I put on my ruby red slippers today and clicked three times saying, “There is no place like home, there is no place like home,” I would have put on my checkered blue and white dress and braided my hair, but unfortunately, I don’t have a checkered dress and my hair is too short for braids.
After two great days in Colorado Springs, I drove to the airport last night and waited for my flight. Then I waited for my flight….and so on and so on. The flight was eternally delayed due to tornado’s of some sort in Denver, so after the eternal delay, the nice United lady kindly let us know the flight was cancelled. I considered my options; scream at the nice lady, call United and plead for a seat on the next available flight, book a hotel or drive to Denver and book a hotel. I chose plan C (book a hotel) based on the fact that I tried plan D but their were no hotels with availability in Denver. So off to Oz I went down the yellow brick road and ended up in the last room of a nearby hotel where I got to spend the night in a ashtray hotel room,….apparently a smoking room .and I don’t smoke, so it was not quite Oz.
I was hungry, so I headed to the “nine item” restaurant, where I sat alone with a Caesar Salad (really wanting a hamburger to drown my sorrows, but feeling like that was a bit much after a giant Mexican lunch). Next to me were some men with un-delightful language and conversations that made me uncomfortable (they grossed me out). Feeling a bit depressed, I sat there and ate my little salad thinking about home……and the hamburger I could have had.
It’s a strange feeling to feel stranded when you want to go home. I know many people have experienced cancelled flights and sleeping in airports. I have been in this position many times, probably because I do a bit of travel. It’s always difficult to have this happen because there is always somewhere you are trying to go whether it’s home or work or a vacation. I remember once crying and pleading with a the woman at the counter at the airport, begging her to get me home in time so I could spend one day with my family before I left for another trip to Europe. My family was home praying for me. I did make it home that night so I am a firm believer in prayer in these situations. The fact is, some things are out of our control like planes crashes mechanical issues, or weather, or the crew has not arrived. These experiences always elicit emotion.
While sitting at dinner by myself, with my small salad (and without the hamburger), a woman walked into the restaurant. She looked around seeing the men and then she sat down at a spot right next to me. We exchanged niceties since we were the only women in the place. Being that I like people, I started to talk to Liz, and we ended up having a great conversation. I learned that Liz is a mother of a two year old, and she was traveling on business. She told me how guilty she felt for being away. She shared with me about her son’s medical issues and then she shared her desire to have another child, but the doctors told her not to count on it. Her heart poured out in the moment, I guess I was rather surprised at her openness, but maybe I was there at the right time and place. I guess I felt like my time wasn’t completely wasted in a hotel on a lonely night, because I met Liz.
So, I thought about Dorothy and her meeting the Tinman, the Lion and the Scarecrow. Really, her time along the yellow brick road was not wasted because she had an impact on the lives of those she met along the path of life. I did not meet the Scarecrow, the Lion or the Tinman on my journey from Colorado trying to get home, (if I had, you would have permission to lock me up in a mental institution), but I met Liz.
So as the story goes, I said goodnight to my new friend, slept terrible in my smelly room, woke up early, drove to Denver hoping to get a seat on a flight, and discovered I had been booked in first class (at no extra charge). Woohoo. These ruby red slippers did the job…or maybe it was someone watching out for me! Who knows why things happen.
Do you ever wonder why things happen and if there is a reason behind these things? Or is it just coincidence.
Specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy
Life, Family, Faith and Travel...the life of a Jones
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