A Tale of Two Airports

Chicago, like many large cities has two airports; O’Hare and Midway. O’Hare is about an hour train ride from our house. Midway is about a 25 minute train ride from our house. Here is a really awesome diagram can show you the (general) layout of the two airports, the train lines and kind of sort of our house (the big blue dot).


(You can see why I didn’t go to art school.)

If you took the train from O’Hare to Midway it is an hour and twenty five minute train ride from airport to airport and it includes a line change.

You might wonder why someone might find out how long it takes to take the train from the doors of O’Hare to the doors of Midway….and I’m sure there are many reasons as to why, but sadly for us, we found out because we did not read our plane tickets closely…and…well….



Yes, after taking the train an hour out to O’Hare (and laughing at all the people sitting in traffic on the Kennedy Expressway and gloating at how smart we were to just take the train to the airport) we stood at the end of the train line, perplexed. Why was our airline not on the list of terminal assignments…. we looked and looked and then I said, jokingly of course “You don’t suppose our flight is out of Midway do you….?” and B laughed as well, and then all of sudden I heard him mutter an bad, bad word.

I don’t really need to fill you in on the details other than to apologize to anyone who might have been around us when this startling discovery was made at 4:32 pm, precisely one hour before our 5:32 pm flight to Atlanta. To say that there was almost an instantaneous divorce and/or two dead bodies right there in the train station at the airport is an understatement.

After we yelled words not to be repeated we both grabbed our suitcases and ran back to the trains, while throwing out the possibility of paying a cab driver $100 to get us to Midway in time to make our flight, but even as the absurd idea left our mouths it was dismissed- we knew that due to traffic on the Kennedy the ride would cost us well over $100 and we’d still miss our flight. So we sat on the train for an excruciating hour and a half and steamed and stewed and both decided that it was the most utterly stupid thing we had ever done. We were both equally at fault and both so mad that we had done something so utterly ridiculous. I mean really now, WHO GOES TO THE WRONG AIRPORT OTHER THAN STUPID TOURISTS?

Don’t answer that.

(We missed our flight.)

(Luckily the airline was very nice and rebooked us on the next flight, two hours later.)

(But they laughed at us when we told them what happened.)

(As they should have.)

And my family will never, ever, ever let us live this down. Which is saying a lot, because up until now our best story was about the one time we wrecked my Grandfather’s car on the way to meet the minister who married us for pre-marital counseling. Which, incidentally, is a pretty good story for another day.

(PS, I’m in the middle of a renovation around here, so please disregard the mess for the next few days while my sidebars & widgets are fixed and tweaked. Thanks!)

April Seventh

Today my heart is heavy for my friends, Heather & Mike Spohr and their sweet daughter Annabel.

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Today they mourn the loss of their eldest daughter and older sister, Madeline, instead of enjoying an early spring day.

i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)

Today you can go and leave them a kind word or a donation to their March of Dimes campaign.

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Bring Your Own Cheese

I’m sure by not mentioning my fire ears for at least two posts you thought they had just gone away.  You thought wrong.

Before we get going, please, get yourself some cheese. It will go well with my whine.

Last week, my ears swelled up after I had some ice cream to help wash my medicine down.

The next morning they were fine…but promptly puffed back up after some coffee and yogurt. This of course earned me a one way trip back to the dermatologist. They double booked me with two doctors, something that caused the nurses to eye me suspiciously and proclaim that this was just not done. I could *not* have an appointment with two doctors at the same time. They clucked and shook their heads, and then all acted surprised when both doctors walked in to see me.

Virus? Perhaps.

Food allergy? Quite possibly.

The craziest immune system response they had ever seen? Check.

I had a third cream (technically an ointment but that is a word I avoid at all costs) added to my rotation along with another round of antihistamines.

One 24 hour Allegra in the morning.  One 24 hour Zyrtec in the afternoon.  One 24 hour Allegra in the early evening. Two 6 hour Benadryl’s before bed. We tried adding Flonase, but it gave me bloody noses. Not…professional.

Creams in the morning, one for my neck, one for my ear.

Ointment in the evening, necessitating a headband for my hair and a special pillowcase.

I can take juice with some of the pills, but not others. No antacids within two hours of Allegra. Benadryl makes me sleepy. Zyrtec without a snack makes me fall asleep mid sentence, with a snack it wires me up before an epic crash. But….I don’t itch. I was ok with this cycle until my appointment (April 15th) with immunology and allergy for testing, starting with food reactions.

(Please, don’t let it be dairy. Life without goat cheese….)

(Ok fine, I like wine too, so I’m really hoping it isn’t sulfites. Sulfites are in everything.)

(Or eggs. I’m partial to runny yolks.)

(Actually, as long as I’m picking, can I be allergic to olives? Nasty little buggers.)

But then, last night, after four days of nothing remarkable…my ears swelled up again. B tried to tell me they hadn’t until I turned my head…and he agreed. Yes. They were red. The tell-tale line running down them, normal on one side, bright red and puffy on the other. The irony of it all, of course, is that my seasonal allergies are out of control right now. I’m nervous to add a decongestant to my arsenal so I’m relying on tissues and my NetiPot to get me through the stuffiness, but with the amount of antihistamines I’m on I have to call it what it is: totally not cool. Also: SERIOUSLY?

So please, come over. Bring your own medical mystery, I have plenty on my own.



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