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Saturday, June 22, 2013

My Day at the Bluegrass Airport (or ISTE Better Be Worth this Nonsense)






As someone immersed in technology on a daily basis, the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference is one of the few that I feel I gain knowledge by attending. This year, I booked my flight to San Antonio excited for all I'd learn.
About a month before the conference, I got an email from Delta letting me know they had changed my flight times. The times were later in the day, which meant I wasn't getting to San Antonio until about 10 PM, which was why later than I wanted to get there, but at this point, what are you going to do? Flight was leaving Lexington at 3:00pm, four hour layover in Detroit, leaving Detroit at 8:00.
Today, I got a phone call from Delta explaining that the flight was delayed 45 minutes. They offered to rebook me, but as this really only meant my layover in Detroit was shorter, I decided to stick it out.
By the time Megan dropped me off at the airport, the delay was over an hour, which meant I had way too much time on my hands, because it takes approximately 2 1/2 minutes to get through security in Lexington at any given time.
After eating a late lunch/early dinner, I waited semi patiently for the flight to begin boarding. We boarded the plane, and much to my surprise, not only was the screaming child who I experienced in the waiting area far away from me, but former UK basketball player Wayne Turner was two rows in front of me, and the seat next to me was empty. My luck was turning around!
Approximately 5 minutes after being on board, the captain came over that loudspeaker and informed us all that all flights to and from Detroit were grounded, and we had to de board the plane. At this point it's about 4:25 and they told us at 5, we should be able to re board. All passengers (including Wayne Turner) whose connecting flights were affected were rebooked immediately. They didn't even talk to any San Antonio people.
At 5:00, guess what? It's still raining in Detroit, and we can't board. The next possible time for us to board is 6:00, meaning at this point nearly everyone on the plane is missing their connection. They begin to call the passengers up one at a time to look at other options for travel. And, as always with things alphabetically, Miss Waggoner was the last one called. Several people around me were also going to San Antonio for various reasons, and I had overheard their conversations with the Delta employees as they each went to the front. I couldn't make out everything that was being said, but I could make out the words "I cannot get you into San Antonio tonight."
When my name was finally called, my list of options was interesting to say the least. I could go ahead and fly to Detroit, and possibly get out of Detroit to somewhere in Texas tomorrow, but not San Antonio. I could leave Lexington tomorrow and Fly to Atlanta, but again I couldn't fly to San Antonio. They could get me to Dallas, Houston, or Austin, and I would have to rent a car to drive to San Antonio. At this point, I was wondering if I had left my young child at home while I went on vacation, because I felt like the mom in Home Alone.
The rental car was possibly going to be an issue for me, because as this is a work trip, Jessamine County schools had not authorized me to get a rental car. I really didn't want to get one if I couldn't be reimbursed for it, so I had to make a few phone calls up the chain of command at work to see if this would be okay. I was told they'd figure a way to work it out, so I went back to the counter to book the flights through Atlanta. When I got there, the Delta employee who I had been working with got really excited because a couple of seats opened up on a flight to San Antonio tomorrow. However before she could book them, they were gone. Now, I had moved from Home Alone to The Amazing Race. I told this to the girl helping me, and leaned in and said "I need to get to San Antonio as fast as possible! Get me on a flight that gets there before any of these people in line behind me! This is important! We are in a race!" (Which was a big hit, really, and you know how much I love to make people laugh!)
The next thing I know, the Delta girl is asking me if I can make a flight that leaves Lexington at 6 AM tomorrow. Knowing I would never ask my dear sweet friend Megan McCarty to get up that early to take me to the airport, I say yes, and figure I will just drive myself. She does a little typing, tells me she can get me into San Antonio by noon, and prints my new boarding passes. She comes around the counter to give them to me, and points to a couple of words I have never seen on one of my plane tickets before: FIRST CLASS. She then tells me that because I was so nice, she has made an exception, and she will get me into San Antonio by noon tomorrow. She said the first-class might not stick, but having a first-class ticket means that they can't bump me, because the flight was overbooked.
At this point, Megan is already on her way to get me from the airport to take me back home, and it is about 6:15. After my boarding passes are squared away, she calls to get my bag off of the plane and sends me back to the Delta ticket counter to retrieve it. I get to the ticket counter at 6:30. And I wait, and I wait, and I wait. I think the guy was scared I was getting really pissed, because he kept apologizing over and over. At this point, I was over all of it. (In fact, Megan said how calm I was being was actually freaking her out.) I figured it's not like I'm stuck in Detroit, I'm going home to sleep in my own bed. And if for some reason my bag was on its way to San Antonio, I would just pick it up at the airport tomorrow. Thirty minutes later, my bag appears, and my chauffeur takes me home.
So, I'll be up at about 4:30 in the morning to try this all over again.

Damn, this better be a good conference.





Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ghosts

I've learned a lot from Disney movies over the years.  For instance, I know not to touch the spindle on the spinning wheel, ALWAYS be home by curfew, my nose will grow if I tell a lie, and that the pleasantly plump fairies are the nice ones (c'mon, y'all know Tinkerbell was kind of a brat).  I also learned from a little monkey (I think he was a monkey) named Rafiki, "the past can hurt. But the from way I see it, you can either run from it, or... learn from it." 

I've made some mistakes in my life. There are some mistakes that honestly I would probably make again, and others I would not. I have periods, seasons, hell, even years, of my life that I wouldn't mind just erasing from my memory. Those nights I wasted crying over a boy? I wish I could have those back. The times I stayed in bed all day because I couldn't think of a reason to get out? Yep, I wish I had those back too.  I have learned from my past, and I continue to learn from it, but it's time to get away from the memories.

I have always been a fan of haunted houses. The one at Walt Disney World (I promise that Disney is not sponsoring this post) remains my favorite ride of all time, and the one at Camden Park is clearly a close second.  I chose my hotel for a conference in San Antonio this summer partially because it is said to be haunted by almost three dozen ghosts.  But what I have recently realized is while I don’t have doorless chambers with hinges creaking, or candlelights flickering where the air is deathly still (maybe because Megan McCarty says I am not allowed to burn them) I am living in a haunted house. And when it's your life and not a theme park ride, it's not nearly as fun.

There is nothing in my townhouse that really resonates as a great time in my life. I am not saying that in the seven years I've been here, nothing good has happened to me, but it seems my house reminds me of all of the bad things:  shattering my wrist, the death of my three remaining grandparents, mean words and hurt feelings, the times when I was so sad I didn’t want to get out of bed. Sometimes I am in a certain place in my house and, like a scene from a TV show that you think is exaggerating the way people remember things, I will have a flash of something (or someone) that I would really rather not remember.  It's too much.

A few weeks ago, a friend on Facebook was moving out of one house into another, and wrote a status lamenting leaving her house full of memories to move to a new one.  As soon as I read it, I realized how much I could NOT identify with it.  Please understand, this is not the reason I want to move, and I am not running from my past, I'm just moving on with my life.  

So all of those memories, all those sad times, all those people I would rather not remember, they can stay here in this cute townhouse (that I will sell to you for a steal!) but I am not staying.  I'm moving on, and making new memories. 

But only good ones this time.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Jack

Approximately 18 months ago, I placed a bright green post it on my bathroom mirror with one word on it.  A name actually. It was the name of my oldest and dearest friend and I made the decision to pray for her every day, every morning as I got ready, and every evening as I brushed my teeth (and any times in between that I saw it).  I prayed hard, and I prayed faithfully, as she was doing for herself, and as I know she has done and continues to do for me.  I prayed for God to be with her and I prayed for His comfort and His timing.  And one day last September, I set my alarm to remember to pray extra hard for her, and her husband, and the sweet baby that I knew would one day be a part of their family.

You know, I've prayed my whole life... I've thanked God for things, and I've asked God for things. But I'd never been one of those people who had "heard" God answer.  I always assumed if I did (which I honestly didn't think I would), it would be LOUD, like the voice over on a movie.  But I truly believe I heard Him barely whisper that Sunday morning, and He told me that it would all work out and Jenny would have a sweet baby boy.  I knew instantly that it was taken care of (although I felt crazy that I thought I heard God whisper to me), so I didn't say anything to her.

When she called me to tell me she was pregnant, I said "I KNEW it!" and we both cried. She went on to say that it was SO early, but she thought she was having a boy, and I said "YOU ARE!" and I told her the story and we both cried again.

I got this picture in the Fall, and I cried.






I got this one in December, and I cried.



In January, she just texted me "You were right" and I knew...he was a boy, and I cried.

I felt him kick in February, and it was the coolest thing ever, and we both cried (are you noticing a pattern yet? We like to cry sometimes when we are together.)

At her shower in April, she was the cutest pregnant girl ever, and really we just smiled and laughed (well, mostly).






Yesterday afternoon I was supposed to call her so we could voice to voice catch up, and I could tell her a story I had that was too long to text.  I jokingly said Thursday night "Unless you're delivering a baby then ;)" She replied "My contractions are SO sporadic- I don't think true labor is coming anytime soon,"

The next text I got was yesterday afternoon: "I think my water broke."

My response? "Oh shit!" (sorry Mom, I didn't know what else to say...)

We texted a bit through the evening, and I told her to let me know what was happening. When she texted me a little after 5am today I woke straight up and grabbed my phone.

The text? No words, just a picture.



My response? No words, just tears.

I stared at his picture and started to cry, which turned to sobs, which turned to Ugly Cry (I didn't pull a Dane Cook and actually look in the mirror, but I know it was Ugly Cry). I bet I cried for 15 minutes. I was just overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with this sweet baby on my phone. Overwhelmed for this prayer brought to life. Overwhelmed for someone I love more than anything to have something she wanted more than anything. Overwhelmed with just how good God is.  I started texting her back, and then I realized that was ridiculous, but I couldn't hold it in.  I felt like Harry in the Sex and the City movie (the good one) "I'm just a big pile of love!" At this point, it was almost 6, and I had to tell someone how happy I was, so I posted it on Facebook:



on an aside: I loved that this status update caused Megan McCarty to call me at 8:30 am and say
"What's going on? What had you praising the Lord at 6:00 in the
morning?" God bless her for understanding I am not a morning person!




So a happy happy birthday to Jack Douglas Wainman.  You were worth the wait, and you are already loved more than you can ever understand. I can't wait to hold you, and kiss your sweet face, spoil you, and do my best to make you a Wildcat fan. The post it with your mama's name may have faded, but my prayers for her (and now for you) have not.