Thursday, January 17, 2013

What Planet Are You From?

We just purchased airline tickets to visit Gary’s family in Virginia.  For some reason, this conjures up thoughts of a previous trip that we made out East a couple of years ago.

Our flight left very early in the morning, so we decided to stay in our camping van overnight at the airport.  A storm brewed up in the middle of the night and soon the wind was so strong that it blew the vent cover on our roof nearly off its hinges.  The noise and rain pouring onto our bed woke us up!  Wrestling against the wind, we finally got the cover pulled back over the vent.  By that time our bed was soaking wet!  It was two in the morning and we had to be in line for security checks in two hours.  A soggy bed… two hours… why bother trying to go back to sleep!  Instead, we lugged our suitcases through the rain to our assigned terminal which was pitch-black with no one in sight.  Watching the marquis, Gary noticed that our flight had been canceled.  He quickly called our travel agent who got us the last seats on the only flight going out.  This flight had us leaving Moline, Illinois, going to Minneapolis, to Atlanta and then to Virginia

While waiting for our flight in Minneapolis, I noticed that there was another flight scheduled to Atlanta before ours.  I inquired at the desk and they were able to get us in the last seats available.

Meanwhile, Gary’s face was starting to itch.  Was he having a nervous reaction to the stress?

We knew it was going to be a close call to connect with our flight in Atlanta; however, we had no idea how far it was to get to our departing terminal!  Huffing and puffing, we slid through the gate just as they were starting to close the doors! 

By this time, Gary’s hands and legs were beginning to itch.  What in the world was going on?

When we finally arrived in Virginia, four hours late, we stood sleepy-eyed waiting at baggage claims to no avail.  Our luggage hadn’t arrived with us so we made our way to the customer service desk!

We explained to the receptionist that our flight itinerary had been changed several times since we purchased out tickets and that our luggage had not arrived.  She asked from where our initial flight originated.  “Moline,” Gary responded.  She suggested, “Well, when you come from a different country you have to go through customs.”  In his best mustered-up patient tone, Gary pronounced, “Moline.  We came from Moline, Illinois!”  She responded, “Yes and you must go through customs.”  While I held my tongue, I wanted to scream at her, “What planet are you from, lady?”

I never considered that maybe the problem was with us!  By this time Gary was developing welts on his face and itching everywhere.  He did kind of look like a refugee who needed to be quarantined!  Unbeknownst to us, he had gotten into some poison ivy just before we left and before it was over there was no inch of his body unaffected!

Do you ever feel as though no matter how hard you try, you’re never understood?  Do you often feel all alone even when you’re surrounded by others?  Does it feel as though others perceive you as an alien from a different planet?

I have some words of comfort for you.  Please stay tuned for next week’s Part II of “What Planet Are You From?”


P.S.  Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at:  You may also contact me at:
             Bonnie Jaeckle
             In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life
             Diagonal Progress
             505 Jefferson St.
             Diagonal, IA 50845

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