This the glass of sparkling wine I enjoyed at Vino Volo in BWI airport Friday afternoon.  I had just called my mother to tell her we were making a surprise visit to Florida for her birthday.  Instead of having dinner with her sister and nieces, she would be dining with her daughter and son-in-law.  There was also a whole Skype-with-your-son surprise embedded in the plan that I had not yet revealed to her.

This is the bottle of wine I bought for Mom at Vino Volo as a special birthday gift.  Their wine is a bit pricey, but that’s the premium you pay in order to be able to carry it on board a plane in these days when airline security deems all liquids a threat.

This is the book I was reading as our plane taxied away from the gate.

This is the book I switched to as our plane returned to the gate so the mechanics could check out some ominous indicator lights about our left engine.

This is the magazine that a complete stranger gave me when she saw me becoming distraught over the fact that we had sat in the airport for several hours with no resolution to our malfunctioning airplane situation.  I was distressed at the thought that my mother had awakened that morning looking forward to a pleasant birthday dinner with her sister and nieces, and instead was getting no dinner at all while she waited to find out when/if we would be showing up.

This is how my father responded to a profanity-laden email intended for my brother but accidentally sent to him.

This is my mother.  While she hasn’t said so explicitly, I’m guessing that Friday was not her Best Birthday Ever.  But she handled it all with good grace, like the graceful lady she is.  Our silver lining is that AirTran* awarded us free round-trip tickets as compensation for our inconvenience.  Hopefully we can put them to good use and give Mom a nice Birthday Supplement soon.

*Note to AirTran:  I issued a few uncharitable tweets in your name in the midst of this Friday disaster.  I was wrong to do that.  AirTran staff did everything appropriate to ensure the safety and comfort of its passengers, and I am truly appreciative.