It was a nightmare at high noon when I arrived at McCarran International to check in for my Las Vegas-Vancouver flight.
The airport does not provide porter service. While it didn’t seem to bother anyone else, I was aghast and panic-stricken thinking I would have to lug my oversized and overstuffed suitcases into the terminal myself. Okay, I know I should travel light. But I never do. So sue me.
Without going into the boring details, let me just say that it took a good 30 minutes to get someone’s attention. Her name was Renee. God bless her. She had me in a wheelchair, checked in and at my gate in no time at all.
My ticket was for a Delta flight serviced by West Jet. I thought, “This will probably be a no-frills shuttle flight in a tiny old plane with hellish service.”
My apprehensions were quickly put to rest when I boarded. The plane seemed brand-new; the crew was friendly and gave me my first taste of a typical warm Canadian welcome.
By the way, once on board I was delighted to hear the flight announcements once in English and then in French. Why does French sound so polite and proper, so soothing and yes, so sexy?
I suggest that some people we know should take lessons on how to rant and vent in French. I am sure that no one will take offense.
Shortly before we landed in Vancouver we flew over several scattered islands. I was thrilled to see a huge heart on one of them. What a pretty sight! But by the time I got my camera out, it was too late to take a picture.
When we landed I asked about it. The lady who drove me in her little electric cart didn’t know what island I was talking about. She in turn asked the customs officer, and he had the same blank look in his face.
I insisted that from my window seat, I saw a heart-shaped clearing in a forest. Could it be that I had nodded off and it was all a dream? I don’t think so. By the way, Google has no information on my romantic sighting. Whatever.
I am blissfully happy and feeling blessed surrounded by the love and warmth of my Vancouver family. My hosts have a lovely four-year-old, three-story house in East Vancouver. Their kitchen is the hub of nonstop activity, where all things delicious and nourishing are created. My bedroom is on the top floor, done in a matte light mocha with white trim. I have a white wrought-iron queen-size sleigh bed, so high I need a step stool.
From my bay window, I can see the morning sunlight filter through branches of a pseudo acacia that stands tall in the front yard. It was windy the other night and I heard it whistling and rustling through the trees. The next day the ground was covered with “the falling leaves of red and gold.”
This is my favorite season. Cool breezes, bright and sunny blue skies and the leaves changing color. The spectacle of autumn has begun.
My first dinner here was munggo and daing na bangus, and it reminded me that I have been away from home too long.
Well, this is the homestretch. One week here and then I’m off to Seattle to love on my grand- and great-grandchildren and then catch a flight home. It’s time!
Monday night here was, I imagine, the same all over the United States and perhaps the rest of the world, with everyone gathered around the TV to watch the US presidential debate. They estimated 100 million viewers.
With us that night were a couple of foreign college students in Vancouver from Sao Paolo and Madrid to further their studies in English. They watched as intently as did the rest of us. Our opinion was unanimous with the networks’ view that the lady in red had scored a resounding win.
Was it a good debate? I guess it was. Were all issues discussed? Probably not.
I was uncomfortable. Don’t ask me why. I think I was nervous, hoping not to hear anyone overstep the bounds of propriety, or be rude or unkind, or say something uncouth. It was almost like expecting to hear somebody burp at an elegant dinner table. Does that make any sense?
There will be two more debates. I have a feeling they will get down and dirty.
A friendly reminder
I once had a friend who lived her life constantly aware of “the other guy.” If someone dealt her a wrong turn, she would say “It’s all right. No one knows the burdens he carries. ” She did not ever retaliate. It seemed almost unnatural.
It has taken all my years for me to understand. But I must confess that I still forget.
It is sad that we are often too self-absorbed to give others a passing thought. But when all I can think of is my shattered dreams, how can I care about your pain? How about me? If your world is falling apart, what business is it of mine? I have problems of my own.
We ignore people in trouble in order not to respond. Instead we find fault, fix blame and quickly, we judge!
But wait. Take a moment. Search your heart. Please.
“When we look at a person, any person, remember that everyone has a story. Everyone has gone through something that has changed them.”
Who knows? Someday, someone may do the same for you.