Monday, May 16, 2011

Karin's Series of Unfortunate Events

First, can I just say ARGH again?!?! Just need to get that off my chest.

I am currently sitting in an airport in Philly. It's just past midnight. It's an unscheduled 'visit.' Here is how it has all gone down....

To recap---we were scheduled to go on a dream trip to Israel, paid for by my parents. My parents and my brother and wife were also going.

First...last Thursday, Jeff gets a severe pain in his leg that is still undiagnosed--possibly a blood clot--but the ER doctor didn't think so. However...he is no better. The ER doctor just said not to fly for 5-7 days. So Jeff cannot go on the dream trip to Israel with me.

He didn't want me to stay home. So I reluctantly kept my plans to go. But without him, the trip had lost a lot of its luster.

Then Sunday, my mom fell and broke her elbow. It is going to require surgery. She is having the surgery tomorrow and then she and my sister are going to join the tour on Friday, if all goes well. My sister was not originally going, but she is going to use Jeff's tour ticket.

OK--that was enough drama to make me pause and say...."hmmm.....is God wanting us to stay home?" I didn't get an answer, so I packed to go.

Jeff took me to the airport today and when we walked in and got in line, I saw something that made me gasp.
The lady in front of me had her passport in her hand.
I had forgotten mine.

We live a good hour from the airport--more when the traffic is bad--which it was. We got back in the car and started driving home. A sweet friend had sent me a text just at the moment that I realized I had no passport and I sent her a 'panic' message. She offered to go get my passport and meet us part way to Boston. {I have such awesome friends!}

I still didn't think I would make it. And I didn't really sweat it because I was still rattled and wondering if God even wanted me to go. So I prayed that if I wasn't supposed to go, I would miss the flight and if I was supposed to go, I would make it.

I arrived at the airport 15 minutes before my flight was supposed to take off. It was delayed. They checked my luggage and I was in.

OK.

But I just couldn't get over how weird it was that I didn't take my passport. I had even looked in the place where we keep them today (for something else) and I practically would have touched it. But I didn't even think about it?
Odd....

Well...the flight was delayed. And delayed. And delayed some more. By the time it finally boarded, they made an announcement saying that they could not guarantee that anyone with a connecting flight leaving before 10PM would make their connections. Mine left at 9:15.

What to do???

The counter guy was iffy on it--said I could try but didn't want to make any promises. I only had a few seconds to make the decision {and I'm horrible at making decisions}. I tend to be kind of a 'oh let's just go for it' kind of gal, so I got on the plane.

And by the way...I will say that US AIR has been a horrible experience so far. Just sayin... Need to give them a little word-of-mouth advertising.

Apparently there were a lot of weather-related delays. I sent a text to my brother, who was already in Philly with his wife and my dad, telling them that I had landed and was coming. He sent a text back that the flight attendant had told him that they were aware that there had been a lot of connecting flights coming late and that I should get a cart to give me a ride since it was a long walk between gates.

Of course there were no carts.
I tried to flag a few down and was curtly told they were picking up someone else and couldn't help me.
So I started to hurry across the airport. I called my brother and breathlessly told him I was on my way. They were still at the gate.
Pretty soon my calf muscles were burning--not that I'm out of shape or anything--just because was so far! hahahahaha
Finally, I decided to run. I took off my flip flops and was sprinting as fast as one can while dragging a rolling suitcase. A woman in a cart spotted me. She was driving toward me from the direction of the gate I needed to get to. I jumped in as she said, "I just dropped someone off there. I don't know if I can get you there in time but let's go." We were there in less than a minute. That means that it took her less than a minute to get to me. So from the time she dropped off the other person, it was less than two minutes.
I jumped out and was told,
"We're closed." There was a scanner there and it had been shut down.
I begged. I pleaded. I even cried. And I almost never cry. I was just so exhausted and could not believe I had missed a plane by a minute.
They looked at me unmovingly and said they couldn't do anything. Some other employee said, "Can you just open back up?" The scanner-Nazi said she couldn't--it would take too long to warm back up. I asked if she could just open my bag and look through it.
Nope.

Wow...really?

I pleaded some more. They were stone cold.
Finally I just sat down on one of the scanners and started bawling.
They just stared.

They told me I had to go back to the spot I had just come from to 'adjust my ticket.' {I was thinking about something else I might like to adjust--but I didn't.} I asked if they could call a cart then because I had just run all the way there and I wanted a ride back.
Nope. Couldn't do that.
Fine.
I said I would just sit there.
They said, "No you won't because you can't sit on the scanner."
Fine.
I jerked my suitcase and marched off with as much dignity as I could muster, whereby one them sarcastically said, 'Have a nice day."

She is lucky that I am a Christian.

Because in my world you don't kick someone when they are down. And I was obviously down.

Soon I was walking across the airport again. I found the service desk. There was a long line. Lots of other people who had missed their flights.

I waited and waited and finally got almost to the front. Suddenly, they announced that we all had to move to a different service desk and all of the people behind me rushed over there. Guess where I ended up?
At the end of the line.
I was so happy about that.

There is only one flight a day to Israel. So if I want to be on it, I will be sitting around here until 9:15 tomorrow night.

They did upgrade me to first class. Whoopdi-stinkin-do.

They informed me that since the delay was weather related, it wasn't their fault so they were not obligated to pay for me to have a hotel room for the night. But there was an information desk that could help me find a room.
Nice.
Of course the information desk for that was way across the airport.
So off I went.
The attendant was in the bathroom. For a long time.
When she came back she told me that most of the hotels were full due to conventions, graduations, and stranded fliers, but there was a rent-by-the-hour spa with room in the airport where I could spend the night. It was way back across the airport--back where I had just come from.
Fine.
There was a line when I got there and I saw the employee in charge shaking her head.
They were full.
So I went all the way back across the airport {AGAIN} to the information desk to see about a hotel room off site.
I was told that they were all full. ALL.OF.THEM.

But...they were going to pass out blanket and pillows to all the stranded travelers.
Wooo!
They were, however....guess where?
ALL.THE.WAY.BACK.ACROSS.THE.AIRPORT.

The blanket is mylar. Yes...like the balloons. It came in a tiny little ziploc bag.

Oh...and the alarms are being tested every 15 minutes. So not only are the hideous alarms going off, there is an announcement blaring that says, "A test of the blah, blah, blah is being conducted. Please disregard any of the alarms you may hear."

Oh, I would love to disregard them except for some reason it's kind of hard to sleep or think straight when a siren is going off every five minutes. And when there are not alarms, there are loud announcements about other things no one cares about.

This currently ends my tale of woe...although I'm sure it's not yet over.

If you are still reading....I really wrote this post for two reasons. The most important is this: If you would be willing to pray, I would love God to give me some clarity about this trip. Should I be going? Or is He trying to tell me to stay home? The circumstances are really just sooooo bizarre that I cannot just dismiss them. I need Him to speak to me-- not just through circumstances--but speak to my heart and tell me what to do. Part of me just wants to run home to my sweet family and husband. I want to be where God wants...so if He wants me to go home, I want Him to tell me. If He wants me in Israel, I need Him to tell me that. I know He has a plan and I am just struggling to figure out what it is right now.

The second reason I wrote it is because I just need to get my frustration off my chest!


19 comments:

Laura said...

Hello!

I am hoping that by the time you read this things have turned around for you completely. I understand the trepidation in how your trip is going and I very much like how you phrased need God to speak to your heart. I am praying right now that you will have clarity in what His plans for you are.

God Bless!
Laura

Jill said...

As much as I have an opinion, I will keep my mouth shut. I too hope you get some clarity from prayer Karin. Hugs!

Mama in Uganda said...

Wow.

What a day.

Praying for you in Uganda.

S

Waitingfaithfully said...

Saying a prayer right now (yes, at 2:00 a.m. Texas time) . . . one for your strength, two for clarity. I admire Jill for "keeping her mouth shut". If I were to open mine, just IF . . . you would probably hear something that sounded like . . . . . . . . . . . . . go home.

Asking the Lord to speak to your heart. Clearly.

Love,

Tina

Angie said...

Seriously? What a nightmare of a trip so far. Praying God speaks very, very clearly to you as you sleep...er, listen to sirens. Ugh!

Kim K. said...

I hope this nightmare ends today. I'm so sorry. Thinking of you and sending you lots of virtual (((HUGS)))

Tiffany said...

Karin- I see the enemy ALL OVER THIS! He would love to see you pack up and head home...hold on and I believe you will see amazing things on this trip. I will be following and praying for your peace and safety. God is NOT the author of this chaos and confusion! Take care and persevere! YOu will have QUITE a story to tell when this is over!
Tiffany

Lori said...

Oh my word. My heart is so sad for you! What a horrible nightmare. I'm so very sorry this has happened to you...and since I'm just now reading about it, I'll pray that you have already awoken to a clear answer.

Also...what is Jeff saying about it? Perhaps God has clearly told him what you are to do. ???

Praying right now.

I wish so much I could do something to reverse all these unfortunate events for you...I can SO feel your frustration in your words.

Praying, praying.

Tesseraemum said...

Karin, When I started reading your post I thought you all should just run back home but the longer I read I am beginning to think its the enemy not the Lord doing all of this. God is not going to cause all of this pain and heartache. There MUST be a HUGE blessing waiting for you on this trip!!
Praying that all of the roadblocks fall away and you have a wonderful time!! Sheri

Julie said...

My opinion? God is not the author of chaos and confusion, that comes from Satan. I pray the Lord blesses you with peace in the storm and that once you are on that plane to Israel you can sleep and relax.

Kristin Ferguson said...

At least now you can get one of those marathon bumper stickers for the back of your car since you just did one at the airport last night! I don't know what God has in store for you on this trip Karin but I will be praying that it truly is a blessing to you and your family members with you!

Oh, and when you're ready. I'll tell you an even more bizarre story about a friend's trip to the Holy Land--I think Satan just wants to keep people from walking on hallowed ground.

Kathy said...

Ah Karin-I really feel for you-I would be bawling with you! In fact it reminds me our horror trip beginning 3 yrs ago when I had a dr call with a diagnosis of a chronic illness, one flight delay which led to missing the international flight, totally rude and unsympathetic staff who said it wasn't their fault and refused to put us in a hotel, and then tonsillitis when we got there-probably helped on with all the stress. Not as bad as yours-but with 5 kids it wasn't much fun! I wanted to run home, but pushed through and had a great time eventually. Praying that God gives you clarity-personally I'm more inclined to think that satan is trying his hardest to mess things up for you, but that's just me! So sorry that you're having to go through it all-it really sucks. blessings,
Kathy

Sharon said...

Oh Karin...I am SOOO feeling your frustration and exhaustion!!! This is truly unbelieveable!!! We are praying for "without a doubt" clarity.

Sean and Lisa said...

Oh my stinkin' goodness. Sounds like a page from Alexander's no good, horrible, very bad day!! I just hate when you aren't sure which way God wants us to walk and I totally understand your frustration and confusion in all of this. I am praying that He speaks loudly and clearly to your heart even now and gives you peace with that decision. I pray blessings over you and God's protection and FAVOR as well. Geez, sounds like that whole airport needs some word-of-mouth advertising....just sayin'. :)

Shonni said...

Wow...I am so sorry!! I will be praying!

Aly said...

Hi Karin,
I hope this comment is being read in flight to Israel. :) Praying for you, and for clarity. Hang in there!
Perhaps you are meant to go, and Satan knows that you will be a blessing to someone over there, he may be trying to prevent that.

Blessings,
Alycia

Kimberlie said...

Oh Karin! It reminds me of how Continental screwed up our tickets to Ch!na last Dec and we just barely made the flight. They literally shut the doors behind us. I was sobbing as I made my way to my seat. It was horrible.

I am praying!

Holly said...

wow wow wow!! there must be some really huge blessings waiting in Israel for you my friend! I am sooooo sorry but keep pressing on!! Can't wait to hear how the Lord ministers to you!
He is faithful!!
So glad for your friends locally!

David and Janet Hurley said...

Ohhhh Karin, I so understand--the second week of posts from my Aug China trip (alone) were not nice...lack of sleep kills me too.
I pray you are now all situated, and that the rest of your trip is a blast!