Again I have to apologize for a maudlin post. Yesterday I was just plain stinkin' thinkin' about why do I have to... why doesn't so-and-so... if I could just blurt it out I'd say... and on and on! How ridiculous, really, to dwell on that sort of thing, when I have huge news to report:
I was followed by an unmarked car! For all we know, government agencies with lots of initials are tracking my every blog move now!
Before you decide this is all melodrama, you have to know that I wear many, many hats. Prolly like y'all. Anyway, in my capacity as Girl Friday for my eng-gen-eer husband, I was called upon this week to drive out to the airport for photos. I have performed this photog duty before, it wasn't stressful at all. Heck, no! There was even a Dutch Brothers on the way, so I was glad to go.
In fact, the airport was a relief to me. Any other day my subject might have been a stinky poop--I mean wastewater treatment--plant, or a huge, loud underground pump station, or a brushy, blackberry-bramble-impassable hillside, or a boring subdivision of McMansions. So Grace and Laura and I happily buckled up in the 'burban, and took off for the airport, just 40 miles away or so from home.
These photos didn't have to be fantastic works of art (good thing, 'cause it's wordy little Miriam, not Ansel Adams, you're saying), just representative of the vast project the company had completed last year. I have been attempting to get said eng-gen-eer honey to expense a fancy new Canon digital SLR camera with unbelievable zoomability, but this is not in the immediate cards.
So lacking (VERY IMPORTANT) zoom lens, upon entering Mahlon Sweet airspace, on the ground of course, I had to get sorta close to my intended subjects. I pulled over to take a picture of the airport sign for the proposal cover. I carefully framed a pic in which the sign was fully legible and the tower was in the far ground. I mighta blocked traffic for a minute. But who's gonna hit a huge white Suburban with its hazards on?
At this point I didn't notice the unmarked burgundy Crown Vic behind me.
I slowly cruised around the end of the long-term parking lot, trying for an angle -- and this is not easy to do while 3-month-old is starting to fuss for her next feeding -- that showed some cool runwayage as well as a plane or two. I shot a few pics, then moved on to chain link fence at the edge of the short-term lot for the piece-de-resistance: terminal photos. Ha ha.
Now, right about here in the story, I thought the annoying guy in the Crown Vic might need to pick a parking spot rather than vulture around after me already.
Finally, the perfect vantage point in which the runways looked like silver stripes, the "arrival" and "departure" signs were evident for context, and a few planes were posed like models for scale. The contractor to whom we were submitting this bid would think a professional -- no a TEAM of professionals -- took these photos. They would think there is no other choice but to sub out to us. Really.
The baby's fussing turned abruptly to piercing cries. I decided I was done, with good timing. I turned off the camera, stowed it in the passenger seat. Turned off the hazards and glanced in my rearview mirror.
Oops... Crown Vic guy is still with us. And he's getting out?! I always did like a man in uniform, but there's no need for him to come over to greet us. Oh, there is?
So, dear readers, let me tell you that taking multiple photos of all the approaches and perimeters of a smallish city airport is not the least suspicious thing you could do in a big white Suburban.
I'm guessing the screaming baby, wide-eyed preschooler and multiple carseats didn't say terrorist recon to him. So you see, working with your children in tow is valuable on so many levels. And at the risk of getting busted (again), I'll confess here that my visit with the law shook me up enough to stop for a second mocha on my way back to upload the pics, which are now safely embedded in the proposal for survey work.