For a while I was alone at Gate 14 with a couple of exceptions. Finally another elderly woman was wheeled up beside me at the gate. She was headed to San Antonio but was most distressed because she had lost her cell phone somewhere and wanted to know if there were any old fashioned pay phones anywhere in the airport. Beats me! When did I last see a pay phone anywhere? She needed to be able to call her caregiver who was waiting in the cell phone parking lat at the San Antonio airport for her arrival. I told her she was welcome to use my phone but she couldn’t remember the number. We chatted a bit as all the seats around us began to fill and about six families with small children and babies gathered for the pre-boarding to Oklahoma City. And that doesn’t count the three other wheel chair occupants that had gotten in line. My next chair neighbor had a metal walker hanging on the side of her chair and she got up to search for a phone asking me to make sure that no one took her wheel chair. So now I’m a wheelchair monitor who is beginning to get really hungry and wants to pee. The pre-boards go down followed by columns A and B. This time a good looking pilot comes and offers to wheel me down. I told him only if he were going to Cabo and buying the drinks. “I’m not interested in Oklahoma City.” My next chair neighbor returns and seems a little less distraught. The surrounding seats are empty again, it’s an hour til my flight and the gate checker person has gone…a good time to sneak off to the restroom leaving my unwheeled wheelchair by the gate in hopes that it will still be there when I get back. My next chair buddy was gone again. I made it to the restroom and even risked a trip to the Starbuck’s kiosk for a skinny vanilla latte and a chocolate croissant. Geezus, but that was the best coffee and croissant ever. No gate keeper even knew I had escaped on able and willing legs. And my chair was still there. My neighbor returned and even offered to throw away my trash on her next trip away from the gate with her walker as long as I saved her chair.
Finally at 2:05 we began boarding for the flight to San Antonio. I was gratefully rolled down, assisted into the plane and seated. A completely full flight as I think they all are these days and we were off. Oh thank God! Another adventure coming to a close. Life is indeed a cosmic joke.