Packing, or rather UNpacking for the airport is quite the adventure these days (thanks, Mr. Shoe bomber). I know for a fact that I will be stopped at security; that is a given since my left lower extremity is mostly metal. However, carry on can be tricky, and we were planning on trying to carry on everything. (We were much wiser on the return trip!)
The first thing I do is empty the purse. I removed anything that could be considered a tool. Out go matches, which we could have used in those motels with no fans. Out goes the tire pressure gauge that I got for free when I got my tires. Out goes the little Swiss army knife. While I was at it, out went all the receipts that had lived there forever, the free movie ticket, the subway card on which I had been saving points just for then trip, sigh.
One suitcase was electronics stuff. GPS and cord, laptop and cords, camera, batteries and charger (I must admit I was a bit nervous about that one) a few books, movies, and a pair of long pants should I decide it was too cold to live in shorts the entire flight. This suitcase was the one that I wouldn't let out of my sight. The other had clothes and bathroom stuff. (Guess which one got checked coming back.)
We got to the airport plenty early and S2 had printed our tickets so we were able to go straight to the gate and the dreaded security screening. I had two suitcases, my fanny pack and a crutch. Wearing shorts and carrying the metal stick alerted security so the woman security officer was paged while I was still in line. You who have never set off the alarms have never had the pleasure of the "pat down." First the wand. Gee, it alarms on the left lower extremity. What a surprise. Then the fancy swab. First my hands, then a check of the machine...nope, no explosives residue. Then the swab around the top of the prosthesis. Gee, all clear there too. Then the pat down. I am asked if I want a private room, chuckle. Here I am, in shorts, new fancy black leg and crutch, showing the world my gimpness. No biggy. Oh, I forgot, shoes had to come off, which meant that shoes also had to go back on. Finally put myself back together and then have to put the bags back together. I was amazed at how quickly Sea Tac airport got me through, really I was.
Fast forward a couple of days. Riding in the car; our nice rental car, that got great mileage and really did have a/c. An alarm sounds. At night. In a strange place. It has no message, just a picture of a tire. S2 is driving and says that all feels OK, but we are both being "cool" while secretly screaming like little girls on the inside. We pull into a gas station and do a look see at the tires. They seem OK...as we are driving out of the lot I spot FREE air!!! I have never been so excited. We can at least get out of the shady area we are in. I hate dash board alarms. They totally freak me out. I go out and start pumping air into the tire that looks as if it might be low. No change in the dash light. Then I pump air into the other tire on the driver's side, because it might be low too. Hallelujah!! The light went off. You see there was no pressure gauge on the air hose. I hadn't a clue how much air was needed and how much I was putting in. I am suddenly regretting leaving my free gauge behind. With the dash light out we high tailed it back to the motel. S2 quietly mentions that she is really sad that she had decided to take the pressure gauge out of her purse thinking that the airport security might not like it. Now tell me, people, how many women do you know that carry tire gauges in their purses? (I now hold everyone suspect.) The next day we bought a pressure gauge at the next gas station we found. I had waaay overfilled the front tire, and the back tire (the one that caused the alarm to sound) was still holding its own. Will I keep the pressure gauge in my purse the next trip by air? Most likely not. I take way too much time at security as it is. But perhaps I can convince S2 to leave her's in. In fact, whatever happened to the one we bought? It must have been in a checked bag...
I keep hearing my grand daughter telling me that teeth are not tools. She does this every time I open fruit snacks, cereal bars, etc, for her. Potato chips can be opened without said "tools" since there is plenty of air in the bag, but how does one open a granola bar without using teeth? I doubt that scissors can be easily accessible when one is flying, sharp knives are definitely out. Heck, even dull plastic knives would likely be frowned upon. Everyone knows that those little words "tear here" are some kind of cruel joke. So, my dear offspring of my dear offspring, Grandma's teeth are sometimes tools. If only I could figure out how they could be used as a tire pressure gauge. Hmmmmmmm