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I'm a Minnesota Girl, living in the south. I tell my friends I try not to talk and think like a Yankee, but sometimes I slip up!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Long and Snowy Road... RIP Virgil

God bless... my uncle Virgil, who passed away on December 1.  I made the pilgrimage to Minnesota in the winter, as befits the niece of a great and unforgettable man.

I had 3 days and 4 nights with family.  It was restorative.  And Jon's homemade stout was memorable.  For the first time in a long time, I saw people I went to high school with.  One of my best friends, who I have stayed in touch with first by letter and then by email... and have not seen in some 35 years was there, and we had the opportunity to talk and catch up.

Funerals, particularly for our cherished elders (Virge was 91), can be life-affirming; and so I have found it with my family.  I went past my father's home...hand built, with my dad doing about 90% of the labor, and was encouraged by the beautiful condition of the yard and buildings that the lady who purchased it from us in 1987, had maintained.

Of course, all that is well does not end well.  Starting at midnight on the eve before I left, my brother's city got 13 inches of snow.  We braved about 7 inches when we decided to try and get me 75 miles to the Mpls airport.  It took 3 hours, and there were 14 cars off the road.  Once in the Hubert Humphrey terminal, I learned that SW had 0 planes on the ground, and that it was likely I would be there for 24 hours (and brave the onslaught of the Chicago Bear fans, defeated by the Vikings, and then defeated when they tried to fly back to Chicago that night...hundreds of them). 

When the snow stopped around 8 p.m. in Mpls, I got a text that my 2nd plane, in Milwaukee, had been delayed out by 6 hours.  I checked, and sure enough I could get the only flight of the day that left to Milwaukee.  There was another 2 hour wait in Milwaukee, but we were airborne at last, and I arrived to ghost city Tampa airport at 3:45 a.m.  It took another hour to discover they'd lost my bag, file a report, and then hang around until a misbegotten taxi made the loop and picked me up.

Home again, home again, sans possessions, at 4:45 a.m.  Sigh.  Minnesota in the winter.  Not good.


Bob said...

Sorry it did not end well but sounds like it was totally worth it. Something always calls us home,

Kelly said...

I was glad you kept me posted on your progress and especially glad when I knew you'd gotten back to FL safe and sound (even without your luggage!).

Hope you're back in the groove at home now.

Serena said...

Sounds like your uncle was a wonderful man who lived a long, full life. The travel conditions were certainly less than ideal, but I'm glad you were able to go and make it back home safely.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry for the loss of your uncle. And the journey back to Florida with the snow, the
long hours of waiting and the loss of your bag, was definitely frustrating. But I am glad
that you got safely home again.

Debby said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your beloved uncle. We lost our Uncle Herman this year and it was a hard time.

Mostly though, what I am curious to know is whether you actually got yourself home from Minnesota, or whether you are still there, waiting for spring, so that you can fly home.

Anonymous said...

I just read your post today. I thought you might have problems getting out of Mplstown. The snowstorm was south of us and pretty much missed Grand Rapids to Detroit Lakes. Sorry to read about your airport and travel dillemas, but happy you made it back to Florida safe and sound. Virgil will be missed not only by his family and friends--but Virgil was the last of the Gustafson "Boys" from the Greatest Generation and one of the last of American heroes from our hometown of Pengilly. They were the people who grew up in the Great Depression, worked in CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) camps, and fought and/or sacrificed during WW II. Our country owes them a great debt and eternal thanks! Yes, it was great to see you, and I am honored that I rank right up there with Poody's (your cousin and my friend Jon's) home-brewed beers as happier highlights for your quick funeral trip back home. Happy Trails from your friend, TedF