It’s a little after 1 a.m. and I’m writing from my dad’s place in South Jersey. Already sweating, and boy, are those crickets loud. You forget.

Had to rewrite a paragraph for the next “Living With Less” column — didn’t want the editor to have to wait until tomorrow — so as long as I was up I thought I’d let people know what gives here in the land of tomatoes and prisons.

For starters, I had an excellent experience flying on United Airlines. Not a single flight attendant cursed or leaped out of the plane, beer in hand.

Seriously: When I got to Sea-Tac, I asked if I could change my seat assignment from the 22nd row to something closer to the front of the plane. I was worried about the tight connection between my two flights: just 46 minutes between arriving in San Francisco and leaving for Philadelphia. The agent said the plane was full but she’d see what she could do.

Not only did she get me out of my middle seat, she got me into Row 12, an exit row, which meant I had more leg room. Even better: When I landed, I discovered the next flight was actually on the same plane – all I had to do was get off and remain in the area while they cleaned it.

I wasn’t looking forward to five hours and change in the middle seat but I’d bought this ticket at the last minute due to a family emergency. Not really expecting anything, I got off the plane and asked the agent if there were any way to switch seats. But United Airlines was way ahead of me. “I already moved you so that I could let a couple sit together,” the agent said, handing me a new boarding pass.

The attendants on both flights were pleasant, we left on time both times, there was no turbulence and the pilots just kissed it down on each landing. Given how stressed I am over the reason for the trip, all I can say is that United Airlines certainly made things easier for me.

Note: I am not getting paid to say this. With all the airline turmoil of late, I just wanted to report on a pleasant airline experience.

Two other pieces of niceness since yesterday:

  • That rebate check that expired while I was in Alaska, less than two months from its date of issue? I sent an e-mail to the company and the check is being reissued. It’s just $2.99 but I’m happy. It will go into my “Home” account, a place where I put extra cash from sources such as babysitting or manufacturers’ rebate checks. Note: It’s an account that I opened to get a $100 bonus; for more info, see “Get free money from banks.”
  • And: “The blackberry gavotte” was selected for the Festival of Frugality personal finance blog over at Frugal for Life.

In about six hours I’m going to get up, eat some oatmeal and then drive my dad’s pickup over to see my aunt. Your kind wishes will stay with me during this sad visit. Thanks for your comments.

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  1. Coupon Ninja

    Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

  2. You’ll be in my prayers.

  3. Thanks for the update. Keeping your family in my thoughts.

  4. Sarah L

    You are in my thoughts! I’m glad a few things have gone well though, a good plane ride, and the rebate being reissued! Its the small things that help sometimes!

  5. I’m glad that something is going your way. Good vibes and prayers!

  6. Thinking of you and your family.

  7. Catseye

    Donna, good to hear your plane trip was so pleasant. When you’re already so stressed out, the fewer irritants and inconveniences you have to deal with, the better.

  8. Glad the trip was pleasant, you can use all the good vibes you can get. Stay strong.

    • Donna Freedman

      Thanks, Dana — and everybody else.
      Now: What can I do about the $#@! cricket that’s inside the house?

  9. Dana Stabenow (author extraordinaire) also posted the link to the blackberry gavotte on her Facebook page 🙂

  10. My prayers will be with you and your family.

  11. Hope you are bearing up OK!

    • Donna Freedman

      Hanging in there. Just got back from visiting Bea. She is pitifully thin but fairly sanguine about the whole thing. Bea has a developmental disability but is aware of what’s wrong with her — a bunch of her siblings died of cancer — and also aware that it is not a good prognosis. “Of all the rotten luck,” she said matter-of-factly. But she’s not afraid. She has a strong religious faith so that helps.
      Thanks for your support — and that goes for ALL of you.

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