I have been anxiously awaiting the end of February for a few reasons. I have been looking forward to warmer weather and having our glacier melt off of our driveway, and also anticipating a visit to Washington to visit my son, Curtis, and attend the National Farmers Union Convention.
    We all know March has a wide range of weather possibilities. Simply hearing the forecast for another polar vortex coming during the first weekend was not the prediction I wanted to hear as I was packing to fly to Washington. I had to head out early in the morning to Madison to catch a flight to Denver and then on to Seattle where Curtis would meet me at the airport.
    My plans were to stay with Curtis and his fiancée, Meeya, for a couple days and then attend the convention as a delegate for Wisconsin.
    I packed some nice clothes, but also some work clothes to help them with fallen trees that dropped in their recent snow storm. Curtis was looking forward to my help, and this was going to be my first visit to Washington where he has lived for over three years. He planned to show me where he works at the University of Washington in the astrophysics department as an engineer, then a brief tour of Seattle, and then I would finally be able see his place they recently bought on the side of a mountain.
    I did all I could do to try to fall asleep for a few hours, and then got up at 3 a.m. and fed calves before I went to the Madison airport at 6 a.m. I wanted to take my phone with me during chores so I could have my 5 a.m. alarm with me. Then, I would have plenty of time to shower and get going.
    When I was putting more bedding into the last few pens, I looked at the clock and started to frisk myself to find my phone. I had forgotten it in the house. The clock was correct with it already being 5:30. I do not think the bottles and pails even got to the sink.
    I tried to run to the house, but our driveway is still a sheet of ice. It was frustrating to have to go around the edge of the slippery ice to have traction on the snow covered ice to get to the sidewalk, so I could get in and take a speedy shower to make it to the airport on time.
    Duane drove the car around from the shed and surprised me with driving me to the airport. I had everything: tickets, phone charger, personal ID and sun glasses. I had checked in before packing and paid for my carry-on bag. All I needed to do was to get to the counter and have them tag my bag and head to gate No. 5.
    Madison airport is such a great place to fly out of. Rarely is there ever a long line, and they are friendly and accommodating. That was until this morning when I was rolling my bag up to the counter and the agent was helping someone rebook their flight because they were too late to check their bag. That was when it dawned on me that I also was too late to get my luggage on the plane.
    Funny what a small world it is. The gentleman that was taking the bags for the airlines was Matt. He lives in town, and his children went to school with my girls. He kept apologizing about the policy and even offered to run my bag to the plane and load it himself, but the supervisor told him it is the new policy, and he had to stick with it.
    I was at a loss for words. What was I to do? Travel without any luggage? Could I fit anything more into my canvas book bag? Can they send my luggage on the next flight? Nope.
    I started to heat up and sweat. Panic was taking over, and my face was turning red. I had to take my coat off. Could I travel without any luggage? Should I call my husband and rebook my flight for the next day? Oh my, I was so flustered I could not think straight.  
    Then Matt said he could drop my bag off at the farm when he was done at 2 p.m. I could get some clothes in Seattle. Not a big deal. Yes, I could travel without my luggage. All is OK.
    Tina Hinchley, her husband, Duane, and their daughters, Anna and Catherine, milk 240 registered Holsteins with robots. They also farm 2,300 acres of crops near Cambridge, Wisconsin. They have been hosting farm tours for over 20 years.