Sorry it has been awhile since I posted. We’ve had a lot going on, what, with being stuck in Dallas by Snowmageddon and all. Joe, Ella and I were scheduled to leave on a flight to Texas on Friday morning (Feb 5). I heard all the news reports about a massive snowstorm due to hit on Friday morning and didn’t want a repeat of Christmas, so I decided to change our flights to Thursday night. I called the airline and explained the situation and they changed them for free (there are nice people who work for those companies). We headed out Thursday night and got to Dallas safe and sound. This is where I need to give a huge shout-out to my awesome uncle and aunt who let us stay at their house for not only the original 3 nights, but an additional 5 nights (side note: ALL of my aunts and uncles are awesome!)
Friday morning was the family viewing of my grandmother. It was weird seeing her lay there. She looked beautiful, but it was just weird…I don’t know how else to describe it. I can’t believe she’s gone. I was going through some old voicemail the other day and came across a message she left. I’m going to save it as long as I can. The hardest part was seeing my sweet grandfather. I know he misses her something awful.
Friday night was the viewing for everyone else. Joe and Ella stayed back at the house while I went with the rest of my family. Joe and I always say that the only time everyone gets together is during weddings and funerals, and this was no different. I got to reconnect with aunts, uncles and cousins that I haven’t seen in years, and met some cousins that I’ve never met. Although I wish we had seen each other under different circumstances, I am so thankful for the time to reconnect with each one of them.
Friday afternoon was the funeral. The church provided a big lunch for all family and friends that were in town, then we headed to the service. Within a few minutes Ella was chatting away and I had to take her out. How appropriate that my grandmothers namesake, Little Ella, was the one that had to be taken out for talking. To say Big Mama was a talker would be an understatement. She talked ALL THE TIME!!! In fact, she was known in the family for calling and leaving a message that was so long the answering machine would have to cut her off…then she’d call back and finish what she had to say. But as much as a talker as she was, Big Mama got very frustrated at kids who were talking in church and would get up constantly to go to the bathroom. Several years ago she came up with the brilliant idea to take bubble gum to church and if a kid sat all the way through church without getting up or talking, then she’d give them a piece of gum. Of course this was a hit among the kids and at her memorial service there were baskets of bubble gum so people could have a piece. The memorial service was beautiful and I am so glad we were able to be there to help celebrate her life.
Friday night was a great time of the family sitting around and having fun together. Big Daddy played the harmonica and each of the great grand kids got to have a turn at entertaining the masses. Ella waited until the other 3 great grandkids were gone, then she let her light shine. As shy as she is, she was very willing to get in the middle of the family circle and sing song after song. I think she liked the applause she received after each performance.
The original plan was to fly out Sunday night, but because of Snowmageddon, our Sunday night flight was cancelled. Unfortunately the next available flight was Wednesday morning. As of Monday night that flight had also been cancelled. We were rebooked on a Thursday night flight.
Since we had some time to kill we drove to Shreveport, LA to visit my paternal grandmother, Maw Maw. Ella was a baby the last time we were able to visit her, so I am so glad we had a couple of extra days to drive over to see her. Ella warmed up right away and didn’t hesitate to show Maw Maw her performing skills. She sang and danced like she has never sang or danced before…and Maw Maw loved every minute of it. Maw Maw even bought Ella some Valentine chocolate. It was just before lunch so I only let her have one piece, but before I knew it Ella had taken things to a new level and asked daddy to open another piece for her…of course he did and she finished that one faster than she did the first one. I have some great pictures of them together in the January 2010 pictures folder.
As fate would have it, Dallas received a record snowfall on Thursday, which meant, yes, our Thursday night flight was cancelled. Luckily we were able to rebook on a Friday afternoon flight. After an hour of sitting on the tarmac waiting for maintenance to clear off all the snow from the plane, we took off. We landed at BWI around 7:30 pm. Our plan was to have Joe go dig out the car while Ella and I hung out at the airport. My genius husband suggested we throw a shovel into the car so that when we got back we’d be able to dig our way out. That was the best idea of the trip! When he finally made it to the car he discovered that we had a new delay getting home…our car battery was completely dead. Yeah…this just keeps getting better. Luckily we have roadside assistance through our insurance, so Joe called to have someone come jump our car. While he was waiting he dug out the van. Meanwhile, Ella and I were living it up at the airport observation deck. They had a big toy plane, bus and train for kids to play on, and Ella was loving it. She’d see other, older kids running and jumping all over the toys and as soon as they were done she’d say, “It’s my turn!” We’d do the same thing on a much smaller scale than the big kids.
Joe came to get us a little after 9:00 pm and we headed home. We both just knew that we were going to come home to some new catastrophe…broken pipe, fallen tree, something. Thank heavens we were wrong and the house seems to be in perfect running order. The good news in all of this is that even though we were gone for a week, we didn’t miss any work since our offices were closed. The bad news is that poor Joe got really sick while we were in TX. He’s on medicine now, but it’s not helping too much. We are so glad to be home! We all slept in this morning, including Ella who slept until 10:30. Metti came over and is watching Ella so Joe and I can take care of some things around the house…shoveling, laundry, cleaning, etc. Although I am thankful for the time we spent with family, and I’m even thankful for the extra days that we got to spend with everyone, Dorothy had it right…there’s no place like home. Now, I’ve got some laundry to do.