It has been a while since I last wrote anything. I've been busy, and ASUBoyd has done a great job keeping you up to date on the greatness of ASU basketball.
This Christmas is especially sweet for me, considering I am lucky to be home at all. Here's my story.
On Tuesday, I was scheduled to fly from Phoenix to Denver, to Chicago, then to Albany, NY on Southwest. My Denver flight left at 11:35, etc. With a two hour delay on that flight, I worried about my continuing connection out of Chicago. I went over to a Chicago flight, and was the last standby they took. Thus, I was on my way by 12:30.
Good, right? The weather at Midway was bad, and we had a medical emergency on board, and so we had to emergency land in Indianapolis (which is 184 miles SOUTHEAST of Chicago, mind you). After waiting an hour and a half there, we took off for Chicago, and we landed around 6 PM Central time. Upon landing, I found out my flight to Albany was delayed until 10.
No big deal. I went to the one place that people go when trouble strikes, and they need a respite. The chapel? No... The bar.
Proceeded to watch TCU and Boise State. What a game. That entertained me well. I met a nice 32 year old woman named Molly who bought me a Jack and coke.
My flight got pushed back to 10:55! Then 12:00! Then it finally landed, and the pilot timed out. So they "looked for another pilot." None was to be found. They cancelled my flight.
I tried to get a flight for the next day, but they were booked solid. The earliest flight I could get to Albany was 8 AM today, Christmas. Terrible feeling.
Over the course of the night in which I did not sleep a wink, I worked as hard as I could to get home. It was difficult to figure out. I made some great friends, Jason and Weldon, and we stuck together and watched out for each other's things so that the night wasn't as awful as it could have been. I am extremely thankful to have met them.
Weldon got a flight into Providence, and her dad was going to drive 3 hours from Albany and pick her up. This set into motion my interest in flying to Manchester NH or maybe Providence. I didn't want to spend Christmas in Chicago; anywhere on the East coast would be far better.
Eventually, I asked the big question. Could I get a ride to Albany? She was happy to oblige.
Jason and I had to act quickly to get on the 7:30 AM flight to Providence. We rebooked through the phone, and went to the gate at 5:30. Apparently, we had to leave security, go get our ticket, come back through security, and then we could get on the flight.
ON CHRISTMAS EVE!
The place was a madhouse, and we had to wait in line to get our tickets for 30-40 minutes. I was concerned we might not make it through in time. Jason was more confident. But I was exhausted and at that point, not making it home would have truly killed me.
We were put in the extra security line, which is shorter, but they check you for bombs and residues. That got us through quickly, and we were at the gate by 6:45 AM. We had left our bags with Weldon, which had worried me for multiple reasons. 1) What if we missed our flight? Where would the bags go? and 2) What if she needed to get up and move around? What would she do with all of our stuff?
It was all too surreal. We got to Providence, and her kind father drove us all the way to Albany, through the rain and dreary conditions. Had to wait in line at the Albany airport for our checked baggage, but I finally got picked up at 2:30 PM on Wednesday, Christmas eve. Then, drove an hour and a half to get to my home in Vermont.
Just in time for Christmas service.
I just wanted to tell you this story, not because my ordeal was terrible, but because of the Christmas spirit.
Christmas isn't about getting the gifts you desired, or the delicious meal you consume. It's the compassion shared between people, the brotherhood we all cherish at the holidays. Being with your family is a gift that cannot be ignored, and this year I am just thankful to be home, safe and warm from the cold weather, and away from the Chicago Midway International Airport.
I wanted to thank Jason and Weldon one more time, in a public sphere. Without you two, my Christmas would have turned out terribly, and I would have felt a lonely despair that is now unimaginable. In a sense, you both saved my Christmas, and for that I will never forget you both. Merry Christmas.