We are somewhere over Iowa.  It’s dark out on this turbulent night over the plains.  From time-to-time I see small towns, but from this vantage, Iowa is mainly empty.

We’re heading home with a stop and change in Las Vegas.

One row behind, Stef is lying across all three seats.  To my right, Helaine is asleep.  I just woke up.  We are bushed.

Three days and two nights in motion! Our trip was brutally short.

Today has been an awful weather day in the Midwest.  Tornadoes.  Downpours.  Wind.  The biggest action was south of Milwaukee, though our weather wins no prize.

On time departure!  All things considered, big surprise.

We handed our Dodge Charger (ugh) back to Dollar and walked into the terminal.

Helaine and I handed our boarding passes and licenses to the TSA gatekeeper at MKE’s C Concourse.  She pointed to the right.  In front of us was a line.  She was pointing to the airport equivalent of an HOV lane.

“You won’t have to remove your shoes or belt,” she said.  “You’ve been pre-screened.”

Stef, following behind but traveling to LAX instead of SNA, wasn’t as lucky.

I tried not to look this gift horse in the mouth.  Why us?  Why now?  Is it because we’ve flown so many times recently we seem trustworthy, or was it random luck?

Our flight is unusually empty.  There are 60 empty seats.

Sully had some trouble keeping it on the center line as we rolled down Runway 24.  The plane rocked from side-to-side on-the-ground and in-the-air.

It never felt like we were in danger.  It just took a few minutes to feel like smooth modern jet travel.

Taking off marked the end of a weekend of accomplishments.

My parents new apartment is a little more homey than when we  arrived.  There is food in the ‘fridge, towels in the bathroom and some scattered lamps.  A tiny TV is hooked to the cable, as is a router for WiFi.

The bulk of the furniture arrives Monday with all sorts of deliveries scattered through the week.

We split into teams Saturday.  The girls shopped with my mom.  The men went with my dad.  Think whirlwind.  All things considered my parents held up reasonably well.

I’m sure my folks are still a little… maybe a lot… disoriented.  This kind of move is huge.  So much of it was accomplished out of their sight.  They’ve jumped on a merry-go-round in motion!

My mom would rather be back in Florida.  My dad’s more a realist.  They need a ready backstop.  Assisted living sounds clinical, but the words fit.  Staff is there to assist.  Our family is there to assist too.

Helaine, Stef and I stayed with my niece Melissa and her husband Mark.  We were their first guests!  Hopefully they took pride in what they did, because they were great hosts and their home… their first home… is beautiful.

Before we planned on helping my folks, we planned on coming to Milwaukee.  This trip was to celebrate my sister’s sixtieth.  We had an amazing “Chef’s Table” experience, eating in the kitchen at  Shully’s in nearby Thiensville.

There are loads of pics coming, so I’ll wait with details.  It was a first for me.  Very cool concept, exceptionally executed.  Our table was loud with laughter.  Our little family doesn’t celebrate together often enough.

It will be well after midnight when we get home to Irvine and Stef to Hollywood.  We will all sleep well tonight.

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