My step-mother recently passed away. While the term “step-mother” often conjures up images of an abusive pseudo-parent: this was not the case with Doris. She was always kind and loving to my siblings and me, never tried to replace our birth-mother and was a devoted wife to my father for over 30 years. I felt it was important that I get to her funeral to pay my respects to her and to support my dad. Achieving that goal proved to be somewhat daunting.
My initial reaction was, as normal, to drive the 1,000 miles separating me from her home of Sprague Nebraska. But a number of factors conspired to make that option impractical. Some of these might have been mitigated through car-pooling with a brother who lives in the same general part of the nation as I, but that too was quashed by circumstances.
Marie and I decided the best option was for me to fly to Nebraska and back and we began researching airfare and schedules. In the end we decided on United Express, a division of United Airlines, and a flight plan that took me from the Knoxville Tennessee airport to O’Hare airport in Chicago then on to the Lincoln Nebraska airport with only a 1½ hour lay-over in Chicago. This would get me to Lincoln by 9:45 AM and I didn’t need to be back on board for the return flight until 6:15 PM, giving me most of the day to visit with relatives and attend the funeral service. The cost was doable and it seemed a reasonable solution. Read the rest of this entry »