When in Rome, remember the plastic

Published 8:07 am Wednesday, February 9, 2022

By Ricky Swindle

Muffler Shop Musings

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We sure dodged an icy bullet last week weather wise. I don’t know about you, but I was glad we did.

Fifty-one weeks ago this entire area was frozen in. Do you remember that? It’s still fresh on my mind and I wasn’t even here to see it.

I was in Orlando, Fla., running all over the place with my eldest grand-heathen-son Levi for what was supposed to be a 3-day trip that turned into 10 days.

My eldest grand-heathen-daughter Rylan Clair, Clarice as I call her, had Covid issues and could not make the trip last year so Levi had the benefit of being the only grandheathen with a pair of doting grandparents all to himself.

He’s a good boy and does not ask for much, but we had fun spoiling him all the same. He’s never been away from home for more than a day and his mother was having fits with all the flight cancellations we endured for seven extra days.

Levi was able to use my phone to Facetime his Momma during that stretch so that she could at least see him. He did not have a phone of his own because his parents believed adamantly that their children should not have a phone until they reached the age of 13.

But Levi, being the pretty good responsible young man that he is, actually received his I-Phone before his 13th birthday all to the dismay of his older sister mind you.

My wife and I were discussing that Florida adventure just last week when the threat of icy weather was being forecasted for our area.

Even though we were stranded at this time last year, we were in a pretty nice place to be stuck in and at this point in our lives of being empty nesters we have managed to save a few dollars and keep plenty of room on our credit cards.  

That room on the credit cards came in handy because there is a lot to do in Orlando to pass the day, and it doesn’t come cheap. But, when in Rome as they say.

I have a new found respect and empathy for folks I see on television news stranded at airports. That must be without a doubt the worst of the worst. At least we were in a nice hotel with places to go and things to do. I would be arrested, locked up and banned from every airport in the free world from now on if I was detained inside any airport for 24 hours much less seven days.

It was bad enough to be staying in a hotel suite and being booked on a new flight everyday only to get a cancellation notice a few hours before departure. Hopes and dreams, highs and lows all intertwined together all while trying to teach a grandson the positive rewards of being optimistic during the storms of life.

So, I kept smiling and swiping that Discover card and receiving the “Is this you?” text messages from a credit card company that has rarely been used in the past dozen or so years. But we wore that boy out from Orlando to Cape Canaveral.

We are gearing up for another Orlando, Universal Studios run in March. We learned a February traveling lesson last year I believe so we’re going to give our roaming an extra five or six weeks for the weather to settle in. But this is Mississippi and if you don’t like the weather, stand still because it’ll change in a moment.

That credit card will have a zero balance before we take flight this time because along with our Grandheathen Levi, his sister Clarice and their cousin Layla Cate will be making the trip and those gals are known to be a bit high maintenance when in the presence of their Big Daddy. So, Rome it is, again.

Take care of yourself folks and keep in mind spring is only six weeks away and we don’t need a groundhog in Pennsylvania telling us what we already know either.