Ah the glamour of traveling! Travel can be wonderful and yet trying at times. Family vacations are often planned as this wonderful event by Mom and Dad, but then real life happens and someone throws up or hits someone. My travels this last week were a bit of a funny story now that I look back on it. All I can say is the agenda looked great on paper and my intentions were noble!
Friday morning I arose at 4:45 am to catch an early flight to Reno, NV for a wellness clinic with some fabulous Jordies. I felt the 6 am flight that had me arriving at 11:30 am would be perfect for our 7 pm meeting. So there I was boarding the plane, I got sat down and was feeling good about my first flight of my packed seven day journey.
Yes, there I sat for 2 hours! By that time my connecting flight in Dallas was long gone…I looked down at my cell phone as we sat on the plane and an e mail from American Airlines read “Good news! You have been booked on the 8:55 pm Dallas to Reno flight as a courtesy.” It was like they were saying “Ta-da! Look at how awesome this is, we have you getting into Reno at 10:30 pm–approx. 3.5 hours after the meeting was set to start.
I quickly gathered myself together in my tiny little seat on my tiny little plane and asked myself “What can I do?” Dale Carnegie teaches in difficult situations to ask: What is the worst thing that can happen and work up from there. It frees your mind from worry about what could happen since you have identified it and put a light on it and then moved on to the best plan possible.
What can I do? First I called Angie, my friend at the home office, to check out other flights while I was in the air since she had assisted me in making my plans. I also contacted Cindy Baines, my host leader in Reno, and told her the show may have to go on without me and I would send my notes on how to do the wellness clinic when I hit Dallas. I had already sent ahead the supplies, all they needed was a facilitator and it could be me or her. The guests would get pampered either way!!
Let’s fast forward to Dallas and the poor gate agent. I always try to be super nice, however the man behind me on the plane needed to give me his mother’s phone number so I could call her and have rinse his mouth out with soap!! He was falling apart due to the weather delay and schedule change. It got me thinking about how often we actually give up real control only to try to gain it. We were safe, we did not go through the storms, wherever our flight was taking us the crew wanted us to be safe, right? The man behind me was cussing and literally stomping the floor. I prayed quietly for him as we waited to land and for the people waiting there to help us on our next flight. Prayer and expecting God to show up are powerful ways to peace.
Gate agent says: “We can get you to Reno at 6:45pm through Phoenix or leave you on the Dallas, Reno flight at 8:55.” I reply “Phoenix it is, thank you so much.” With new ticket in hand I call Cindy and tell her to hand spa and stall, I would be there! I land at 6:45 as promised…my luggage did not. I filled out the claim form and grabbed a cab to the event and walked in at 7:15 to hugs, smiling faces and a wonderful evening of pampering and JE hospitality. J
Once our event was over we called about my luggage, it had been on the 8:55p flight due to arrive at 10:55p and so we wait. The airline called at 11 pm and said they had my luggage and it would be delivered in the next six hours. Wow! Six hours, time to get some sleep…but I awoke at 4:45a with the thought: “I should have heard a knock and the luggage should be here.” I look outside the door, no luggage, so I called again, only to find they had delivered it to the wrong address!
Now, is where it gets interesting!
The address was just up the road at a house. I thought I better go get it before the home owner wakes up and so I head out with just my cell phone flash light and a pen. LOL! The pen was the only pointy object I could find. I go walking in the dark in Reno with a cell phone flash light, and a pen, come on now that is funny! (Ron did not think so when I told him later)
I walked down the street and my cell phone said “Destination on left.” Uuummm, no voice in the cell phone, it is not. I had walked for about 10 min to get there and once I realized my luggage was not there and no such address existed, I started to think how I was out in the dark and what the neighbors may think: a prowler…and then a sprinkler goes off, I jump about 5 feet off the ground and proceed to sprint back! It only took me about 4 minutes to get back to my room!
More calls to the airline and they said “Oh that must have been Barbie who sent it to the wrong place and you live in Mississippi?” I said “No, I live in Missouri and if Barbie has had this problem before can we talk to Barbie and maybe do some training.” They apologized and said my luggage may be there before 1 pm. The issue I explained was that my next flight left on Alaska Air at 10 am and I needed to get myself along with my luggage checked in….
Another quick check in with myself: “What is the worst thing that can happen and what can I do?” Cindy had JE make up for me (Thank the Lord for fellow Jordies), I can borrow a suitcase and pack the supplies for the Oregon meeting, buy some new clothes and have my luggage sent to my last destination in Santa Rosa and I may get it by Wednesday before I leave to come home on Thursday. Again, a peace in knowing that was settled, prayer that the Lord would take care of me and expecting the best, I waited to find out the fate of my luggage I had put on the plane the morning before.
At 8:10am the gate agent comes running to me with my luggage in tow and many words of apology. A quick grab of a few key things and I sent it off on Alaska Air to my second destination in Medford, Oregon. The flight was on time and my luggage arrived as planned!! My lovely Oregon Host, Shelley Trumbly, took me to my room and I had a long shower, good food, clean jammies and slept for 10 hours, rested and ready for the remainder of my trip.
Last week I had 10 flights in seven days, which is not for the faint of heart. Why on earth would I do that, you may ask yourself and how am I feeling today? I do it for the love of the people I get to see, learn from, teach, hug, share, smile, give, and receive. I feel great and am headed out for my next trip this Friday to Virginia. Who knows what the friendly skies will hold for me….but I am carrying on my luggage this time!
Enjoy the journey.