I did not finish yesterday’s post. What I mean is there is another part to the Homeward Bound and that is Julie getting home. I last saw her disappearing into the Terminal 2 security checkpoint at O’Hare and headed home. I had checked the weather Thursday night before going to bed that the forecast Friday for Chicago was thunderstorms and I checked when we landed and the National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm watch, as the conditions were good for bad storms. It was hot, 90° F, humid, and it made it being outside, no fun. The storms were forecast to hit the Chicago area in early afternoon. I was concerned Julie’s scheduled flight home to Memphis would be affected.Beth was decorating the church for vacation bible school, and could not meet me at the airport. She arranged for a limousine to meet me and bring me home so, I would be arriving home to Ivy. I called Beth on the way home and Olivia answered. She was so excited to hear I was on my home. When I opened the door, Ivy was there to greet me. She was so happy to see me! She was in the kitchen on her feet excitedly wagging her tail. She was so excited she wet the floor and I knew she needed to go some more and we went for a short walk. She went some on our walk. Olivia had called while we were out and I called back, she wanted me to pick her up at church, she said she could not wait to see me. I suspect she was could not wait to see what I had brought her from Paris, but I went to pick her up. I could see the clouds gathering to the west. When I arrived at the church, Olivia was waiting outside with her bag, ready to go. I went inside to let Beth know I had Olivia and gave both her and William hugs. We needed a couple of things for dinner and ran a quick errand to the grocery store. The clouds were even darker when we came out of the store. As I drove home, the winds picked and it started to rain hard. The streetlights and signals went out and traffic began to crawl. The strong winds had had blown twigs, leaves, and small branches into the street and yards. I passed several houses where large branches had been broken out of trees and littered their yards. We got home and I pulled the car into the garage. Olivia and I emptied the car and went inside to find a frightened Ivy. The thunder, lightning, and rain had made quite a racket and alarmed Ivy. Olivia wanted to know what I surprise I had for her and showed me her surprise. An Eiffel Tower puzzle she and William had put together the day before. She read me the note she had written to go along with it. I showed her the gifts I had and she was happy, but I held out on the chocolate.
The storm quickly passed and Ivy and I went for a walk. Beth and William came home and I got their gifts to them as well. I told them about my trip and they told me about what I had missed at home. We decided to go to dinner; it was my pick and I picked Cozymel’s. I checked the weather – another storm was expected in early evening. Though O’Hare is notorious for weather delays during spring and summer storm season, I did not think about Julie’s flights. During dinner, we talked about my trip and the kids asked questions and listened. We came home and between 9:00 and 9:30 PM, the second storm struck. I had asked Julie to call when she got home and she had not, yet. I figured that Beth would answer the phone when she called or I would hear the phone and answer. Regardless, I put my head down on the pillow and was fast asleep.
I awoke at 5:15 the following morning and was worried because Julie had not called or maybe I had not heard the ring. I took Ivy out and checked the rain gauge 1 inch. The first storm had brought a ½ inch and the second another ½. I made coffee and started to write. I got my answer when Beth came downstairs and she told me Julie had not called. It was 6:00 AM and I would wait until at least 8:00 before I called, I did not want to wake her. The phone rang shortly before 7:00; it was Julie reporting. She told me the storms had delayed the plane leaving Memphis and it in turn delayed her flight as well. She told me that storm struck and the airport came to a stop. As we talked, she shared that she had her first Starbucks experience and was not impressed; and that she had thought of me when they finally got the planes moving again. So many flights had been delayed the taxiway was nose to tail with airplanes waiting for clearance to take off. Ironically, I was writing the part about airplanes in yesterday’s post when she phoned. She arrived home at 12:30 AM and did not want to call so late and that is why she had not called. It was good to hear she made it home safely. She told me about her cats being excited to see her and I told her about Ivy and the kids. We said our goodbyes and I hung up. I wish she were closer to me or even closer to Warren and David, but she is not. I resolved to call her Sunday or early next week. Since dad’s passing last year, I have called her often, sometimes weekly, to check on her.
I took a break before I finished writing the post and downloading the camera. I quickly canned the newspaper and scanned Tom Skilling’s Weather page in the Tribune. His graphics are usually interesting and today’s grapic was no different. It showed the wind gust speeds from yesterday’s storm at various points in the Chicagoland area – impressive. The storm had packed quite a punch. No wonder Julie’s flight was delayed. I cut the graphic out and will mail it to her when I write this week. Beth was getting ready to go to the church to finish the vacation bible school decorating; I was taking William to the chiropractor and the day 22 was just beginning.