Wednesday, July 16, 2014

195/365-2 An Old Bridge

"Not Leaving On A Jet Plane"

I am a firm believer in bloom where you are planted, even if that means that you are expected to grow and bloom in conditions that are less than ideal.  This philosophy made our travels home from San Diego quite pleasurable when others might have been seriously frustrated and angry.

We left San Diego Monday afternoon on a 4:15 flight to Dallas with a connection in Phoenix.  The first leg of our journey, San Diego to Phoenix, was flawless.  We were scheduled to leave Phoenix on a 6:30 flight, apparently a popular flight time since the seats were oversold.  The gate agent asked for volunteers to rebook on the later flight to Dallas, one that departed at 9:40.  The airlines offered vouchers for future travel as an incentive.  Since we had nothing pressing on our schedule for the following day, the fact that we would be arriving in Dallas in the middle of the night was no big deal.  Once our original flight had departed, the agents started to print our new boarding passes only to discover that the flight we thought we were going to be on, the last flight out of Phoenix to Dallas that night, had been canceled.

The USAir staff was super apologetic and friendly.  They said that they would get us a hotel room in Phoenix for the night and we could fly out first thing in the morning to Dallas.  The only catch was that we would have to connect through Tucson.  At that point, the wheels in the brain started spinning.

At the NOAH conference, we met some lovely new friends who happened to live in Tucson.  Though we had just seen them a few days earlier, it would be kind of cool to see them again.  As Weber made a phone call to them and I talked to the USAir representative, it turned out that there was one more flight to Tucson that night.  And the next day, there were seats on a flight later in the afternoon to Dallas.  When all was said and done, we were able to fly to Tucson and spend the night.  The next morning our friends met us at the hotel and we had a lovely together.  They then dropped us at the airport for our flight home.  For us, this whole chain of events turned out to be a wonderful blessing.

Back to our new friends...there are some people that instinctively you are drawn to before you really understand why.  Then, as you begin to talk with each other, that energy that initially drew you together begins to make a whole lot more sense.  

Richard and Mary are older than we are; they are retired. We're not bitter though; really, we're not!  Like us, their careers were in the fields of education and public service.  We share the same anniversary, which we all celebrated while in San Diego.  Their 43 years trumps our four for sure.  Their hotel room in San Diego was directly above ours.  Richard and I, the two with albinism, share similar views on how albinism has and how it has not impacted our lives.  Over brunch, we shared countless stories of our lives and came to know more about one another. We discovered a shared understanding of the power of the labyrinth as a spiritual tool.  I'm sure, given more opportunities to converse,  other  common interests, experiences, and shared intellectual ideals will emerge.

Thank you Richard and Mary for your friendship and hospitality during our unscheduled visit to Tucson!  We hope to see you both again soon.

196/365-2 Red

"Unpacking NOAH"

This photo is more appropriate to this blog post than it is to the photo prompt "red," but it will have to do double duty here if I am to have any chance of catching up with posts and photos!

Traveling to the NOAH  (National Organization for Albinism and Hypo-pigmentation) conference was an awesome adventure all the way around.  We spent lots of time enjoying food, fun, information and time with friends both old and new.  Many of us have said that these conferences are like a great big family reunion; I truly felt that as we walked into the conference center and I was greeted by my best friend from the previous conference in St. Louis, whom I have not seen in two years.  

Here are some of my observations, revelations, and simple musing from my week with NOAH.

 1. The NOAH family comes to know you by who you are on the inside, not the outside.  Most of us can’t see well enough to judge by external appearances.  The upshot of that is that there is no need for any of you to worry about those extraneous chin and nose hairs.  To those of us with albinism, they don’t exist.  That said, if you notice them on us, a friendly pluck is OK.

2.  If you want to know how to navigate mass transit, ask a PWA; we are experts!

3. Sunscreen is the preferred drug of choice.  The good news is that sharing lotions and sprays is much safer than sharing other drug paraphernalia.

4. The Red Hat Society has nothing on the hats at a NOAH conference.

5. The Swedish Bikini Team is not a fictitious group, but rather an up and coming professional sports organization.  Swim On!

6. No matter how blind, or blonde, we are, we can always find “The Spot” at night.

7. There can be as many birthdays as there are pieces of cheesecake.

8. Hotel security guards do not provide condoms.  (The drunk girls inquiring were not part of NOAH.)  This was an exchange that you only had to hear, not see.

9. A NOAH conference is the only gathering where a Pigmento can loose his or her significant other and experience that same feeling of panic that PWAs feel when in a large crowd of people.  This is just another service offered by NOAH so that those with pigment don't feel left out of the learning.

10. Pale is in; red is not.

11.  NOAH friends are forever!

194/365-2 Beautiful Light

"Airport Fountain"

I am way out of sorts as a result of our trip to San Diego.  I am still catching up on photos and have taken them out of order.  It feels strange to be behind, but that is the way of it.  We have had quite the adventure over the past two days trying to get home.  Though we are tired, it was all good.  More on that later.

This photo is for the prompt from last Sunday.  Since we have spent much of the last two days in various airports,  there was not much to photograph except frustrated, tired, and a few angry people.  We did see this cool fountain in the Phoenix airport.  The light was really fascinating, though this picture doesn't really do it justice.

I know that I am babbling here.  I think I'll go to bed, in my own bed,  and try again tomorrow.