I have Google thoroughly confused. In this new, unnerving age of computers guessing our every whim, mine got used to tailoring its search results for Oxford, UK. Now, however, I am insisting on search results for Oxford, Mississippi, but it’s having a hard time adjusting.
Katherine and I flew to Memphis the day after Independence Day. When I woke Katherine early that morning, she immediately climbed out of bed and quietly got ready. We were out the door by seven, caught the bus to London, and checked in for our flight with no problems. Our long flight went well. Although the white noise was too loud to encourage much mother-daughter bonding time (reading her books made me hoarse from trying to “whisper” over the engine noise), Katherine played quietly and even consented to take a nap (!) in the seat next to me. I introduced play dough into her world, and that bought me nearly two hours of quiet play time. Probably the best one-dollar purchase I’ve ever made!
As we waited for our second flight in Newark, I finally got tired of waiting around for a gate agent to appear and took Katherine to the next gate over so that she would have more time to play. Unfortunately, when I got back to the gate, our flight information had disappeared. In a panic, I approached the United representatives, who told me that my flight had left, twenty minutes earlier, from the very gate I had been haunting for the past three hours. I don’t know whether I got the wrong “local time” information during my long flight, whether I made a mistake as I was setting my watch, or what else might have transpired, but the lady was pretty clear that forty other people managed to find that plane, and I was the only one to have missed the boat!
So, tired, and suddenly in a panic, I found that I’d been rescheduled for a different flight, leaving from a different terminal, in half an hour. Katherine and I raced through Newark, boarded a flight to Chicago, and, once we’d landed, waited around for a delayed flight from Chicago to Memphis. We arrived in Memphis shortly after midnight (6:30 UK time), where my long-suffering parents picked us up and drove the hour-and-a-half down to Oxford, MS. Katherine, bless her heart, slept again on the last flight, happily chatted away when she saw her grandparents, slept all during the ride home, and was happy to be tucked in bed. I went to bed around 4am, or 10am UK time, and we all slept until 11 that morning! I could certainly have done without all of the extra drama, but I was really impressed by how patiently Katherine played her way through the day. We barely even touched her books and toys; she was most interested just watching other people in the airports (though, as the day got later and nerves frayed, I was sorry that she got to witness a couple of adult temper tantrums). She also chatted up a number of other people who were waiting, though she was reluctant to strike up conversations with other kids.
Since we woke up Friday morning, we’ve had time to make brief forays outside into the Mississippi heat to explore Ole Miss, take morning walks on campus, eat dinner at the courthouse square, and do a bit of window shopping. We are hoping to do some swimming later today; a rainstorm cooled things off last night and kept us inside for the evening. Tomorrow my conference begins, so the grandparents and Katherine will have plenty of time to play inside, visit playgrounds, and wander town. Katherine loves to visit grocery stores, go shopping in town (she waited very patiently while we hit the square’s famous bookstores), and she’s eager to try swimming, so they should be all set.