JFK vs. LaGuardia

Doesn’t everyone have  great travel story?  In the middle of the night last night (literally – 2-3am!) Liz got her own special travel story.  In our family, most of the great travel stories involve airports in NY.

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Parent #1:  Wayne

When he went to Germany with his school in the late 70’s.  They flew to LaGuardia (or maybe JFK, one or the other) and then had to take a helicopter to JFK (or vice versa) to catch their connecting flight.  While this was a scheduled transfer.  Why did they take the whole group on a helicopter?  Surely a bus would have been cheaper.  It has been reported that while they got to their flight just fine, there was a delay in take off (like 4-5 hours) and they were already on board and thus sitting on the tarmac.   As teenagers in the 70’s, I’m told that “some” of them acquired those little bottles of liquid refreshment.  hmmmmm

 

Parent #2:  Tricia

In 1982 on my return from 10 months abroad in Brasil…  First the flight from Sao Paulo was cancelled due to weather and the whole flight was bussed to Rio.  We left Rio just fine and headed to JFK.   I was not travelling alone at 16, but travelling with 1 or 2 other girls who were also 16-17.   🙂     Due to the delay and hassle in Brasil, we now had to get from JFK to LaGuardia – and through customs – in a very short amount of time.  Here are 3 teenage girls, who have just spent 10 months in Brasil.  Who have been totally immersed in that language and while we had spoken English with each other – it was more of a blend of English/Portugues.  We have not been in an English speaking country in almost 1 year.  AND who are the first people we hear speaking English… or is it really?? New Yorkers!  To make it worse, we had to rush to catch a taxi – we couldn’t understand a thing he said and we just all piled in with all of our luggage together.  We were crowded!!   We did manage to make our connections and at LaGuardia we all headed our own ways home.

 

Sister #1:  Abi

 

Abi didn’t have any significant travel snafus on her way to or from France when she went in 2008 (I think that is right).  If she did, they were not in New York.  She also travelled to and from Texas and also Florida on her own and had no major travel excitement.

 

Sister #2:  Liz

 

Now we get to today!  Liz left for France 2 weeks ago.  The flight there and arrival was uneventful.  However, their plans to travel on the night train to Barcelona was cancelled because the rail workers were/are on strike.  They ended up having to take an extra flight to Barcelona.  I don’t know why they couldn’t have taken a bus, but that is what the travel company planned.  After that it seemed all would be fine… until….  they arrive ON TIME at JFK.  They were to catch a connecting flight to Pittsburgh.  The flight was delayed… and delayed again… and again… and again… supposedly because of weather??  Was there bad weather in NY on Wednesday night?  Finally at about midnight it was cancelled.  The leader/teacher then began the process of figuring out how to get them home.  The airline wanted to put them on the flight to Pittsburgh at 3:30 today… she wanted them home sooner.  They wanted to be home sooner.  They spent a sleepless night in JFK and then in LaGuardia because she got them booked on the 7am flight to Cleveland.    🙂          Well… she got the people booked… the luggage went on to Pittsburgh.  They arrived in Cleveland just fine… filed to have their luggage delivered home… and we are home and tired.

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I don’t know if Liz is in this photo, but these are some of the kids with her.

 

 

I can’t wait to see what travel stories, the other 2 kids have later in life.

 

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What would you do?

Tagging on to yesterday’s thoughts….

 

What would you do if someone answered you truthfully any of these questions:

“How are you?”

“Whatcha doin’?”

“If there is anything you ever need, let me know.”

 

Would you be kind and listen or would you be taken aback and quickly change the conversation.

 

I have done that, from time to time.  When someone asks me “How are you?”  I have answered “crappy.”  They usually just smile, or chuckle.  That is not the response that I’m supposed  to say.  So, they don’t really want to know how I am, do they?  Do you?  When you ask that question, do you really want to know?  If someone answers you truthfully, do you almost physically recoil, then smile, chuckle, or mutter something like I’m sorry to hear that?   Or do you really care enough to stop what you are doing and sit down with them and chat and find out really, truly how they are doing?

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What about the “if there is ever anything you need?”   What do you do if someone actually calls you on it?  What if, the person you say that platitude to at the funeral, family gathering, church meeting… actually tells you something they need from you?  What would you do?  Would you ignore it?  Would you smile and chuckle and change the subject?  Would you mutter something like I’m sorry for you, I hope you can find the help you need?   Or would you actually set up a time to help the person – YOU taking the initiative, not waiting for them to call you or invite you?  (because you know they won’t)

 

I can’t begin to tell you the number of times people have said to me/us.  “Let’s get together for dinner.”  “We’ll have you over for dinner sometime.” “Come over anytime to visit.”  YEAH RIGHT!   I am not going to call you and take you up on your invitation, you need to follow through, if you truly mean it, and actually call me and set up the time and date.

 

I realize that maybe I’m being a little cynical based on what I have recently lived through.  I also know that there are some people out there in the world that actually do care!  That they really do want to know how you are and what you are doing and how they can help.  I, however, have found those people to be fewer than one would expect even in the “Christian” circles that I used to be a part of.  No one really wants to get involved in someone else’s life and/or drama.

 

I know how I would respond if someone was honest with me.  I would be grateful!  Grateful that I would be given the opportunity to help someone who needs it.  I would do my best to help you with what you needed.  Now, granted, I might not be able to, depending on what it is (though I’m pretty good at just about anything) but I certainly would try hard not to fluff you off if you had taken the risk to be open and vulnerable by sharing a need with me.  I also realize that I am not perfect and your request/response might still take me off guard, but I hope that I would make every attempt to be gracious to you.

 

If I respond to you honestly – either with how I am really feeling (crappy is a usual one these days) or with how you can help me – I hope that you would be gracious and actually follow through on what you ask.  Yes, you can chuckle if I respond “crappy,” but visiting with me to  find out more about my crappy day and helping to make it a better day would certainly help.   BTW, just responding with “I’m sorry, I’m praying for you,” while you might truly mean it, will still be written off as not caring, in my book.

 

If you know me at all, you know that I am not going to ask for help (see parenthetical statement 2 paragraphs up – I can do just about anything I set my mind to) but that doesn’t mean that I won’t be grateful for your help or company.    It just means that you will need to be insistent about helping by setting a time and date.

 

How would you respond?  Are you honestly asking if you can help someone when you say “if there is ever anything I can do for you.”  Or are you just spouting niceties/platitudes?  If you are not really willing to get your hands dirty by helping, can you please take that phrase out of your vocabulary.

 

Or maybe I will just kick you in the shins and run away and cry.

 

 

How do you respond?

When someone says to you:  “How are you?”  How do you respond?  Usually with a “Fine.”  Because you know that they really don’t want all the gory details of how you really aren’t fine.  You know that that is just a phrase people say when they greet one another.

 

What about when people ask you:  “Whatcha doin’?”  Usual response:  “Nothin'”  Or something like that.  Again, you know that they don’t really care exactly what you are doing any more than they care how you are feeling.  It is just a nicety.

 

Even Facebook asks you “What’s on Your Mind?”  Does Facebook really care?  Some people do care, true.  But those who air all their dirty laundry on Facebook – share EXACTLY what is on their mind, usually end up in those articles we all read about worst FB posts ever.  So, we edit what is really on our minds. (Sorry, FB.)

 

So, how do you respond to someone that says to you:  “If there is ever anything I can do for you.”   Now, granted that lands in the nicety category as well, usually.  People say it after funerals, family crises, etc.  And you assume, when you say it, that the person really isn’t going to ask you for anything because they realize it is just “something you say.”

whatif

What if… we did answer truthfully with that one.  What if… when some asked “Is there anything I can do for you?”  We responded with:  Yes, I need help with the weeding… I need someone to help pick the kids up after school certain days of the week… I need someone to watch my dog when we are on vacation… I need $40 to pay a bill… I need someone to clean my bathroom… I need help caring for my elderly parent… I need milk and bread…

 

What if… we answered that?  The person who asks it is most likely expecting a response like:  “That’s OK.  We’ve got everything under control.”  “Thank you but we’re fine.” You know… the normal brush off response.  We don’t like to be vulnerable.  We don’t like to ask for help.

 

But what if we did???

 

What if… the person who said this to you has a habit of saying this to you and your children whenever he greets/meets you?  What if the person that says this to you is the person that is ultimately responsible for the pain/heartache/job loss that  you are now living with?   What if your child actually takes them up on the question and writes a letter to them telling them what they could do for her? What if the person in authority who asked the question, doesn’t even acknowledge the letter from your teenage daughter??  Let alone that they offered to help her “if there is ever anything I can do for you.”

 

What if after all this, this same person says it to you AGAIN, with hand outstretched to shake your hand?  Would you do it?  Would you shake his hand?  Would you nod and fluff off the question?  Or would you turn to him, not shake his hand, and remind him of the fact that he has asked this many times before and doesn’t really follow through?  Would you remind him that he is in a position of authority and he CAN make the decision to correct things and institute change?  Would you stand up to him?

 

What if you would really like to just kick the person in the shins and run far away and cry??

 

 

 

Will they or won’t they?

That is the question….

 

will the Mayflies… and the “mayflies”… come out and/or behave this year??

 

Annual conference – could be the last time – depends on lots of things…..

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So far I have to say that the “mayflies” have already tried to be stinky but action was taken to correct their first maneuver.

 

The weather looks to be decent so far, so maybe it won’t be too bad of a week for the mayflies after all.

 

We are in the usual cottage – no new improvements have been made in recent years.  It isn’t terrible, but it certainly isn’t luxury.  At least we are able to snag some internet connection from nearby houses/hotels.    We haven’t even tried the TV because usually it only gets the “Lakeside Channel” and that is nothing but a commercial.

 

The girls are off to help with VBS – it is Esther’s first year helping.  She is excited about that.  All the girls have enjoyed helping with VBS after they aged out of attending.  It is finally her turn.

 

With one daughter in Spain/France/Italy for 2 weeks, and one serving at Camp Mowana, we are down to only 2 with us.

 

Monday morning…. we’ll see how nice the “mayflies” play.  I’m thinking there will be more stink/stank/stunk than ever before and no Grace/Mercy/Love.