Posted by: Mark Wollemann: On the move | March 3, 2018

Bragging about my wife


Excuse my bit of personal business on this, my personal blog. My wife is bad ass. And by that, I mean, she’s tough as nails. Indomitable (look it up).

She left Thursday to fly to Greece for the international premiere of her newest film, “Silicone Soul.”

Here’s a breakdown of how it was supposed to go:

  • 2 p.m. Thursday: Minneapolis to Detroit.
  • 5:30 p.m. (about): Detroit to Frankfurt, Germany.
  • 11:15 a.m. (Friday): Frankfurt to Thessaloniki, arriving ONE DAY before her Saturday night premiere.

Instead, here’s what happened:

  • 2 p.m. Thursday: Minneapolis to Detroit.
    Flight diverts to Grand Rapids, Mich., lands and sits at a gate, waiting for weather, traffic to clear in Detroit.
  • 6:30 p.m. Thursday: Flight finally leaves Grand Rapids, lands in Detroit. Melody misses her connection and frantically tries to make new flight arrangements (with the fast action and wizardry of her travel agent/stepmom Barbara Crane).
  • 8 p.m. (times approximate) The flight arrives in Detroit, but is stuck in snow and sleet before it can park at the gate. In the meantime, with Barbara’s help, she gets booked on the last flight out of Detroit, leaving around 8:45 p.m. She still has time (because she has not checked a bag) to race to the new gate in a new terminal and make the flight.
  • 8:45: She races (with three other passengers, she said) to the gate, which is closing and they won’t allow any other passengers on board. There are no other flights out of Detroit after that and she’s stuck.

OK, this is where I’d throw in the towel and accept defeat. The massive Bomb Cyclone is overtaking the East Coast. Much of Europe is blanketed with snow and gridlocked. Melody doesn’t have a ticket and it appears likely she’ll miss her premiere screening. Come on home, honey. Better luck next time.

But those of you who know Melody know that’s just not her style. She gets a wonderful agent on the phone from Delta who upon hearing her tale of woe and taking pity on her, helps her rebook. It’s going to be tough and tricky and there can be no margin for error. Here’s the plan.

  • 8 a.m. Friday (EST): Fly from Detroit to SEATTLE. That’s right, that is in the opposite direction that she needs to go, but it turns out that’s the only flight she can get on in the morning that’ll then allow her to connect to a flight to Europe. I would NEVER have thought of this. I mean, that’s nearly four hours in the wrong direction!! But it turns out, it makes more sense than I first imagine (I’m dumb).
  • 10:30 a.m. Friday (PST): Arrive in Seattle. So far so good.
  • 2 p.m. (PST): Depart Seattle for Frankfurt. Here’s where it gets good. Because while the flight from Detroit to Frankfurt is just under 9 hours of flying time, the flight from Seattle to Frankfurt is a little more than 9 hours (let’s call it 9 hours, 30 minutes). The Earth is round and that matters. (Doh!)
  • 8:50 a.m. Saturday (in Frankfurt): OK, things get a little weird here.

Melody met some women from Minneapolis in Detroit, where she spent Thursday night. They talked and laughed and stayed up all night. They even helped her affix stickers with screening times for Greece and Bulgaria (she is in the Sofia film festival after Thessaloniki) to her postcards promoting the film.

So, no sleep, no real food (she had a bag of chips and by the time she had gotten her arrangements made, the restaurants in the Detroit airport had closed. (Though, some nice people bought her a nice big tumbler of whisky when they heard her sob story).

Oh, and the heel of her favorite boot broke off in Seattle, but that’s another tangent that I won’t even entertain here.

I worked Friday night and returned home, tracking her flight from Seattle the entire way.

flight to frankfurt

She still hasn’t really slept since Wednesday night, so when she boards the flight for Frankfurt, I’m breathing a sigh of relief. She’ll get some food. She’ll be so tired that she’ll certainly sleep. As I track the flight, it looks like everything is going to be fine. Not true.

When Melody lands, I ask her how she’s feeling. “I’ve been better,” she says. “I didn’t sleep at all.” Uh, oh. She tells me she has a little stomach ache but that she figures it’ll sort itself out. It’s 2:30 a.m. in Minneapolis. I’m exhausted and I fall asleep. She’s got only a couple of hours to kill in Frankfurt before boarding the flight to Greece. She’s in the clear. Tired, but I know Melody. She’ll rally. She’ll be fine.

When I wake up at 7, I check my messages and my heart sinks. Her stomach pain has gotten worse. She’s gone to a pharmacist (in the airport?) and gotten something to calm her stomach, but she says via text that she’s sweating, doubled over in pain, doesn’t know what’s going on but is worried.

Now I’m feeling horrible. I fell asleep. I missed all these messages. She’s on the plane? Or is she in the hospital somewhere? How will I get to Europe? Who do I have to call? My mind is racing. I check the flight to Greece. She’s 15 minutes from arriving. I turn on the coffee pot and wait. What else can I do?

And just like that, it’s over.

“Hey, I landed!” she texts. “I slept the whole way and feel better now.”

I breathe a sigh of relief. It took her more than 40 hours, but she’s there.

“I can’t believe I made it! Will even have time for a shower (before her screening).”

Like I said at the top. The woman is indomitable.

Melody and her girls
Melody and her girls, post-screening.

She also lost an earphone bud and the heel of her favorite boot fell off.



  1. Sheโ€™s a warrior!!! How does she do it? Sal

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Yes. That is Melody. Amazing women and relentless. She even emailed me about “Women Outward Bound” from Seattle. No sleep. No food. And still there for another doc!

  3. The only thing missing is a musical accompaniment, like from a Quentin Tarrantino film! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I’m one of the women who hung out with Melody in Detroit, and joined her on the flights to Seattle and Frankfurt (and it’s with thanks to her that I got on those flights – after a similar fiasco going from Mpls to Detroit and trying to get to Frankfurt to see family)…glad to see she made it to the screening in Greece after more adventures in Frankfurt!!

  5. Melody rocks!

  6. Yes, yes … you definitely married a bad-ass! I’m glad and relieved she made it to Greece in one piece. And once she rests up a bit, I think she has the perfect excuse to get out and do some shoe shopping! ๐Ÿ™‚

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: