Sunday, April 23, 2006

Weekend Adventures!

This past weekend has been an absolute blast. In spite of the ... um ... precarious start on Friday, the weekend developed into one of the best weekends in recent, and not-so-recent history.

For starters, my good friend Phyllis was coming to visit me. (She lives in Michigan, and works in the medical field by way of the University of Michigan Hospital.) This was the only weekend that she had available between March and the end of June. I was sad to think that my plans were going to cause us to cancel the weekend -- until I casually explained what I had planned.

The Knitter's Frolic, an event hosted by the Downtown Knit Collective.

Phyllis knits. Need I say more?

The plan was for Phyllis to arrive in Toronto on Friday evening by way of Via. I would arrive at Union Station at the designated time, we would travel to the proper hotel, and we would spend the weekend conversing, knitting, shopping, and relaxing.

Her train was scheduled to arrive at 21:15. We both interpreted it to be 11:15 pm. (Duh. No comments on our silliness, please. It only gets better!) She was en route when she realized that her arrival would be at 9:15 pm. Being the highly-intelligent person she is, she attempted to call us by way of her cell phone -- only to discover that she had no signal in the Via train. Darn!

She arrived at Union Station and attempted to call us. We had already left home, to deliver the daughters to their designated Friday evening entertainments. One was staying overnight with a friend; the other was to be met at Timmy's at 10:45 pm for the return home. There was a time frame to deal with.

In my excitement at going to the Frolic as well as meeting Phyllis, AND the excitement of the girls' in their evening adventures, we grabbed up our various belongings and rushed out the door. I grabbed my knitting bag and my duffle bag and we went merrily on our way.

At 9:00 pm, in Pickering, I discovered that I had ... um ... overlooked bringing my purse. Which contained Phyllis' cell phone number. To return home to retrieve my purse and then get me to Union Station by 11:15 while simultaneously meeting the daughter at the designated Timmy's at 10:45 was impossible. Did I mention that we don't have a cell phone? Nor does the daughter?

With cash in hand, I boarded the GO train at 10:00 pm, confident in at least meeting Phyllis. She'll have a credit card with which to check into the hotel. My wonderful and supportive hubby will deliver my purse to me (with credit cards intact I might add) in the morning, and all would be well.

Meanwhile, Phyllis has arrived at Union Station and attempted to call us at home. No one is there, because as mentioned above ... we are en route to the Pickering GO station by way of delivering daughters to their evening festivities. Phyllis, being the highly intelligent person she is (and I do say this sincerely), resolutely finds a spot and sits knitting calmly and waiting for me.

At 10:00 she decided to try to call the hotel where she HOPES I have made a reservation. I had mentioned that we were getting a really wonderful rate, but neglected to tell her which hotel. Ah, the vagaries of middle age. Anyway, she takes a gamble and calls a hotel. It is the proper hotel, they DO have a reservation for me, but I am, alas, not yet checked in. Cleverly, (I did mention she is intelligent, right?) Phyllis leaves a message for me.

Meanwhile, I have arrived at Union Station at 11:00 pm, after a 20-minute delay due to track maintenance. Frantic to be in the proper place when Phyllis' train arrives at -- with a sinking heart I realize that her train arrived at 9:15 pm. Where, oh where would she be? Would she be waiting patiently for me somehwere in Union Station? Would she have taken a cab to the -- oh darn, I didn't tell her which hotel.

I spend 20 minutes searching for her. Do not see her anywhere. Have the brilliant idea that perhaps she could be paged. GO personnel are wonderful, by the way. They listened to my tale of woe, and arranged for a page. Unfortunately, by the time a message goes out by way of the loudspeakers, it is unintelligible. Phyllis heard the page, but couldn't understand what it said.

She called my house again, and was able to speak to my dear husband. He advised her that I would be meeting her in the Great Hall of Union Station, that I should be there already, and he'd call her if he heard from me. Phyllis headed resolutely up to the Great Hall.

Meanwhile, I called the hotel. Yes, they had my reservation. No, no one had attempted to claim it. But they DID have a message for me from someone named Phyllis. Did I want to hear it?

Thinking clearly for possibly the first time since my arrival at Union Station, I left a message for Phyllis that I was heading for the Great Hall and would (hopefully) see her there soon.

Then I called home. Yes, they had spoken to Phyllis. She was still at the Station, and would be waiting for me in the Great Hall. I barely hung up the phone and raced off to the Great Hall.

Wouldn't you know that the ball game would end (and hordes of people would flock into The Great Hall) just as I climbed up the steps into the Hall? All you could hear was people yelling "GO TORONTO!" Not being a baseball fan and it being 11:30 pm by now, I was somewhat less than thrilled. All those people and noise would make it difficult for Phyllis to hear me when I stood in the middle of the hall, crying her name plaintively, and then sobbing pitifully into my tissues that I had misplaced my best friend.

But you know what? Sometimes, wonderful things happen. I looked down the length of the Hall and there she was, sitting patiently and knitting. Not looking lost and lonely. Looking quite content and confident that her friend would meet her.

We look at each other and laugh at the silliness of ourselves in seeing 21:15 as 11:15. We laugh at how two intelligent women can be so silly over times. We laugh at how ridiculous it is for me to have forgotten my purse. We laugh with the sheer joy of being able to visit with each other. We take a taxi to the hotel.

We walk in and walk up to the front desk to check in. The young lady looks up at us -- and says "You must be the train ladies." Yes. Yes, we are the train ladies.

The Knitter's Frolic is on Saturday. Just to let you know -- we did make it to the venue. We came, we saw, my husband did deliver my purse and credit cards, and we shopped. There is photographic evidence.

Why am I not smiling? Actually, the photo snapped in the brief moment between smile and mouth open to explain that one must hold the button down until the flash happens. A split second before, and a split second beyond, I was smiling from ear to ear. And giggling.

It was a good day.

Tomorrow I'll tell you what I got. And for the record -- that pile of purchases belongs partly to Phyllis. Also, we each brought a bag of knitting with us for those few moments when we sat down.

Ah ... what a day it was. We're already planning for next year.

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