Tess Tales 1 – Airplane travel

Mom, laughingMy mother was a very interesting person. I suppose I am a little like her but a milder version. I can speak out but my mother could REALLY speak out. In fact there usually wasn’t any guessing what my mother thought.

She has been gone for many years but I still have great memories of her. Some are funny and I will share them with you. Here is the first installment of Tess Tales.

The trip to Hawaii

My mother enjoyed travel but she often found it difficult to find the right traveling partner. She had a few partners since everyone liked to do different things. One of her regulars was a woman named Joyce. They were the same age but Joyce was one of those people who things just happened to. If my Mom was with her, it happened to both of them.

Hawaii was always a dream for my mother and she finally convinced Joyce to agree to go. They went for 10 days flying out of our local airport changing planes in O’Hare and Los Angeles.

This was back in the early 1980s when air travel was much different and there were no cell phones. All phones were tethered to walls and were very inconveniently located. My mother did not think that she needed to reassure her neurotic daughter that she could manage to travel without getting lost.

All went well on the way out. We heard from her once during the trip. She was having a blast. They did lock themselves out of their hotel room while they had their night-clothes on but it was Joyce’s fault.

As part of a group trip they had been instructed to place their main luggage outside their hotel door at a certain time. My mother placed them outside the door but Joyce thought they should be facing another direction so she came out to supervise when the door slammed in back of them.

I have no idea why they were in their night-clothes and I didn’t ask. It was a Joyce thing.

Their plane ran into difficulties in Los Angeles on the way back. They had to switch planes. There was no phone call about the delay.

I went to the airport to pick them up and all that I found was my mother’s luggage and a case of pineapples with her name on it. I asked the airline what happened to her. They didn’t know but eventually said they thought she was still at O’Hare airport waiting to get on a flight.

Now I am panicked. My mother is not travel savvy. They must have had rebooking issues and Joyce was with her. That was not comforting.

I called O’Hare and asked to have my mother paged. They paged her and paged her. We kept trying for a half hour but there was no answer.

I kept driving to the airport to meet subsequent planes coming from O’Hare. No Mom! I am torn between jumping in the car and driving to O’Hare (a 14 hour drive) or camping at the local airport or calling the FBI.

This woman was 70! She could be taken advantage of (but I would pity that person!).

Finally at 8 p.m., my fourth trip to the airport, my mother and Joyce get off a plane from O’Hare, giggling and laughing and having a great time. I am beyond angry! No phone call! Did they not have phones at O’Hare????

So I asked my mother if she heard her name paged on the speakers. She said she thought she did but Joyce told her that was silly. No one would page her so she didn’t answer the page.

I wanted to kill Joyce.

The pineapples were wonderful soaked in a little a lot of rum!

30 thoughts on “Tess Tales 1 – Airplane travel

  1. I am a victim of not being able to use a cell phone when all around are using them all the time…the only time my children have been able to pin me down with one has been when I’ve been sitting by the hospital bedside of my then husband… but tutorials by hospital bed-sides when you have other things on your mind do’nt really work… so every time there’s an emergency they start teaching me all over again… but the instructions never stick…
    Love pineapples in rum though !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This all happened before cell phones but that wouldn’t have helped. My mother’s phone was tethered to the wall so we bought her a “portable” one that was wireless. You couldn’t go outside. It had to be within so many feet of the base. She never could get the hang of using it! Now I’m finding the same difficulty making instructions stick with me!


  2. Hahaha!!! Great story, Kate. I probably know how you felt. My parents came back from an overseas trip once during a big blackout and I didn’t hear from them for 36 hours after they were due back. In the meantime, my uncle and I were trying not to freak out. Turns out they were sleeping in the airport and although they could have called me or my brother or my uncle, they didn’t think anybody would miss them!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Random 5 for May 13 – Mom, interest, customer service, getting ignored, vaginas | Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

  4. I can understand your concern! But how funny that she let Joyce convince her she hadn’t heard her own name. That’s so funny! Aren’t we glad for cell phones! Now we just have to remind our loved ones to keep the turned on and to check messages. I can still call and call and not hear back!


  5. I love this-it sounds like exactly something my Grandmother would do! My question is, how were the pineapples? It’s all about the chow my friend.


  6. Too funny!
    I had a similar experience to your <other once with my own Mom, although she was with me. We were visiting family in North Carolina (both our first big trip on a commercial flight) and we were going to be picked up by my Dad at an airport in Maine to drive back to Canada. It was shortly after 9/11 and security was backed up and they weren't exactly accommodating to people who were about to be late for their flight to skip the line. So, we missed our plane. But to make matters worse, we did not own a cell phone and my Dad had already left for the US, so we had no way to tell him. He took two trips back and forth from the airport to random malls and stores to kill time until we came strolling in 6 hours later than expected. He assumed we had missed a plane and the airport refused to tell him anything because he couldn't prove we were related to him. Needless to say my family shortly thereafter invested in a cell phone.


  7. “all that I found was my mother’s luggage and a case of pineapples with her name on it.” — boy if that doesn’t signify the times I don’t know what does. I love that they arrived, unharmed, giggling! I can see my Mom doing the same … your Mom sounds like she had a real zest for life, God love her 🙂



Don't be shy, I'd love to hear what you're thinking!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s