I spent most of this past Saturday awake. The alarm was set for 1:24 am and I don’t hit snooze. I have a friend who was making a trip to Texas to surprise a friend. I was his Uber driver for the day. Getting to LAX at 4 am required an early departure from Ridgecrest. The screen on the Echo Show told me that it was 27 degrees as I started my day.
My car is having a bit of an issue with the device that blends hot and cold air for the HVAC system on the driver’s side. It’s not much of a problem in nice weather, but it provided a steady stream of cold air on my feet as we drove. I never anticipated getting frostbite on my toes just from driving a guy to LA, but it was feeling like a possibility the further down the road we got!
We arrived at the airport on schedule. My next goal was to find a place to kill time until my soccer match began at 9:30. After consulting the Starbucks app and driving to several stores, I found one that had an early opening time. It was much cozier than the car had been. When I left at 9 I was thrilled to note that I only had 13 more hours until Don returned to LAX from his whirlwind trip to Austin.
Next I went to a sports bar to meet up with the LA Gooners, an Arsenal supporters club in LA, to watch the game. It was raucous and my team won. 11:15, what to do for the rest of the day?
And that is the question that follows us around all day long, right? I had planned to take a friend to the airport then to meet up with a group of folks and watch a soccer game, but after that I had no set plans. I had all day alone in the big city with no plan. I used to love the idea of that scenario, but now I realize that my life and my recovery require a lot more structure. On my own, I can create a lot of turmoil and havoc.
Enter the support network. My daughter called to check on me after the game. She had been searching the interwebs for things for Dear Ol’ Dad to do and to keep out of trouble. I wound up eating some good food. I went to a cool museum (for FREE!) and saw a lot of interesting art pieces. I watched the sun go down at the beach. Then I sat at another Starbucks and watched ESPN on my computer until it was time to return to the airport to fetch my friend.
As would be fitting for a marathon day, flights were being delayed around the country. Don’s 9:45 pm arrival eventually became 11:21. The late night traffic at LAX was insane. There was an accident on the freeway in front of us that brought the entire 5 lane behemoth to a complete stop. There will always be set backs in life. But we arrive at In-N-Out Burger 45 minutes before they closed. We had seen an accident, but weren’t involved. A couple of friends got to spend several hours hanging out on a road trip. Sure, there were some mishaps, (Don’s surprise sort of blew up in his face because his friend was away from their house at the beginning because they didn’t expect any company!) but we made it through the day. Thanks to everyone who helped us to…