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EVERYONE HAS A STORY - Week Eleven

HAWAII – WEEK #11

May 9th – May 15th

Fly the Friendly Skies?

The internet, newspapers, and television have glutted the American public with the horrors of flying, and the friendly skies have never seemed so unfriendly. In-flight skirmishes are erupting, tempers are short, nerves are frayed, and flights are being cancelled one after another. Flying, once so easy to get from Point A to Point B, has become an undertaking to be considered with extreme caution. And yes, I’m nervous. The reality of being surrounded by the invisible threat of a fast-moving, contagious disease is not far from my thoughts.


I have already overshot my original return by four weeks, and changed my reservations three times. The airports and travel, my children insisted, were too risky until the end of May or early June. Best to stay right where you are. The last agreed-upon date was May 29th, Alaska Airlines, non-stop from Honolulu to San Diego. I was choosing my airlines carefully, based on their itineraries, flight times, and layovers. Most were dismal. Since no one is coming into Hawaii, few flights are going out. I was relieved that I was able to book the only available non-stop. All set…until that flight was suddenly canceled, and would not be offered again until June 1st. I grabbed it, what difference would a few days make?


For now, that is the plan, unless something changes between now and then. I’m pinning my hopes on the fact that nothing will, but if it does, I am prepared to spend twenty hours to get home, on a red-eye, with a three hour layover in Oakland or San Francisco. As beautiful as the islands are, especially since we have finally been able to get out and enjoy the scenery, it doesn’t make sense to me to wait until the tourists return, coming from all parts of the world, and creating a steady throng of travelers at the airport. I prefer to take my chances with a layover, if necessary.


In the meantime, the school year is winding down, the homework struggles are almost over, socializing with friends is done very carefully in an outdoor setting, and life in our bubble seems almost ordinary now. Funny how we can all adjust when the need arises. Humans are resilient, and our nature is to cling tenaciously to life, carve a new path to the future, and adjust to whatever challenges stand in our way. I know opinions have differed, and it will probably get worse as everyone gets re-situated, but I do see hope. The optimist, the Pollyanna in me, sees a new beginning with solutions, kindness and strength.


I’m sad to leave Hawaii and this beautiful little family, but it’s time. Sadly, I can’t be two places at once, but I live by the wise words of my sister, “May you trust in God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.” Stay safe and healthy, one and all!

UPSIDE

  1. I have been one of very few non-locals to see Oahu free of tourists, crowds, and long lines. Although stores and restaurants are still closed, beaches and hiking trails have opened up for outdoor activities. What an unexpected gift I have received amidst the chaos!

  2. The six-year old is now allowed to participate in a few, carefully monitored play dates. What a difference it has made in her attitude and sense of well being!

  3. The parents have now allowed themselves to participate in a few, carefully monitored play dates. What a difference it has made in their attitudes and sense of well being!



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