Heading home for Thanksgiving in Maine


By the time we waited for the end of the parade of passengers in wheelchairs, families with children, TrueBlue Loyalty folk, military personnel and travelers with “Extra Leg Room” tickets, there were probably 10 of us left to board the flight from West Palm Beach.

(Important aside: Mr. Wonderful is known for his spectacular short game in golf, his innate musicality and creativity, and for his thrift. A Mainer might suggest he still has his blueberry money. I know from experience he thinks it’s a “total waste of money” to pay $15 extra for seats that “aren’t that much roomier. Period.”)


That also meant that, by the time we got to Seats 17 C and D, most of the overhead bins were full. We don’t believe in checking bags. Been there, lost them. We are the people you see hoisting and squeezing stuffed carry-ons, bulging computer bags and oversized, overflowing totes into the 2x4’ space.

We had left our Honda van in Florida and flew north because Mr. W. planned to use it when he returns in December to play golf with the guys. As we settled into the flight, enjoying our meal of Carnival Kettle Crisp & Crunchy Popped Corn Chips, and 6 oz. bottles of water, I asked Bob if he had remembered to put the Maine house key in his shaving kit. 


He had not. Apparently I hadn’t reminded him. That meant the house key was on the car key ring in Florida and we were somewhere over Georgia at 25,000 feet. Fortunately, I did remember that we had a “robber key” stashed behind a bush near the back deck of the house. I hoped.



After landing at JFK, we left the tanned, tony Palm Beach passengers, in their Lilly Pulitzer and Vineyard Vines outfits, and hiked over to Gate 6 for the flight to Portland. Awaiting us was a signature Maine crowd heading home to the Pine Tree State, sporting Cabela’s sweatshirts, LLBean hiking boots, mom jeans and John Deere baseball hats. 

By now one of my carry-on bags was causing an issue with Bob.  I noticed that he listed slightly as he walked. “What in the world do you have in here,” he groaned. When I hesitantly told him I’d put two three-pound barbells in there (“I need them for my sciatica,”), he asked “Don’t they sell these in Maine?”


“Welcome back,” our friend Ken said as we exited the terminal and threw our luggage into the back of his car. Sunlight dappled the few remaining yellow leaves on trees bordering the Maine Turnpike as we drove to Kennebunk. That day’s PORTLAND PRESS HERALD lay in a plastic wrapper on our walkway. A purple mum plant I’d left on the front porch weeks ago was still blooming. HOME!



This adorable photo was taken by our friend Ken Janes. It aptly depicts what we will all be doing next week -- that and enjoying family and friends.  "Wandering With Val" is taking the week off and will be back the first week of December.  Happy Thanksgiving!