Wednesday, June 27, 2007

In Boston Against All Odds

It seems like a minor miracle, but I made it to Boston, actually Beverly, Massachusetts yesterday for the Provincial Convocation of Third Order Franciscans. Though the trip has been planned for quite a while getting ready on Monday was a series of "unfortunate events."

I had to teach in the middle of the day. This was not a big deal except that my student got hung up at work and did not make it for his lesson. He did try to call me early in the day to let me know he was going to be absent, but I had left my cell phone at home. Except for the fact that I needed some yarn from the yarn shop to bring with me on this trip, it would have been an unnecessary trip to Dallas.

On the way home from school I stopped at the bank to get cash for myself and to leave with BK and the girls. I placed my withdrawal slip in the tube expecting the miracle of money to return. Instead, the teller said, "I am sorry. We cannot process any transactions because our computers just went down." Hmm. I wonder how far I can get on $20? Rather than make a trip to the bank later, we decided to stop on the way to the airport Tuesday morning. This was not a big deal: it just meant we had to leave a few minutes early.

We went to the grocery store on the way home figuring that a home-cooked meal would be nice since there have been so few of those lately because of everyone being involved in the production of The Nerd. We had just finished eating dinner and loading the dishwasher when the daily thunderstorm hit. In a flash of lightening, our power was gone. There was still daylight so seeing to pack was not a huge issue, but the wet load of laundry in the dryer was. I did as much as I could before it got too dark to see. Just as the last hint of daylight faded, the power returned. It was off for about two hours. Once the lights were on, I scrambled to finish packing because the heavens were still rumbling and I feared another round of outage.

All went well with the packing and I got to bed at a reasonable hour only to rise at 5:45, an unreasonable hour by my summer standards. I finished the last few items of packing, which included a batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies that Brooke made. Bk picked me up at 7:15; we headed to the bank and then the airport. Fortunately the bank was back in business. I was supposed to meet two friends from Austin at the airport and then we were to travel to Boston together. As I approached the airport, I received a call from them saying that they were going going to be late departing from Austin so they would not make the connection to Boston. So, I ended up travelling alone. Once at the airport, my trip went forward with no problems. I was even able to get dinner once arriving at Endicotvt College even though I did not get here until after the posted serving hours.

Things did not work out so well for the group from Austin. They were re booked on a 1:40 flight. I received a text message, while my phone was off during the flight, saying that they had boarded. For a brief moment, I thought all was well. Then I got a call saying that they had indeed boarded, but had been sitting on the runway for two hours and had no idea when, or if, they would leave Dallas. As more storms approached, it looked less and less likely that they would depart. Then another miracle - they were rerouted and took off, almost five hours late, in a slight window of clear weather.

I went to bed in the 90 degree airless room listening to my Ipod. (I considered listening to Christmas carols in an effort to convince myself that it was not miserably hot here.) You would think that being literally across the street, it would not be so hot. Wrong! Anyway, the Austin gang stumbled in about midnight having had no lunch or dinner and been travelling for 18 hours. We had a brief chat and settled in for the night knowing that we had to rise in time for morning prayer at 6:30.

On to Day 2 in Beverly, Mass.