The Longest Day

Category: Weekly Columns

I wonder how many readers remember the movie, “The Longest Day?” That was the inspiration for the title of this week’s column since one of my summer days this summer was indeed a very long day. We had been visiting my in-laws in Vancouver and the trip was over and we were leaving early the next morning. I don’t like airports at all so I approached the day with a minor degree of dread.

Apology: I try very hard to write well, to get grammar and spelling correct, but this column just beat me up. I know the tense is mixed. I couldn’t decide if it should be present or past, so I sort of split the difference, completely confusing myself in the process!

As that aspect turned out, it was pretty routine. Lines were moderately short, waits limited, plane took off and landed on time, and best of all, the one empty seat on the flight was the middle seat between my wife and me. Oh, and the TSA didn’t pat me down this time.

When I finally hit the sack, 19 hours after rising that morning, I reflected a bit about the day. All was well and fine, but it was indeed a long day. As my writing tends to be in the “slice-of-life” vein, herewith a slice of my life after one looonnnnggggg day:

4:30 a.m. – Woke up. Made coffee. Did computer work. Ate a quick breakfast: including finishing the last of the world’s best cinnamon rolls, available at Grounds For Coffee in Vancouver. Finished packing.

5:20 a.m. – Loaded my in-law’s car with our baggage, including my wife’s hefty, heavy, and very full golf bag. Left for airport.

6:05 a.m. – Filled out customs form and checked in. Went through TSA line, sleepily took off my shoes and other stuff…headed to customs line. It was long and slow. I take the opportunity to people-watch and imagine whom everyone is.

6:40 a.m. – Went online for a few minutes while waiting to board our 8:00 a.m. flight. Fell asleep with the laptop sitting next to me. Thankfully, Vancouver airport offers free wi-fi.

7:45 a.m. – Boarded the full plane. Struggled to get my carry-on in the overhead bin, as people shoved by me.

8:00 a.m. – Plane takes off, more or less on time…what a pleasant surprise!

8:10 – 9:55 a.m. – Slept.

9:55 a.m. – Begin to write another column. Get about halfway through when we begin approach and am told to turn off all electronic devices.

10:20 a.m. – Walk the walk to the baggage area.

10:30 a.m. – Miraculously, both my wife’s regular bag and over-size golf bag arrive.

10:35 a.m. – Waiting for the shuttle to the parking lot.
10:40 a.m. – Waiting for the shuttle to the parking lot.
10:45 a.m. – Waiting for the shuttle to the parking lot.

11:00 a.m. – Get our car and exit the parking structure.

11:45 a.m. – Arrive home. Unload the car. Wife begins her return-home ritual – cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning.

12:30 p.m. – The boys, my wife and me head out for lunch.

1:30 p.m. – I turn back on my iPhone to see if it still works after 6 days (see Leaving the iPhone Behind). Sort through email and snail mail. Connect my computer at my desk and begin doing busywork.

2:30 p.m. – Head to golf course to warm up for lesson I foolishly booked for today. Make a tee-time in the pro-shop for Monday. Go to locker room and put on sun block. Head to range and begin warming up. Fall asleep on the grass.

3:00 p.m. – 30-minute bunker lesson – first one – with my golf pro. Fun. I sort of get it.

3:45 p.m. – Back home: back on the computer. Bring it downstairs and multi-task while watching Olympics with my son. Eat some chocolate. Drink some more coffee.

4:15 p.m. – Walk Simon, our dog; or should I say, he pulled me along.

4:45 p.m. – Finish column I began on the plane.

5:20 p.m. – Briefly fall asleep in front of television during the volleyball match going on at The Olympics.

6:15 p.m. – Help wife fold up and put away laundry. Briefly. She continues cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning.

7:00 p.m. – Open bottle of wine. Pour two glasses. Color looks off. Give to my wife and she says it’s bad. Pour out the bottle; open another. It’s fine.

7:55 p.m. – Begin dinner while watching the prime time Olympics coverage. Have another glass of wine.

10:00 p.m. – Older son and best friend wake me up in front of television and make fun of me ‘cause my shirt had revealed my belly, in all its glory.

10:30 p.m. – I LOVE The Olympics but struggle to stay awake through the rest of the first prime-time broadcast from London.

11:30 p.m. – I lose the struggle and head to bed where my wife is deep asleep. I give Simon a pet or two, lay down with him for a few moments, brush my teeth, and slip into bed.

I like busy, active days and this day was no exception. The old adage that when you want to get something done, give it to a busy person is often true: just don’t give it to me. Better to give it to my wife.

Usually, I enjoy busy and active days. Thursday is my regular busy day of the week and the peak of my workweek. I love Thursdays, though often when I finish up #DadChat I am truly brain-overloaded. Right now, I’m going back to sleep…

  • dadblunders


    I think I am to much of a movie buff at times. I do recall The Longest Day released in the 1960’s about D-Day told from both points of view. Excellent film and I believe it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture.

    As far as going from present tense to past tense in a post I believe sometimes that’s alright. I agree our posts should be grammatically correct and readable as possible but I truly wonder how many people actually notice the errors.

    When we are trying to write a post a day it is hard not to make a mistake or an error. I know have done it! I have done it this week in fact and it was brought to my attention. I meant to write the word “meditation” and instead I used “mediation” it wasn’t bad enough I did it once but I actually did 3 times in a row. I knew the correct spelling and meaning I just had tunnel vision. It happens to all of us.

    The one nice thing about a long day is that they end! My two cents for the day…. 🙂


    • Bruce Sallan

      Thanks for the support, Aaron. The irony is that this particular “Longest Day” doesn’t begin to compare to EVERY day of my cross-country road-trip of which I’m FINALLY nearing the end. At least I’m at our final destination and don’t have to drive anymore. Yesterday was “Move-In” day at my son’s college. I’m soooo done with this trip! 

      Ironically, the movie “The Longest Day” was notoriously long itself at 178 minutes!

  • Ted Rubin

    Love it 🙂

    • Bruce Sallan

      The irony Ted is that that day was nothing compared to most days on this road-trip of ours! 

  • MimiBakerMN

    bahahaha Bruce! I could totally see myself falling asleep numerous times during that kind of a day. The best place would’ve been on the golf course! =)

    • Bruce Sallan

      Do you golf Mimi?

  • Brian Vickery

    That 10:35am – 10:45am slot gets the ole’ blood pressure going…especially in Denver where it can be downright cold!

    • Bruce Sallan

      And I’m totally impatient to boot!

  • Pingback: Radio Show: Overwhelmed and Post-Script from Cross-Country Trip | Bruce Sallan Radio Show | A Dad's Point Of View |

  • Kenna Griffin

    When I return home from summer teaching in Singapore, I typically leave the island about 6 or 7 a.m. I fly/travel for about 26 hours or so, but get home at about 7 p.m. the same night. It’s the world’s longest day, but I’m always thrilled to be home. I get it. I totally get it.

    • Bruce Sallan

      THAT is a really long day; I hope you sleep on the plane, Professor?

  • David Weber

    Makes me tired to read this log of a long day.  Which is good.  Because it is at present 4.24 a.m. and I have been awake and at the computer since about 3.15 (it happens all the time, it’s a weird sleep habit, I suppose). 

    The longest days I experience regularly are trans-Pacific airliner trips to Vietnam.  One of those was almost forty hours long, thanks to an eight- or nine-hour overnight layover in Hong Kong. The old saying about getting there is half the fun is not really true, to say the least … maybe in the days of leisurely ocean voyages, or even in earlier days of air travel, but not now.