What a day...I was so nervous that I would miss the plane due to traffic or some other disaster that I could not foresee... Well, it didn't happen! The traffic was horrific, but, we got to drive in the HOV lane and so missed most of it! Rick took me to the airport and saw that I got off properly. And after a marathon event with Karen Withrow, the night before, I needed taking care of!
We got it all in 2 bags that weighed in at 49.5 lbs, and one that weighed in at 44 lbs. But it was harem-scarem getting last minute details together! I realized, at 11:15 p.m. that the "secure place" I stored my money in...still had my money in it! And I had to make a quick, very apologetic call, to the Safemeister and he let me come over and retrieve it, even though by then it was 11:30 p.m.!! Thank you for your indulgence!
I bought peanut butter for my interpreters...and I don't remember where I put it, but it did not make it into the suitcases...sorry Rita and Jane! But that was really the only casualties I can think of with the luggage!
There was, however, a small casuality at the airport...but let me start with the beginning. I have to say, "thank you, God" for the fastest track time EVER in getting through security! I am not exagerating, I don't think it took more than 10 minutes to get through. Maybe a little less!! I could not believe it! I had more than enough time to get to my gate and eat a quick breakfast. Step one:Excellent
After boarding the plane...well let me just say...it took a down hill turn! My seat was kind of whomper jawed and I reached back to pull it forward for takeoff.
You know, after they give the instructions that EVERYONE'S seat should be sitting up and the tray tables should be "upright and locked into position". Wellllll...the lady behind me had a drink that landed on the floor when I pulled the tray table and not my seat! I'm just saying...if she had been following directions it would not have been a cold and slushy mess on the floor! Of course I apologized...again and again! I'm not sure that made her feel any better!
After a plain-Jane trip to D.C. I managed to get to my next gate in plenty of time. I did make the shuttle and it left on time...whoohoo...and some of you know what happened next...
Yes, Rick, I found a guy on that shuttle that I had a slight, and I do mean slight, connection to. I grew up in Arlington, TX and he had lived there as well. I asked where? He said right off of 360. I said how far off of 360? Of course it ended up that we were less than 3 miles from each other. He knew quite a few old time Arlington hang outs. It was funny talking to someone from my old home town!
I only had a slight glitch at the Austrian Air gate. They didn't have a record of me in their computer. Of course, I just happened to have written down a confirmation number...still no luck...then I found the old ticket from DFW to IAD and it had some kind of number on it that they used to "find" me. Thank you prayer warriors! Thank you, Father!
Since I was not in the system, I got the seat that was available...yeah...you guessed it. The one next to the galley...and the restrooms! The "gentle" sound of flushing accompanied my sweet dreams! But even from the flushing, God gave me a blessing! (The seat I got was actually second from the galley) I was able to move to my final seat, next to the galley, and I shared the row with a very nice gentleman. Who just happened to be going to Ukraine. He was going to Odessa, several hours from me, and he was going to minister to orphans there. We were able to have some very good conversations over the trip!
We exchanged emails at the airport and hopefully we can talk again. He said he would like for me to come, or at least phone, some of his congregation about ministering to orphans in Ukraine. You know me...I would love to share the adventure with more people!
The trip to Dnepropetrovsk was even more uneventful. The plane was full, but it was a great flight. The only problem I had was keeping my head up long enough to read the book I brought! I kept waking myself up when my chin would hit my chest! Ready for Rita and Jane, ready for Ukraine, and ready for a NAP!!
Will tell you about my next day in another post!