My baby is finally pregnant, and due to deliver April 17th, but there is one problem - she is in Georgia. I am not. Sooo, we bought a round trip ticket for me to come in a few days before the 17th and go back home after two weeks. Good plan, maybe. Every doctor visit we waited anxiously to se that was decided, would she last until the 17th? Is she really going to end up with a C-section after all due to possible preclampsia? Stay tuned!!

On April 3rd, after another doctor appointment where the bets are mounting on whether she would last or not (now 2 to 1), we bought a one way ticket to Augusta for that Saturday. Friday is packing, repacking, weighing my luggage one more time, toss n trn, finally getting out of bed at 3 am. Shower, mascara, coffee, hat, laptop, purse, kiss the brown, black and white dog noses and we are on the road by 3:56. A three quarter moon guides our quiet but fast drive to Fresno Airport where reality becomes vivid - I am going to fly again. Oh my.

A bit of a fiasco about which line I should be in, my luggage comes in at 48.5 (yessss) and I learn the penalty for overweight is $125 compared to $35 for a second bag. Ouchie! A quick hug and kiss (I detest goodbyes) and I head for security. I could do without this part: shoes off, hat off, laptop out, purse down, ticket out, pockets empty, gulp to think of my silver setting off the alarms, then put yourself all back together again. This time, because I wore my huge green skirt pants from Nevada City, they separated me out for a pat down in a glass room - it really was funny. The wipe pads for the palms was odd, they asked the guy in front of me for a wipe, but not me. I was told drug test but later someone told me it was for explosive chemicals. Ye gads, I am naive. $4.98 for bottled water.

I am laden with my carry on, pillow, laptop, purse, camera, manuevering is difficult as we board a small 50 seater plane. The climb makes me gasp as we leave the ground - I do so love rollercoasters - and it's bumpity bump until we are beyond the low turbulence. The view outside my window is nothing short of spectacular and I am mesmerized all the way . Moon shine flows down from an immense dark blue sky, Fresno is a vast array of sparkling jewels as the town begins to wake. Then the snow covered Sierra, classic photograph of a frozen lake but it is still too dark for pictures.  An uneventful ride with a quiet neighbor a quiet, middle eastern man beside me must think I am nuts, we finally cross the Rockies, the huge brown city of Denver, miles to the airport that has three concourses, all have 100 gates. Good grief.

Finally near my next departing gate, I stop in the Timberlake Grill for breakfast, decent coffee but the eggs are browned and tough, the sausages were not much better, all for a stunning $15.  I spent the next two hours casually window shopping and texting David, Jena and Stacey. One of my pill containers exploded, sending litle white capsules all over my bag. I need sleep!!

Flight 303 at gate 29, terminal C loads quickly and jets out at 11:55. I have another window seat with two ladies, Martha from Madera and Jean from Los Angeles returning to North Carolina with her mother's ashes. Jean is a psych major and thankfully picks up the conversation for me while I try and snooze, unsuccessfully. When we land in Charlotte, Jean and I spend our layover time at the local sports bar, and I am wondering if she is going to need an escort to her next flight. My last leg at 13,000 feet and 68 seats landed a half hour early in Augusta where we had to wait for the airport to be opened for us. This is when I discover I have absolutely no phone coverage. Pacing and waiting, finally there is a very pregnant Jena getting slowly out of their car.

We head to Jena and Drew's house in Groveland just a few minutes away, settle in, go back out for the Outback in Augusta, bracing ourselves for dealing with Masters Week, Good gravy train.  Their dog, Bella, gave birth to her litter before Jena went into labor, another bet won. In short, I took Jena for a massage on Monday feeling severe shoulder pain myself (carry on luggage?) and to the docs on Tuesday to find I have the flu and the worst body aches I can recall. In bed with amoxicillin, Niquil and chicken noodle soup past Jena's appt on Thursday and pee test on Friday.

Early Saturday morning, her doctor calls and says we have a problem, Houston. She has way too much protein in her urine, off we go to the hospital where she is checked in and playing cards by 11 in the morning, April 10th. Labor will be induced, the spinal does not ease all the pain, and the pushing starts at 9:25, I believe. After almost an hour of some hefty pushing and startling events, a very long, 8 pound 7 ounce Landon Christopher was born at 10:15 pm. Lots and lots of almost black hair, a 9/10 apgar score, absolutely gorgeous baby boy. Drew finally let me drive his car after a day or two of finding ways for me to go back and forth from the hospital. It only took me two trips to not get lost, despite my GPS. Jena and Landon came home Tuesday morning, the day spent settling in to their new routine.

Drew and I visited the Groveland Cemetery where he was brightly introduced to orbs, then another trip to Augusta's Magnolia Cemetery while not productive due to their intense fencing, was scary. There were several very old Civil War era gravesites on base, but I learned about them too late to visit them. Next time!

The trip highlights and notes include: pollen storms, wisteria (hanging from every tree on the roads - exquisite), Waffle Houses and Huddle Houses, silent trains, clean freeways, brick houses everywhere, and Georgia does not recycle. When they clear land to build tract homes, they leave a line of trees to remain on the back fence lines - lovely idea! There was a woman walking a pair of matching white shepherds in Jena's neighbohood, made me screech the brakes when I saw them. Their Walmart was huge and contained the greatest selection of plants. Going almost anywhere includes long distances on roads surrounded by only trees. Families will picnic on a strip of lawn outside a small shopping mall and across from a small airport in hopes of catching a glimpse of Tiger Woods getting on a plane??? Wow.

I am missing my own bed, my love, my own dogs, and we buy another one way ticket for me the next Sunday, too soon for Jena and me but before I wear out my welcome. We planted Jena's flowers on Saturday, ate at the Red Lobster that night (that was so bad I am not even rating it) and they took me back to the airport Sunday morning, I didn't do well at all until I was wandering around wasting time in Charlotte. Leaving Jena and Landon was hard. We loaded at Charlotte but did not take off. We waited and waited, I was surrounded by a family headed out for vacation, we waited and waited. I called David after an hour, knowing I would miss my next flight. Thankfuly, he got me booked on the last flight from Phoenix to Fresno that night. When we finally arrived in Phoenix after the "valve was fixed", the airline announced they would suppply everyone with overnite accomodations, thank God I was not one of them. Potato skins and a Bailey's at a sports bar, then from Phoenix to Fresno by midnight where my love is waiting. It was too late to eat as every place was closed on a Sunday night, so we hit a grocery store for nibbles and head out. At last, I am home.

All of my pictures were lost due to inexcusable, incredible incompetence. Tom (the owner) of High Tech Solutions of Merced lost 22,000 photos when he backed up my computer for me.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.

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