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Are you supposed to use the airport check-in computers or can you just go straight to the counter? I’m never sure. I seemed to remember having a few issues in the past so I bypassed them altogether until I could ask someone. “You can come forward.” The attendant said. “Where are you headed?”

“Dallas to Tucson.” I said, not sure if I should say one or both cities.

“Checking one bag?”

I nodded setting it on the scale, pleased that it was less than 50 pounds for the weekend, even though it was 10 more than it weighed on the scale at home.

“What time is your Dallas flight?”

“1:20,” I said.

She stared into her computer for quite a while. “Is that AM or PM?”

“PM,” I said and smiled. I thought she was being funny.

“We don’t have a 1:20 to Dallas.”

I paused. This could be bad. But then I realized. “That’s my Dallas flight time. My Milwaukee flight time is 9:50.” I think I got an eye roll.

The rest went smoothly. “Up stairs and to your right,” she said handing me my tickets.

“Thank you! Have a nice day! Stay warm!” She didn’t really respond. Too cheerful, I scolded myself. Way too cheerful. I headed to the escalator.

I knew I had TSA but waited in the line with everyone else because I didn’t want to take skips. After all, I had time. I wasn’t in hurry. And I didn’t see a TSA sign.

Soon enough, I saw TSA in huge letters to my right and noticed that that line was moving right along while I hadn’t moved an inch, but I settled into my spot between a nun and a family. The wait was a little longer than I anticipated. When I finally made it up to check-in, the attendant sent me over to TSA. That line had grown a little longer by then. Good thing I still had some extra time.

Finally at the conveyor belt, I took my computer out even though I knew I didn’t have to, just to be helpful. I was told to put it back in.

I hadn’t slept well the night before but maybe, also, I wasn’t thinking clearly because I had spent an hour this morning digging through every possible purse and drawer, giving myself a headache looking for my keys. I didn’t need them, I just wanted to know where they were. It’s the only key we have to the front door of our 120 year old house, and I keep my late Dad’s little Swiss Army knife on it. “They must be with my glasses,” I said to my husband. “They’ll show up,” I said to myself even though my glasses hadn’t.

I noticed my purse ended up on the surveillance side of the rollers. Maybe it was the muffin.

“Is this yours?” TSA asked holding up my purse. I nodded. “Step over here ma’am.” I waited for a while trying not to be nervous before he started digging. “Anything sharp in here?”

“Not that I know of.” I said remembering the time they found something sharp.

“Ah, here it is!” He said finally, pulling out my Dad’s Swiss Army knife.

“There it is!” I blurted. “Thank you! Where was that?! Are my keys attached?

He flashed my keys.

“That was my Dad’s knife! And our only house key! I can’t believe you found it! Wait till I tell my husband! I spent an hour looking for those this morning! Thank you!”

That was too much excitement for TSA, I could tell by his expression. “You can mail them home to yourself.”

“How do I do that?”

“Take them over to information.”

“Where’s that?”

He looked at me for a moment. “I’ll take you over.”

“How kind. Thank you.”

At the information counter, Clarence took good care of me and seemed to share my enthusiasm over the knife and keys. I dropped the envelope in the US MAIL bin beside the desk. That was handy.

I had to start all over again at check-in. This time I was really glad I had TSA. As I headed to my gate I realized I forgot the Gate number and couldn’t find it on my ticket. I should wear my glasses. I headed over to an attendant but my new friend from TSA noticed me. “Can I help you ma’am…?” He was so helpful.

Finally on my way, I stopped to pick up a water and yogurt at Valentine coffee. “Is that all?” The cashier asked.

“And a small coffee,” I said noticing my driver’s license wasn’t in my wallet. My heart pounded as I started pulling out cards. “I don’t have my driver’s license!” I said to no one, panicked and paid, stuffing my purchases into my bag, forgetting the coffee. I started to sprint back the direction I had just come and was not excited about having to face the TSA attendant again but what if I couldn’t find it, was all I could think as I found the license and realized I forgot my coffee.

Honestly. The only thing good about any of this was that my husband wasn’t there to witness it. He may be right that I am a bit scattered, but I am completely competent. I get the job done. He always says he married Lucy Ricardo. But when the plane took off, I was on it!

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