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Most of my family lives northwest Indiana, just a few miles south of Chicago. Being that it’s a 14-hour car drive to Brunswick County, most of my visitors opt to fly.
And because the cost of an airline ticket these days is not cheap, visitors are few and far between.
But last week was my lucky week. My cousin Annie and her two little girls came out last Monday, and my parents and sister arrived Saturday.
Since there is still snow falling back home, everyone decided to seek the warm, North Carolina sunshine during their spring breaks.
I love spending time with my family, and I love when visitors come stay with me. I get to show them the area, the wonderful beaches, my new apartment, the Wal-Mart, everything. But let me tell you, getting both sets of visitors here by air was no easy task.
Annie and her two girls, 10-year-old Mikala and 8-year-old Paige, opted to fly on the Skybus and drive here from Greensboro.
While they had no trouble in the airport and said they breezed through security, their trip could have had a hang-up in the first few minutes.
Annie suggested the girls both pack a “keep busy” kit, filled with markers, crayons, books and whatnot. Mikala’s a smart girl, but we worry about her sometimes. She packed a pair of scissors in her kit and carried them onto the plane with her. Luckily, security never found them, and my cousin wasn’t detained.
My sister Sara on the other hand was not so lucky. She was not detained, but she almost did not make it out of Chicago. She and my mom and dad flew out of O’Hare International Airport, and as Sara said, “Those security guards don’t play.”
Sara’s a teacher, so she decided to bring her teacher bag filled with papers to grade on the plane. What she didn’t remember was one morning a few weeks ago; she packed a bagel, cream cheese and a butter knife in her bag to take with her to school.
I’m assuming she ate the bagel, but the butter knife never made it out of the bag—until she got to O’Hare.
Sara said as her bag went through, the guard looked at the x-ray machine for a long time. She then emptied the bag and x-rayed it again. The guard finally found the knife and pulled it out of the bag.
“You can’t bring a knife onto a plane!” she yelled at my sister.
“I’m well aware of that; I obviously didn’t know it was in there,” Sara replied.
Needless to say, O’Hare collected a new knife that day.
And my family’s airport security trouble does not stop there.
My mom is a very careful yet paranoid woman. She’s constantly looking for new ways to travel safely or new inventions of hiding your money and personal possessions in your luggage or even on your body.
When she and I traveled here last August, she bought a zipper pouch for her money, license and credit cards to hang around her neck. She’d always have it with her and could put it on the inside of her shirt so no one could even see it.
She bought the pouch because she saw a TV special where people steal your stuff as it comes out of the x-ray machine, and she was not going to let it happen to her.
But when the guard told her to take her money pouch off and put it through, she looked him straight in the eyes and said with a stern expression, “You know, I really don’t feel comfortable doing that.”
Mortified, I told her to just take the pouch off and walk through the metal detector without it.
Quite frankly, I’m lucky they’re all visiting me, and I’m not visiting them in an airport detaining cell.
KATHRYN JACEWICZ is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.