Labor Day is almost here and that means one important thing to me…Nana Trip!!! Every year since our first, precious grandkiddo arrived, my sweet husband has gifted me with an early birthday present trip. It’s a game of see the USA through my grandkids as they have lived all over the country. This year it is Washington, D. C. For me there is no agenda – I don’t need to see anything or do anything major – I just enjoy immersing myself into their lives and popping into their world for a few days. It doesn’t get any better than my only focus being playing, snuggling, reading, bath time, singing, etc. We make treasured memories and bond in a new way each visit.

I look forward to the trip all year and my husband buys my airplane ticket months in advance, building the anticipation even more. I am thankful for the gracious hosts of my son and his wife who make me feel welcome and special. I don’t take for granted this gift of grace and time and energy on their part. God is so good to me!

I even have a lovely purple carry-on Nana suitcase for such events. I now have my own messenger bag as well, but that wasn’t always the case. Five years ago as I set off on my first Nana Trip to Los Angeles, I experienced a traumatic event with TSA. Bill took me to the airport and saw me off in the terminal. He loaned me a computer bag, which had been used by several family members at various times. I had filled it with my computer, books, and snacks for the plane. I thought it was empty when I packed it.

So off I go to navigate TSA and try to look cool and not be a slowpoke. I filled the buckets with my belt, shoes, jacket…removed my computer and sent it off on its own, and sent my bags through the detector belt. I walked through the body detector with no pat-down needed. Whew…I had made it. Then, suddenly a harsh-speaking woman gruffly calls me to the end of the belt. She proceeds to pull out of the computer bag the biggest knife I have ever seen. I’m talking a bowie knife – at least 12 inches long. Seriously.

I start to panic – and I rarely panic. I’m talking full-on panic attack – can’t breathe, elephant on my chest attack. I choke out an apology and explanation that I had borrowed the bag and had NO idea the knife was there while the mean woman proceeded to convince me I was in serious trouble.

Now I’m starting to imagine going to jail, missing my flight, missing my Nana Trip…my head is swimming as I have no idea what’s going to happen to me. About that time a nice, reasonable supervisor responds to her loud exclamations about the knife. He took one look at me (I mean, really, do I LOOK like someone who would chop people up on an airplane?!) and began to attempt to encourage mean woman to retreat from her attack on me.

I continued to blabber how I didn’t know it was in there and I’m so sorry when he calmly asks me what he should do with the knife (from hell). I’m like – “just throw it away…I didn’t even know it was in there (for the hundredth time)” and, in true man-fashion he suggests the knife is expensive and someone might want to come and retrieve it.

“My husband…YES, my husband!” I suddenly remembered Bill was on his way to the car and tell the nice, reasonable man I will call him to come for the knife. Bill rescued me and returned, apologizing profusely and assuring me he didn’t know it was in the bag. Side note: no one wisely ever claimed putting the knife in the bag! I still have no idea how it got there.

The trip was saved and I made my flight and had a wonderful time – once I stopped shaking. Now I have my own lovely turquoise messenger bag no one else uses – ever!

One more side note to finish the story: ever since that flight we have had TSA pre-check when we fly. We don’t know how or why we have it, but we magically do. It may be due to security clearance through two of our sons’ Air Force security clearances. Whatever the reason – it eases the trauma I now feel with flying and I see it as a gift from God every time I fly.

Two more weeks!

Ecclesiastes 3   Amplified Bible

There is a season for everything and a time for every delight and event or purpose under heaven—