Monday, April 14, 2014

May you have an interesting…. flight

Urban legend has it that there is a Chinese curse that goes something like

 “May you live in interesting times…

I suppose one can look at this from several angles, but what strikes me is that “interesting” can often be very complicated and fraught with adventures that perhaps one would rather not have.

As it happens, one of the three books I took with me to read during a glorious week of no work was Terry Pratchett’s novel...
...which is a delightful tale of the bumbling wizard Rincewind who does indeed find himself in “interesting times” and having all sorts of adventures, as does his Luggage, which has hundreds of little feet and seems to be alive and always seems to be able to find Rincewind no matter where he ends up.

I had an interesting time on the journey home. Of course I was not alone on this adventure, many travelers were also having an adventure right along with me.

Many times we are not bailed out of difficult situations, but instead are given the grace to go through it. In this case, the grace was a lovely woman, Ann, who also happened to be waiting at the gate for the same flight to Dallas-Ft Worth and who was also expecting to board the same plane to Springfield as I was after we got there. Having that little blessing of someone to be with made all the difference in the world as the hours crawled by and the adventure unfolded. 

Enough time has passed now that I can look rather calmly at the first Thursday and Friday in the month of April and be very grateful that everything actually did come out all right in the end, although perhaps being awake for most of 36 hours is a bit harder to do when one is on the far side of 60 than when one is oh, say 20…

All airplanes that take off from Los Angeles International fly out over the ocean and then, depending on their ultimate destination, make a sweeping turn or go straight. Airplanes heading to Dallas-Ft Worth turn left and follow the coast for a while as they gain altitude before completing the U-turn and heading inland over the California desert and then across Arizona, New Mexico, and on into Texas.

The arrival of the plane that was to take us to DFW was delayed about 2 hours because of mechanical problems, and when it finally did arrive and we were all on board the plane, our take off was further delayed because they couldn’t get the door to shut properly. But, once we were in the air, and everyone breathing a sigh of relief, I had an opportunity to watch the coastline pass by and remember with lovely nostalgia the Saturdays my father took us and our friends to the beach during the summer. 
 And then the plane was passing the harbor complex at San Pedro, where Dad loved to take us to watch boats being unloaded and sometimes to tour ships that were docked, and where I had just taken him a few days before. 
Ann and I calculated the plane should arrive in D-FW in time for us to make the new connection to the later flight to Springfield that we had rebooked at LAX. But the weather conspired against us. Severe storms over D-FW meant we had to turn around and land in Lubbock and spend 2 hours on the ground. By the time we got to D-FW, all of the connecting flights had been cancelled. The airline had rebooked both of us on flights to Springfield later the next day, but we put ourselves on the standby list for the first flight to Springfield Friday morning.

We ate, got some blankets that the airport provided (the cots were all gone by this time), and found some lounge chairs and put them together and made beds for ourselves and pretended to doze through the night, but of course neither of us slept much at all.

The following morning, we were high enough up on the standby list that we both got on the first flight to Springfield. I was not very hopeful that my luggage would arrive with me. My luggage does not have hundreds of little legs and cannot follow me, but much to my amazement, the airline had indeed managed to get it on the same plane as I was, and there it was. I had to wait a while for Richard to arrive -- it takes longer to drive from our house to the airport in Springfield than it does for the plane to fly from D-FW to Springfield, but that was OK. I was safe, my luggage was safe, and my honey was coming.

My sister will probably plan a party for my dad’s 90th birthday in the fall. There is no question but that I will go So, I’ll have a few months to become very philosophical about what might or might not happen when I hop on the airplane for that event.

1 comment:

Far Side of Fifty said...

I bet you slept for a really long time after that adventure. I probably would be afraid to sleep in an airport unless I could sleep on my purse:)