Friday, January 3, 2014

what I didn't expect

I really didn't think much about our flight coming home from the Greenville/Spartanburg airport yesterday. I just expected to land at 8:20 AM, get home around 10, take a nap, casually unpack my luggage, etc. Just as we were about to land at Midway - close enough to see tiny, snow-covered houses - I felt us ascend again. I inwardly groaned, as that could only mean one thing: a delay.

The captain told us the visibility was below minimum and we had to do laps around the airport, with two other planes in front of us doing the same thing. Eventually we were low on fuel, so they flew us to St. Louis, where we sat on the plane for an hour or more waiting for the weather to "clear up."

Finally they let us off the plane while they waited for the blizzard in Chicago to dissipate somewhat. What we thought (and hoped) would be a short delay turned into an 8-hour day sitting at the airport doing nothing but being held in suspense. Eventually we heard Midway was shut down due to weather; no flights going in or out.

Around dinnertime we ended up getting passes for a flight at 6:10 this morning, and just getting a hotel for the night. RANDOMEST day ever!

Oh, by the way. The flight this morning was cancelled last-minute. So we ended up splitting a rental car with two girls we met at the airport and driving the 5 hours home. Our luggage is still on its way.

But the beautiful part of all this airport mess was how it made people talk to each other and work together. We met so many cool people with so many different stories and backgrounds and destinations:

a big guy from Texas on his way to visit his girlfriend
a guy headed to Boston to do a bluegrass jam with some friends (we were prob the only people in the airport with violins! lol)
Jim Berg (yes, really)
a family on their way to a wedding
a young Lutheran seminary student off to visit his girlfriend before going on a Holyland trip

And we were blessed by the company of the two brave women who decided to share in our driving adventure! One was a Christian girl from AL near where my grandpa lived, but she works on Michigan Ave. The other was a spunky, smiley girl from Denver on her way to visit a friend who's having a baby. We had a great time talking about everything in the world, and laughing at the randomness of our crazy situation.

All of it reminded me that stuff that could easily stress us out is often a blessing in disguise. It was so amazing to see how people came together to figure something out, or to share their life stories to pass the time. People are beautiful, and sometimes it takes a storm for us to see it.