Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Robin Redbreast

(A note to my readers from Facebook - click on the words "See original post" to view the whole of this post and also to see the photos.)

It isn't just the size of the bird that distinguishes the British Robin from the American one. The British bird is cute and small with a distinctive shape. It's depicted on many British Christmas cards along with snow, but we rarely actually get snow in Britain at Christmas. It does not live in flocks, but instead has it's own territory along with it's mate.
However the American Robin's shape is similar to that of many birds and it's much larger. I was surprised to see many of them today in a garden I passed on the way to the library. It looked to me that they are not territorial.

Of course my preference for the British Robin, or more precisely the European Robin, is probably familiarity. If I had grown up with the American Robin I may prefer that one.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Journey to Montana

Miraculously I received the funding to visit my new granddaughter (and her parents of course) for Christmas. I was so excited.

I got a flight on December 23rd. Three planes via Atlanta, and Salt Lake City.

I had spent the last few days making meals for the freezer for George and Marjorie, so they would have easy nutritious meals whilst i was away. I also cooked the turkey and bought all the other ingredients so David, their son-in-law would have everything to hand when they arrived on Christmas Eve. I also made sure the house was clean before I went because i had a feeling it would have to last 2 weeks.

As usual I didn't want to pack my case and procrastinated by setting out and covering the snacks on the table for all visitors when they arrived.

I arrived in Salt Lake City at 3 pm local time and saw that my connection, which was due to leave at 8 pm was delayed until 9:30 pm. I wondered how they knew so early in the day, but went ahead and looked around the shops, found another Christmas present for my girls and got something to eat. I found myself a lovely spot at a table surrounded by large pot plants in a part of the airport with little traffic, ate my meal and read my book and had a lovely afternoon. Just before 8 pm I decided to make my way to the gate so I would be in plenty of time and found out the plane was no longer delayed and was due to take off. When I got to the desk, the doors had closed! The lady told me she had paged me several times, but obviously only at that gate area, because i had not heard anything.

I was really upset because I was so looking forward to seeing my family, and I'd been waiting hours for the flight. The lady told me that was the last flight of the day and that, as it was my fault I missed the plane, I wasn't eligible for a free hotel bed or food. Apparently there had been a computer glitch and I should have checked at the gate to see if it was really delayed.

*So beware, travelers. Next time you see a delay notice, go to the gate to see if it's not a computer glitch.*

She did give me a pink slip to get a discounted bed, but I didn't think I had enough money for a hotel. Actually, I did have enough money but was in a scarcity mode and didn't feel I was worthy enough to spend it on a hotel room. On the other hand I didn't want to spend the night at the airport. I made a tearful phone call to Helen, to tell her not to pick me up and calmed down after I tapped on the meridian points on my face (EFT) whilst talking to her. I came to the conclusion it was OK and I would at least phone and find out what the room cost. The phone number I was given gave me the information of 3 hotels and amazingly the Marriott was the cheapest one. And so I chose that and got myself a ride to it.

It was a lovely room. I had no idea where my luggage was. I assumed it had gone to Bozeman. However, ever since my luggage went missing on route to Rome a few years ago, I've packed nightclothes and toiletries, and a change of clothes in my carryon case.

I ventured to turn on the TV in the room (which I've never done before in a hotel room) and found it didn't show normal TV. It had several channels and shows that required a fee but two channels were free. I loved them. They consisted of either a slide show or a moving picture of nature scenes to classical music.

The desk clerk had booked me a place on the next available flight, which was 8 pm Christmas Eve. However she told me to be at the airport in the morning as she had put me on standby for the first flight at 9 am. So of course I prayed that I was able to get that flight but was nevertheless happy with whatever God's will was. I had settled in a corner at the crowded gate with my crochet.

I got that flight, as did everyone else on standby, and arrived in sunny, snowy Bozeman that morning, greeted by all the family. It was Cara's first trip outside.

It was wonderful to see all the mountains and snow again.