fidget spinner, masked as a Japanese throwing star. The plane was scheduled to leave in 15 minutes…

Having all that serrated paraphernalia thrown away, we race to the gate a la OJ Simpson, being greeted with, “Okay, the Thompsons are here, we can go.”  It honestly took longer for us to get through security in the little Tucson airport than it did to fly our first leg of our volitation to Paris.

Falling into graces on this trip?  Absolutely! While I wasn’t able to laugh quite as quickly as Wade could about the suitcase & security debacle,  I was able to see the kindness in the employees at the airport.  The American Airlines employee who took a very curious (and more than slightly worried) Liam as her helper as we moved and repacked.  The jovial demeanor of the screeners, and the shared sympathy of having to throw away a few necessary items when it could have been avoided.  The blessing of literally running into old friends while exiting our gate in Phoenix and catching up on their beautiful family.  The munificent welcome home when we finally arrived in Spokane.

With a few days here, we will be rested and ready to go east to our next adventure, but not without a few snags…We somehow lost Liam’s brand new, yet to be worn, winter jacket in the transfer and we got a call from my dad asking if  “this small silver suitcase with documents and checks that was left in the office is needed  right away?”  Seeing as we don’t leave for another 12 hours, I’m sure we’ll have a few more snags.  But the beautiful part of the journey is that despite the challenges, He gives us graces when we keep focused.

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