Tara Kaprowy

I knew it was dangerous to talk about my flight to Winnipeg before it actually happened. Somehow as I was typing out my plans in my column — how I would take flights from Lexington to Detroit, Detroit to Minneapolis, Minneapolis to Winnipeg — I had a feeling that, rhinosaurus-like, Jinx was going to get grouchy.

And, umm, she did.

I arrived in Lexington about one and a half hours before my flight to Detroit. I stood in line, loving how the Lexington airport is so small the ticketing agents wear sweatshirts. But, as I stood, I heard a rumor a flight was delayed. Somehow I wasn’t worried. I just quietly looked at the bells and ribbon in my purse, focusing only on the point when I would be able to ring them.

Then one of the sweatshirts had all the Detroit passengers move to a different line.

Still calm, I waited for my turn, and didn’t flinch even when a woman — that type of woman who wears a warm-up suit sewn with gold thread and jewels — cut in front of me.

When I got to the front, the Sweatshirt with the faux-hawk told me I was going to miss all of my flights to Winnipeg because the Detroit flight was the one that was delayed.

Apparently there was no flight crew.

Sweatshirt looked me over. Suddenly I realized he was assessing me for a mission.

“Do you have a car?” he asked.


“Can you drive to Louisville?”


“Can you get there fast?”


“There is a flight leaving from Louisville in two hours that I can get you on,” he said. “That will get you to Winnipeg by midnight. But you’ve got to leave right now.”

Hope welled and I heard the bells jingle.

“Let’s do it!”

I was halfway to my car when I realized one very important thing: My return flight would still have me flying into Lexington. But my car would be in Louisville.

Now near tears I went back to Sweatshirt and told him the very important thing.

He typed and typed and typed and got another Sweatshirt typing and typing and typing for me. Precious minutes passed. And then the new Sweatshirt turned to the old Sweatshirt and said: “Could we cab her?”

The next thing I knew I was getting thrown into a taxi, with the Sweatshirt’s only question to the driver being: “How fast can you get her to Louisville?”

Unfortunately, I recently saw the movie “The Bone Collector,” the premise of which involves a cab driver who traps his victims in his car and kills them in horrific ways.

With his scraggly hair, my cab driver seemed to fit the bill of serial killer. And as we drove down back roads that I hoped led to Louisville, farmland the only witness to our whereabouts, I could see my picture on CNN with the headline, “Canadian Missing.”

But eventually the farmland poured onto I-64 and I felt relatively confident we were on our way to Louisville. And, true to his word, the cab driver was driving fast. Very, very fast.

And he got me to the airport. Despite it being Dec. 23, there was no line at the ticketing booth or at security. I sat at the gate and saw that the flight was on time.

I heard the bells jingle again.

The flight brought me to Minneapolis. After a four-hour layover there, I was on my way to Winnipeg. As we started our descent, I saw just how much snow there was on the prairies. And I realized how excited I was to see my parents.

I arrived at the airport at 12:30 a.m., just an hour and a half later than originally scheduled. I hopped in a taxi and soon was bounding up the steps to my mom’s front door. Then, as planned, I took out the bells and wrapped them around my neck.

“I’ll be home with bells on!” I shouted. “Trim the tree and wrap the presents, turn the Christmas music on, this Christmas I’ll be home with bells on!”

My other dad, Peter, who was in on the surprise since the beginning, opened the door.

“She’s upstairs in bed,” he whispered.

I tromped up the stairs and started singing at the bedroom door. After a minute I opened it and there was my little mom in her big bed, watching TV with the covers pulled up to her chin.

She looked scared at first, unable to register what was going on in the middle of the night.

And then she screamed and hugged and hugged me.

And it was perfect.

Staff writer Tara Kaprowy can be reached by e-mail at tkaprowy@sentinel-echo.com.

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