Sunday, September 6, 2009

The missile has landed: my sister-in-law arrives for a visit

(DrTom, about to pick up his sister-in-law at the Binghamton airport.)

Yesterday I picked up my sister-in-law at the Greater Binghamton Airport, whose name is larger than the airport.  The airport has one gate and one luggage carousel.  At the food counter, you can buy bagels or taco chips.  The men's urinals are so narrow and so crowded along the wall that you have to stand sideways to urinate, facing the back of the person standing next to you.  Obviously, all men should face the same direction, but very awkward, nonetheless.  There is only one car to rent there, so you have to wait until it is returned before you can use it.  Did I say the airport was small?

When I picked up Susie, I went dressed as you see in the photo above.  I went to fetch Susie alone, because my wife is on a strict deadline with her work.  I wanted to be sure she found me, and I did not want to pick up the wrong sister-in-law.  After all, I have only known her for 43 years, but I have not seen her in a few months.  She could have grown a couple of inches since our last meeting, she might have dyed her hair a different color, or she might have lost her freckles.  You just never know in this era of extreme makeovers.  Twelve people got off the plane, so it only took us minutes to find each other, thanks to the sign I was carrying with her name on it.  I spelled her name incorrectly on the sign I was carrying (I never had to write her name before), but it was close enough for her to understand. 

On the way back to Danby, I drove through Apalachin, Owego, and Candor, to give her a taste of our Southern Tier communities.  We stopped at the little market in Candor for some canning supplies.  I bought the last two bags of sugar on the shelf before the elderly lady in front of me could bend over to get them.  We also needed ascorbic acid, but "We don't sell no stinkin acid in here.  Why would you want to mix acid with your pears?"  I didn't have the energy to provide a complete answer, so we moved on before that elderly lady caught up to us.  I really needed that sugar.

We arrived home safely, but exhausted from dealing with a regional airport and the Candor market.  After our frog walk and tree identification session, I let Susie rest before we went to dinner in Ithaca.  And the trip to Madeline's Restaurant constituted another exciting adventure, which I will describe someday.