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On the first day of our travels, we had a layover in San Francisco on the way to Santa Barbara. We shared the waiting area with a family of four (two parents and two adult children around the same ages as Kelly and Kip). When we first sat down, the only thing I really noticed about the family is that they were spread out across a long bank of chairs against the wall and taking up a lot of space. Mom was sitting at the left next to the son, the dad was stretched out across four chairs with a baseball cap covering his face, and the daughter was sitting a few chairs down on the other side of the dad.

They were sitting to my left and as you know, I’m deaf in my left ear so I could not hear any part of their conversation. However, at one point their voices went up a couple of notches and I heard the son say to the father, “Keep your voice down, you are disturbing the lady in the blue coat.” I then heard the father say, “Well, the lady in the blue coat can move her ass.”

I was the lady in the blue coat. I shifted in my seat so my good ear pointed in their direction.

It quickly became obvious that this foursome was a very troubled family. I could not tell exactly what was going on, but clearly everyone was very distraught. At one point,  the weepy mother got up and wandered off. As the son pleaded with her to stay, the dad asked what was going on. The son replied the mother was “freaking out – having a melt down.” Meanwhile the daughter was sobbing quietly to herself. Had someone died? Were they going to a funeral?  Was the daughter pregnant and being taken off to a home for unwed mothers (okay, I have a limited imagination)?

I admit, I was smug. After all, my family was sitting quietly reading (well, Ralphie was sleeping on the floor in a lump because he had been up all night at Sober Grad night), but Kelly and Tony were reading and I was not “freaking out or having a melt down.”

When we arrived in Santa Barbara, the four of them waited on the curb several feet apart form each other. They were all smoking which just explained everything as far as I was concerned. As their ride pulled up,  the son said, “Let’s not argue, this is Bonnie’s big day.” A beautiful, smiling soon to be graduating young woman jumped out of the car. They smiled and hugged Bonnie hello and went on their way.

Day 10: We are the airport family.

Ten days earlier . . . .