Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The magic of flying, NOT!

In the past, I've always thought of flying as a sort of magic carpet ride. I would leave my house when snow was on the ground or at least when I still had to wear a jacket and, after only several hours, descend into the land of palm trees. Well, that would include flying for a winter vacation, of which I haven't had enough to make them routine.

However, leaving hot, humid northern Minnesota and flying via NWA to Philadelphia in July, means not even packing a jacket. In the past, I've told people in northern Minnesota that the don't even know what humid means. I spent summers when I grew up next to one of the Great Lakes, literally, so I know humid. But there the lake breeze usually was the prevailing wind, so it could be cool. In Philly, humidity rules.

I haven't heard any news since Friday, but apparently NWA made the news for having so many cancelled flights this past weekend. My trip, including the long drive to the airport, the wait there, the layover, the next flight, and the drive after being picked up should have taken about 12 hours. I'd still consider that a magic carpet ride. But I was already en route to the airport when I received a call from my daughter telling me that my flight had been cancelled. She managed to get me booked on some alternate flights, so that the whole trip took 30 hours, including the drive back to her place from an alternate airport. If I had gone with NWA's rebooking, I would have still been in Atlanta then, and still flying about 8 hours later.

So I enjoyed being a tourist in Duluth for the day. It is a wonderful tourist spot. And I was able to stay overnight at my best friend's house. It is a good thing I have a best friend because as far as I could tell, there was one hotel room open in town with a price to match that circumstances.

I had been looking forward to attending my daughter's church on Sunday, but I was flying then. I got to see it this evening when there was an event. It is in an old town, now a suburb, with changing demographics and all the challenges that go along with that. It is a different world for me, even though I grew up in a big city. In those days there was more segregation of cultural groups. It was just a fact. These days, the churches at least try to reach out to the people of the communities, but the old ways don't appeal to many of the young people of various groups. I can see why some churches go to the seeker sensitive models, although I don't know if that appeals to those groups that aren't financially successful.

Certainly there are large mission fields in this country, whether rural or urban. I'm not sure which side of the stained glass is the mission field.

I'm also on Grandma duty this week. We're working on opposites: up and down, in and out. So I have, fittingly, the duty of both ends: kisses and diapers.

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