Provocative title, right?
After another day of wandering through London, I boarded a train and headed for Manchester for my flight home. (I had a neat experience at a little Anglican church that I'll post about later.) I was getting more and more impatient to be home with Billy and Miranda, and actually tried to get an earlier flight home. But after a decent night's sleep in a loud hotel, and almost sleeping through my shuttle, I arrived at the airport to find my flight delayed over 3 hours. Still enjoying my last bits of solitude, I read and did sudoku and watched movies until we landed at JFK, where I waited for my bags... and waited... and waited, for over an hour. Then I tried to find the shuttle to LaGuardia for my flight to Lexington... and went to terminal 2... and couldn't use my visa... and the ATM was broken... so I dodged traffic and went to terminal 3... and couldn't find the ATM... and missed the shuttle... and finally got to LaGuardia to find my flight cancelled, along with most of the others. Tried in vain to get another flight to Cincy or Louisville, anywhere within driving distance -- no luck. So, going on 20 hours awake, I went downstairs and began to battle with all the other strandees for the few remaining hotel rooms... finally found one -- too expensive, too far away -- and hung up the phone to find my computer bag gone.
Please, please, please don't let this be happening.
After a fruitless search around the area, to "lost baggage" and to the police to see if they had suspected it as a bomb, I started crying, cried all the way through the taxi queue, to the hotel, and through an episode of "Deadwood." In addition to the loss of my new laptop, I realized what else was in that bag: my breast pump, my passport (with all the cool stamps from my honeymoon and our trip to eastern Europe), presents for my parents and my sister-in-law, a whole notebook of notes on several aspects of my doctoral work, my jewelry. Particularly devastating, even more so than the expensive Dell, was the opal ring that my father gave me on my 16th birthday, 20 years ago this fall. And now it's on its way to some New York city pawn shop. Damn it, damn it, damn it.
I can recover almost all the lost schoolwork -- I can re-download all the pictures of Miranda (although I don't know when I'll find the time!), we can save for another laptop. I'm trying to keep this in perspective. (I keep thinking of an acquaintance whose laptop was stolen just after his twins were born, losing irreplacable footage of their first days.) It's OK, I know that, plenty of worse things have happened. But it still sucks, and I'm still depressed.
BUT... after all this, I arrived home to my sweet hubby and my little girl. And it was so easy to forget about all the crap and just watch her smile that smile I'd been imagining for days, as she realized who was sitting next to her in the car. I tickled, she giggled, and we headed to the best place of all, home. I had a great time, and will look forward to another trip next spring, but for now, all I want to do is hold, snuggle, nurse, bathe, rock, love my little Miranda. And snuggle her daddy, too.
Thanks, everyone, for joining me on this journey! Keep watching for the sequal, set for release sometime in spring 2007.