My Impulsivity Can Be Surprising!

When my husband, Danny, was invited to go hut skiing the same weekend as our trip to Wisconsin, skiing won. You’re not surprised, are you?

Anyway, last Tuesday, Danny remembered we hadn’t transferred the tickets. I had spaced them out too. Duh! We would lose them on Thursday. One ticket could be used in April, but I couldn’t think of another time to go back.

While taking a walk on the trail near our house, I had a thought. Why should I stick around the house while Danny has fun and my mom’s eighty-fifth birthday is the same weekend? (Danny says I’m the queen of rhetorical questions.) Then BAM! I had a Eureka moment. I’ll surprise my parents!

This being totally last minute, I called my brother to make sure this would be a good time to come. He thought it was a great idea and arranged to pick me up at the airport. I hoped I wouldn’t give them a heart attack. My dad turned eighty-nine a couple of weeks ago and my mom would turn eighty-five on the 9th.

When I arrived at DIA, I had two hours to spare. Security always takes forever, but glancing over the railing, the line was non-existent. What? Was the airport shut down and I didn’t get the memo?

I sailed down the escalator and asked the security guy, “Where is everyone?”

“A plane ran off the tarmac in Chicago and there’s bad weather back east. Lots of flights were cancelled.”

“Cool!” Woohoo! photo (8)

While waltzing to my gate, I took a photo along the way. Okay. I took a ton of photos to get one that was somewhat acceptable. My arms are too short for selfies and they distort my face. The others looked like I was picking my nose.

I plopped down on a chair near the gate since I was tired from walking and my knee ached. Sitting down for two hours would aggravate it. My doctor had said “Have a great trip,” the day before, but I still worried about a setback. Then I overheard someone say our flight was sold out. Dang. Ill be crammed between two people and won’t be able to move for two hours. Oh well, I figured I could elevate and ice it at my parents’ house.

A lady took the window seat next to me while I waited for someone to take the one on the aisle. I scanned the aisle while the cabin doors closed. No one showed up. YES! I scored an empty seat for my sore left leg. No lie. It was a major score! *

When I arrived in Madison my brother, Joe, picked me up. I was so excited, I forgot to pick up flowers for my mom.

We walked into the house and their Collie pranced into the kitchen. I thought he would go ballistic, but he just wagged his tail. He must’ve guessed something was up. I heard my mom ask, “Joe is that you?” from the TV room.

This was it! I hoped she would be okay with my surprise. She had no idea. Neither did I until forty-eight hours before.

Mom sauntered into the dining room where we stood in the dark. I hunted for a light switch, but couldn’t find one, so I asked Joe to turn it on.

She recognized my voice.

“Who’s that?” she said and then started crying. “Susie? No. It can’t be.”
“Oh! Are you really here?”


“SURPRISE!” I said and gave her a hug.


My dad has dementia, but he was happy to see me too!


It was the best surprise ever.

Sometimes it pays to be forgetful or impulsive or both. As long as there are a few tears and no heart attacks, it’s all good.

*I got an empty seat on my return flight too. I should play the lottery.

Do you like surprises? Do you like to surprise others?

68 thoughts on “My Impulsivity Can Be Surprising!

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  1. That picture made me cry… How wonderful of you to do this…
    ” Dang. I’ll be crammed between two people and won’t be able to move for two hours”

    My biggest fear all the time.. Glad you made it.


  2. Oh how lovely, brought a tear to my eye! Generally I don’t like surprises myself (apart from surprise presents because, well, because!) – I think it’s because of my introversion that I don’t like surprises, I need time to mentally plan how I will manage a situation that involves interacting with other people! However I do love to see other people who like surprises, receiving them.


    1. I’m an extrovert and have been unnerved by surprise parties. I think it’s the shock. I wrote some examples and then I thought, “Maybe I’ll blog them sometime!”
      There’s definitely no time to prepare. That’s the fun of it from the outside. Ha!


  3. I generally don’t like surprises, but a surprise visit like this would fill anyone with joy. I’m sure your parents were delighted! My brother once surprised me by showing up at Thanksgiving at my mother’s place once. He lived far away so I wasn’t expecting it. What a wonderful surprise that was!

    And yes, you should definitely play the lottery. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your brother is so cool! It is a really fun thing to do.
      She wasn’t expecting me at all especially since I’m planning to go back in April. It was perfect timing all the way around. And can you believe I got an empty seat next to me both ways????

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much!
      My dad only has about 20% of blood flowing to his brain since he’s in congestive heart failure. I can’t imagine functioning on so little! He was great when he walked their dog three times a day. When his knees wore out, he became more sedentary and he started presenting with dementia. He’s a very happy guy though and still draws every day!
      I’m sorry to hear your dad is going through that too.
      I was very grateful to spend time with both of them. 🙂


    1. Thanks so much for reading! It’s been kind of slow here on the Wild Ride today. Spring Break and nicer weather may be pulling everyone outside and away from their computers. 🙂


  4. What a lovely surprise, Susie! Your parents were so happy to visit with you.

    My nature is to be a planner so being the guest of honor at a surprise party would not go over well with me, but I love to be at surprise party for someone else. 😉


    1. They were really happy I visited. I was glad I went too! 🙂
      As extroverted as I am, I’m a planner too and I want to be coifed and dressed appropriately. One time, my husband told me to dress to the nines. I wore a long formal. We went to a brew pub and surprised me for my 40th. I WAS SO OVERDRESSED! Ha!


  5. I’m not big on getting or giving surprises, Susie, but when it comes to living out of state and showing your parents you love them, I’m completely on board with that. I did that a few times myself with my dad in San Francisco. So, I think it’s wonderful that you surprise visited your mom and dad. As you know, I became an orphan last summer. When I look back on my relationship with my parents, I know that showing them love and appreciation was one thing I didn’t screw up. I have the impression that you’re the same way.


    1. Awwww! That is so great that you did that while they were alive. The loss must be terrible. I’ve been worried about my dad and my mom just had eye surgery on her good eye. It hasn’t been a great year for them. I think it was just what my mom needed! I was especially glad we could all go out for dinner for my mom’s birthday.
      Thanks V!


      1. The loss isn’t terrible per se, but it is profound. My mother got shafted in the health department. She was seriously ill for almost a decade before she died. My dad, he was given the gift of a full life, but he spent almost 25 years of it without his soul mate who (whom? always get who and whom confused) he missed terribly. I was very grateful that he hung around for so long. I’m glad that you seem to get on well with your parents. I did, too. That in itself is also a gift. In the grand scheme, they’re supposed to buy their rainbows before us. It’s not easy to see them go, but I think that us being left behind is how it should be.


  6. Spontaneous surprises are the best and it sounds like yours was a terrific one. Surprises that are long, drawn out, megga planning marathons can’t ever live up to the hype. They just become stressful for everyone involved.
    (I do think you should play the lottery.) 😉


  7. Duuuuuuuude what a great surprise for your parents! I love these kinds of stories when you plan something awesome for someone and it turns out being the greatest part of their day. Nice!


  8. How wonderful! I’m glad no one had a heart attack. I bet your mum was stoked. I hate surprises on me but like to surprise others. That’s naughty isn’t it.


  9. Such a sweet surprise. Spontaneity rocks!

    Before I run off (because I can.. I haven’t recently had a knee replacement), I must say first that you still look like you are picking your nose in the picture. Second, I still love that hat. This time it does not make me want to yell ARE WE NOT MEN, it makes me want to hum the theme to Doctor Zhivago. Balalaikas are playing in my head.


  10. Being an introvert, I intensely dislike surprises. Really dislike. Okay, if I’m to be honest, I have to use the “h” word. I HATE surprises.

    But give me a chance to surprise someone else? I’m all over that like sticky gum on a sneaker.

    (Sounds like you’re feeling better. And spring is on its way. *grin*)


    1. I’m an extrovert and some surprises have freaked me out. I think it’s because I’m a planner. I lucked out with my parents. They were so happy to see me! Whew!
      I am feeling better and hit the exercise bike for 30 minutes today. I need to start interval training….ugh.
      Thanks! Spring is around the corner! I bet it’s beautiful in Italy.


      1. It’s beautiful but surprisingly chilly today. But we’re happy to be here…especially after checking the weather back home and another 12 inch of snow is expected this weekend. Double yikes!


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