Monday, April 30, 2012

I Can Do Brave All By Myself. Kinda. Sorta. Not Really. (Pt. 2)

Courtesy T. Parker
I almost got home unscathed. You know what 'they' say: you can take the bumpkin out of the country, but you just can't take the country out of the bumpkin. Ok. They didn't say it. I did. Once I tell you my sad tale, you'll cross-stitch it on pillows and send it to me. You had to see it coming. I heard you laughing as soon as the plane wheels left the ground taking me to DC. Oh the agony.

But, I'm letting you get ahead of me. Let's go back and start at the beginning. When last we assembled at the altar of fear, your hero in fear fighting escapades was winging her way to the center of our nation's government just in time for two announcements. 1) The terror watch was on higher alert because the anniversary of OBL's death. 2) Some plane had been quarantined for hours on end because of a suspected outbreak of 'Monkeypox'.

Courtesy D. Scott
Now, if it was YOUR weekend to fly, your skies would have been so friendly that United would have called you to be their mascot. Me? I pick a weekend like that to take my 2nd flight since 9/11. And, I'm smart enough to fly to Washington Dc. I might as well have painted a bull's eye on my back. It was God's good grace that I didn't hear about the Monkeypox scare until it was time to come back. Otherwise, they would have had to sedate me and send me back Fed Ex express.

As it was, I arrived in DC oblivious and pretty darn proud of myself. I threaded my way thru Dulles which involves going up and down and around escalators. Just when you think you are going to drop from exhaustion, you hop a train so you can ride more escalators. 

I was ok with that. In another life, I might make escalator riding a hobby. My rolling duffel was cooperating enabling me  to hide my country bumpkin status pretty well, I thought. I managed to make small talk with folks around me. Wonder of wonders, they didn't need a translator to convert my Southern-ese to the local dialect. All in all, it was pretty pleasant if I have to tell the truth. And, I do.

All of the sudden, signs changed. I know what a 'gate' is. I know what a 'concourse' is. In the middle of nowhere (and if you've ever been to Dulles you know you can be in the middle of nowhere in that place), signs suddenly stopped referring to 'concourses' and started just saying 'gate'. Not only that, the reassuring presence of fellow travelers started to thin out. Hallways narrowed, and people disappeared. I was alone,and I was  not in Kansas anymore, Toto. It seemed I had descended into the bowels of what well might have been the gates of hell. 
Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
The world started to spin, and so did I. I turned 'round and 'round like a dog getting ready to settle down for the night trying to get my bearings. Finally, a lady pushing what I thought was probably a crash cart headed my way. I realized she wasn't really coming to give me CPR when I had a falling out spell (bumpkin-speak for fainting). It was a cleaning cart. A-HA! If she cleaned the place, she must know her way around.

Soon enough, she confirmed that, altho' I was on a straight and narrow path resembling the Biblical place where a camel goes thru the eye of a needle, I was, in fact, headed toward civilization again. I had seen Tom Hank's life in The Terminal and had been convinced I was about to live the sequel. God bless airport cleaning crews! They are around to point bumpkins in the right direction and to alert us to the fact that, at least at Dulles, 'gate' and 'concourse' can mean the exact same thing.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Having survived a close call, I strode out the airport door and into the last gasp of a DC winter. The hotel had assured me the shuttle ran continuous loops, and my wait would not last long. They did not tell me to prepare myself for potential flash freeze conditions while I waited. Nor did they tell me the shuttle that would pick me up would NOT bear the name of my hotel of residence. It would take a while for me to solve that mystery.(Cue ominous organ crescendo.)

Looking back, that delay would result in a happy, accidental meeting. One that serves to illustrate this truism: it takes a village to raise a bumpkin. If you don't come back tomorrow to find out how I almost brought Delta to its knees, I'll never forgive you! Bring a friend. Everyone needs a laugh. As long as you do, it might as well be at me and my foolishness!

Courtesy B. Creasy
Love you long and strong. See you soon?

Proverbs 17:22 (Message Bible)
A cheerful disposition is good for your health;
gloom and doom leave you bone-tired. 



  1. I am so glad I met you!! You are a gifted writer!

  2. I'm so happy you made it out of there so I don't have to figure out how to come visit you! (Airport food would get tiring after awhile too--no chili cheese burgers, I'll bet.)

    1. Can't wait to see you and tell you all I learned that will be helpful re our Lit Class ideas! So glad you guys got so much done at y/b on Friday!

  3. Sue, thank you! You were one of the most delightful folks I had the pleasure to spend time with. I am still reeling from all I was exposed to. I'd love to say learned but this fraidy cat has a real slow learning curve! I have my Twitter acct now and am trying to work up the nerve to post my 1st tweet! I can't get my head out of a brown paper bag long enough to see what to do!

  4. Carol Ann, you were absolutely a joy to meet and your posts just made my heart skip a bit, smile, and almost stick my own head in the paper bag, BUT....You made it! I can hardly believe I went 12 hours to meet someone who lives probably less than 12 miles from me! I hope to get together for coffee sometime soon.

  5. Lena, I'm absolutely dizzy with all I learned that I've started putting into practice today. I'm sure I've run amok since I didn't have a minder here to keep me on track. But, I owe it all to you ladies and all you shared in such a short, short time! We've got about 30 days of schooling left. After that, I should have some free time. Unless I die of post-conference hyperventilation first!

  6. LOL you are hilarious. You did a fabulous job stepping out of your zone. It was VERY brave. It was so great to meet you and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of your story.

  7. Thank you, Cheryl. I clean up pretty good for a fraidy cat who stays in a persistent cold sweat. I am increasingly thankful for all the wonderful ladies I met. My only complaint: it was too short! So many wonderful people, show much info, so little time for my brain to absorb it all!