O’Hare is quite nice and unique for its plastic-covered toilet seats that if you push a button, they move through the wall and give you a clean slate for your fastidious bum.
I walked down the various concourses, along mechanical walkways, down steep escalators, along more walkways, up steep escalators, caught a train to another concourse, and then stopped to read the arrival and departure board. “Those that watch” saw my progress via a tiny hidden camera and before I could get there, they changed the gate and the plane was currently boarding. Panic City! I pushed my legs a little faster and squeezed through the door. Why didn’t I just walk to South Bend? I know the way.
When I landed, I was exhausted. Walking out the airport door, I suddenly realized I was missing my small computer, one of three items I was carrying. A brief moment of panic until I realized I probably left it at the car rental counter. Not there. Think! Think again! It was with me when I arrived and I didn’t set it down until…until the bathroom! I remembered placing the computer on the counter while I washed my hands, but I didn’t remember picking it up.
Gone! What to do! Security – no badges. Small airport. Nobody anywhere. A person with a name tag appeared and he sent me to the “Airport Authority Office” at the other end of the terminal. I already had the sunken feeling that it wouldn’t do any good, but I was desperate.
I once more trudged down the concourse. A very kind lady took all my information and within minutes, Officer Matt Willis was listening to my sad tale. He walked the length of the concourse with me, checking for my little computer. He even checked the bathroom where I was now certain I had left it. He was thorough, reviewing my information, and adding that he would call me at my next destination after he had checked the security tapes. We both surmised it was unlikely I would ever see it again.
Although the computer held a lot of information I didn’t want to lose, inside the case were two legal-sized sheets of e-mail addresses, User ID’s and Passwords, all neatly there for a thief to be duly thrilled to find. Also six flash drives with various information and photos were inside the case. The computer itself, sans the information, was so old it could have been launched into a trash bin with little consequence.
I left in a mood that was lower than a rattlesnake in a room full of rocking chairs as TEF used to say.
Fast forward to former neighbor’s house in MI. I hadn’t been there long when Officer Willis called and asked for me. Bob and Noushi were a little surprised that I had a call from the police. I hadn’t been there long enough to get into trouble – or so they thought.
The first thing he said was, “You really need to go buy yourself a lottery ticket.” He had looked at the tapes and discovered a little girl coming out of the women’s bathroom dangling a black-cased computer in her hand. The details aren’t necessary but after talking with her family, the computer was once more available to me.
I drove back to the airport to claim my property. The lady who had me sign for it was so thrilled I had gotten it back. Smiles all around and there you have it, an officer and a gentleman and a happy ending. God Bless until next week!
Winter in the Wilderness, the first e-book novel published by Minshall, is offered at most Internet book sites. A print edition may be obtained from Amazon, or you can order an autographed copy from the author at Box 1040, Congress, AZ for $7.95 plus $3.50 for postage and handling. The fourth edition of RVing Alaska and Canada is available through Amazon.com.
At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”