My flight here on Monday was odd. I decided to arrive at the airport very earlier. This was because my husband had to be to work at 5am. His job is in the vicinity of the airport. My flight was scheduled to leave at 6:50. By getting a ride with my husband I could avoid leaving my car at the airport for 8 days. But that also meant he had to drop me off at 4:30am, so he could get to work by 5.
Now the airport in our new small town is little, nothing like O’Hare, where we used to live. Arriving at our new airport 90 minutes early is rarely necessary, let alone 180 minutes early. In the cool darkness of that early morning I quickly managed to get through the automated self-check in. And then proceeded to the security. I was feeling rather proud of myself for managing to pack enough for 8 days in one small carryon suitcase and a briefcase with my computer, books, knitting….yeah…
Well, at this small airport, the security was not open. Gated and shut tight. Soon a line began to form. A little later the security workers started showing up and getting things ready. By 5am the gates opened and we were let in.
That done all I had to do was sit and wait. I was grateful the coffee shop was open and I get a cup of hot, not too bad coffee. I was also glad that I had my computer and could connect to the airport wifi.
The flight left on time and was uneventful. I wondered what it would feel like to fly into Chicago, my former home of 35 years. Would I feel emotional? Would it feel exciting? Would it feel like I’d made a mistake in leaving? (I am wondering that a lot lately). But flying in didn’t feel like anything. It just was. I was coming to Chicago. And in a week I’ll be leaving and going home. Chicago is known and comfortable and I love it. But it’s not home anymore. That’s what it felt like to land here.
Next I went to get my rental car. The car rental place, due to the bad storms in Chicago over the weekend, was back logged trying to get cars for folks. The wait for a car was 60 minutes….to pick a rental car with a reservation. If you didn’t have a reservation they were sending you away. And every rental agent was doing the same thing. It seems the record breaking almost 7 inches of rain Chicago received in 24 hours (Saturday) had caused the problem. This torrential rain was caused by a spin-off storm from Ike, one of those outer edge storms that moved way north and wrecked havoc….flooding everywhere…
Once I had the car I headed out of the airport toward the freeway….and rather quickly I got my bearings and was right back into the flow of intense driving, Chicago style…fast and congested….
I spent Monday with my daughter, saw my MIL, had real pizza. Yesterday I had coffee with a friend, lunch with another friend, and came to the conference. It’s been a good conference, thus far. Very interdenominational, Christian/Jewish Alban Institute event. I’ve read and used their materials for years, kinda nice to meet one of the trainers/leaders in person. Good stuff…on building vision in the staff. Really timely too. After I’ve had time to process and internalize this stuff I’ll write about it….
Thursday the conference ends at noon, then I drive north to a friends house. I will stay with here Thurs and Friday. On Friday I will see my old clergy group – YAY!!! A women’s clergy support group that I was a founding member of 10 years ago and although a number of us have left others have joined, and so it continues. I have been with these women through job changes and family crisis, and death, and illness. So, it will be good to be with them.
After that more visits with family and colleagues. I go home Tuesday night….more later.