Thank you! I was remiss in not thanking those of you who regularly comment on my Musings, but I also have to tell you how much I appreciated all your comments last week. Doesn’t it raise your spirits to know how many people either share your views or are able to rationally and politiely discuss areas of disagreement?
Almost every day in our lives provides opportunity for both
joy and pain. One complexity of the human experience is that while we are
easily aware of the pain, we often need to pay attention in order to find the
I am on a plane as I write this (Feb. 18, 2013), on a trip
that combines both elements. One part of this multi-legged voyage will provide
the thrill of meeting a sweet new granddaughter (here’s a photo with her
I will also have the opportunity to celebrate the joyous
holiday of Purim with quite a few of our children and grandchildren. I am
looking forward to a cousin’s wedding and the chance to celebrate with family
not seen often enough. Part of the trip was business-based and I was able to be
present when my husband spoke at a wonderful church in North Carolina where we
made lovely new friends.
On a less happy note, the trip includes a shiva
visit to my father, whose elder sister passed away last week as well as the difficulty
of recognizing his deteriorating physical conditions. At times, my emotions tumble over each other,
making equilibrium an elusive phantom.
This is why I want to record the small blessings present in
today’s travel. My husband and I travel a great deal these days and, like anyone
who does so, we know that the days of elegant air voyages are long past. Yet,
within my solo travel, I found one blessing granted to me after another. For
starters, a kind friend in Charlotte, N.C. provided us with a car and driver so
that we didn’t need to navigate strange roads on our own. (The word ‘driver’
doesn’t convey the fascinating man who made sure we were comfortably taken to
wherever we needed to be.) When we arrived at the airport, despite my pleas
that my husband return to the hotel and start on his ever-growing task list, he
walked me in and dealt with check-in. Then we were off to what is usually the
most irritating part of travel these days – the dreaded security line. (If I
thought it actually kept us safe, my feelings about it would be quite different.)
The line snaked beyond the limits of the area to which it
was allocated. While I didn’t fear missing my flight, I did inwardly groan at
the anticipated wasted time, shuffling forward a few inches every few minutes.
At this point, my husband, who was still refusing my entreaties to be off,
excused himself and wandered away. Minutes later, he came back, motioning me to
follow him to the premium, and completely empty, security lane. Now, I was not
traveling first-class nor did I see any reason that I should be in the premium
lane, but lo and behold, by paying an extra few dollars I was now a preferred
person. This was definitely a case of being pound wise rather than penny
foolish. I sailed through so quickly that I wasn’t ready for my turn to place my
belongings on the conveyer belt. While I was cringing at delaying the people
behind me as I removed my computer from its case and took off my coat and
shoes, the next blessing appeared. Instead of the sometimes officious agents
who promote the TSA’s bad reputation, a lovely agent said, “Sweetie, you take
your time,” while she helped me juggle my things.
The next gift came in the form of a recalibrating security
machine that allowed three travelers, of which I was one, to go through the
less intrusive security portal. Since I distrust the newer machines, I was
elated at this turn of events. The trip continued with my preferred aisle seat,
a timely arrival for my luggage and me and, best of all, a pick-up by my
daughter from the airport along with food and drink she had prepared for me.
The kind behavior and competency I encountered on my trip
doesn’t make headlines. I wrote this piece for myself, so that while dealing
with the difficult and unpleasant, I remember to appreciate the good.