One thing about the Vancouver trip to my parents' was that I lost my bag on the way there. Well, not lost exactly. I was flying Baltimore to Toronto to Vancouver. In the height of the excitement about the ice storm, my trip was re-routed from Baltimore. I flew from Washington DC instead (which meant an unexpected ride on a commuter train the morning of my departure). So, I was rattled and delayed and had been to two airports before I had actually really left.
Then, there was Toronto's Pearson Airport, designed, apparently, to control population size by causing aneurisms in passengers hoping to make connecting flights between the US and Canada but needing to clear customs, immigration and a security line first.
In the melee at Pearson, I claimed someone else's check-in baggage off the belt, cleared it through customs and had it checked (to myself) in Vancouver. I lugged someone else's luggage for close to an hour. It felt like mine in terms of weight. It looked like mine in terms of size and colour.
On arriving in Vancouver (surprisingly, after all that, only 6 hours behind schedule), my father drove me to their house. We wove in and out of our lane. It was dark. It was scary.
And then I assembled dinner for my father, mother and myself out of the items painstakingly procured by my father (rye bread, salami and prosciutto or, as he refers to it without realizing he has it wrong, promiscuitto).
Then finally it was bed time, and I opened "my" luggage, to discover dirty woollen men's socks and a cell phone and laptop with keyboards in cyrillic.
Air Canada had the whole mess sorted out by Christmas day. (Which was remarkable: the baggage handlers are very clever and kind; the clerks helping transfer passengers at Pearson are deliberately slow and cruel.)
And now I am back. And my luggage is here at the House, and the children are prepping for their respective birthday parties (Winton's is tomorrow, Clara's is Sunday). And I have lost my voice.
Happy New Year.