I'm back in Los Angeles after spending a week with my Mom in East Texas.
Mom's town is quite a ways from the nearest major airport, so visiting always includes a road trip. I really like easing my way into a new part of the country this way. It's also a good way to say farewell to a part of the country very unlike my own - but still wonderful.
Today as I drove my rental car towards the airport, I stopped off in a small Texas town, at this produce stand. The proprietor's name was Linda, and when I stopped by, she and a friend, plus a cat, were having lunch inside, but she came out to talk with me. I marveled at the beauty of the assortment of pickles, jellies, and preserves for sale.
Because it's fall, the stand was stocked with wonderful fall produce, like pumpkins and gourds, and colorful corn.
All the colors were so beautiful.
I bought a couple jars of pickles, and went on my way. But as turned in my rental car at the airport, I remembered - Ooops!
I am not checking baggage on this trip! I had two jars of liquid that were potential security risks! What would I do?
Yikes! I approached the TSA agent when I entered the line for security the airport. "Um, I wanted to let you guys know I have some canned goods in my carryon? Can I talk to someone about this?"
She referred me to another agent. "Hi, I have some canned goods?"
Just tell them at the search, I was told.
As I fumbled off my sandals, pulled my laptop out of its case, and started shoving my belongings into the X-ray machine, I called, "Excuse me, Miss? Can I talk with you?" I explained I had some canned goods in my luggage, and she said, "Just take them out of the carryon and put them in a bin."
So I put my two jars of pickles in the grey bin.
After I walked through the metal detector, I collected my sandals, my handbag, and restored my laptop to its case. My carryon came out of the machine. The conveyer belt stopped, the grey bin with the pickles within.
The TSA agents frowned, then started the belt again. The bin with my pickles emerged. A female agent looked around for the owner, and I spoke up. "Those are mine!"
"What is it?" she asked.
"Pickles," I said.
She looked at me incredulously.
"Um...I stopped at a farmstand and bought them. I forgot that I wasn't checking my luggage. I'll throw them away if you want me to," I stammered.
She looked at me, and then looked at the pickles. "Are they good?"
"I don't know, I just bought them. They sure look good, don't they?"
I looked at her hopefully, and she gave me a smile. "Go on. You can keep 'em."
I thanked her, and put my sandals back on, packed up my pickles and headed to my gate.
It's nice to know that Homeland Security's policies are flexible when it comes to good pickles.
I think they were worth it.