Did you pack your bags yourself?

I’ve often been asked whether I packed my bags myself by the airport customs agents. They want to know if I’m sure of what’s in there and to avoid being interrogated and delayed in some holding tank, I always answer in the affirmative, just as I did today. But today I answered it honestly.

It’s been a while since I’ve packed my own bag. It’s been a long while since I’ve flown alone. But that’s the way it is now. That is “my new reality”. So here I am, sitting in the Winnipeg airport on Super Bowl Sunday, on the first leg of a trip to Portugal. A trip that Sue and I planned and booked half a year ago. But those plans were interrupted. In fact, when Sue got sick in fall and then died in December, I cancelled our flights and our ‘HomeAway’ apartment rental in southern Portugal. But our plan had been to spend February and March in the Algarve together with our friends Dave and MaryLou, and the Driedgers did NOT cancel their travel plans. After Sue’s passing they invited me to consider joining them for part of their time — they had rebooked the same apartment in the small beach town of Praias da Luz, a town with several golf courses nearby. Dave and I could go golfing while MaryLou did some writing.

So that brings me to why I am sitting here in the Winnipeg airport, typing my first blog post of this ‘holiday’ on my phone, hunting and pecking away with one finger! I packed my (own) bags yesterday and had a leisurely start to my day this morning. My kids invited me over for brunch and then shuttled me here at 1:00, giving me the requisite 3 hours to check in and get through customs before the scheduled (and so far, on time) departure.

And that brings YOU, dear reader, up to date. And now it is 4:00pm and they are starting to call passengers to board. Next stop: Minneapolis, home of Super Bowl LII (that’s 52 for you non-Romans).

Update #2. It’s 8:00pm. I’m sitting at the airport in Minneapolis, watching the “super” bowl. The second half just started and the Eagles are hanging in there against the Patriots. Hey, I wonder what’s more American: a ‘patriot’ or an ‘eagle’?

My flight to Amsterdam leaves at 9:30, so I won’t see how this ends. It takes an hour and a half to play the last two minutes, never mind the whole second half. I got a text message from Dave, who is apparently watching the game together with Jim and Bonny, who are also in Portugal. By my calculations it’s two in the morning there! They’re going to be up all night if they want to see how it all ends.

Well, I will stop poking my phone for a while and watch a bit of football.