Monday, January 12, 2009

My Grace Cafe week end...

A few highlights from my week end...I flew to Illinois to give a retreat to a group of over 100 lovely women. The theme of the retreat was Grace Cafe!

The travel was interesting! I traveled with my darling daughter, Mary-Catherine. On Friday morning we checked out the flights to see if there would be any delays. Even though it had been snowing in Chicago, the flights were running on schedule according to the Internet. We arrived at the airport and checked our baggage in and got our tickets. The woman then told us that there would be a three hour delay due to the snow and ice in Chicago! Darn! If only we had known, we wouldn't have hurried to the airport. Oh well, my daughter and I would spend the next four hours - yes, four, since we arrived an hour early, at that little airport. Oh, I forgot to mention that the woman also told us that there may be additional delays and that we should listen for announcements. I wondered if I would make it to the retreat on time.

So, after saying "good bye" to my husband and older daughter, Jess who was on her way to the train to go into NYC, we made our way upstairs to find a little coffee shop. We ordered a couple of sandwiches and as I took the first bite, we heard a garbled announcement that sounded as if our flight was going to board in ten minutes. I walked over to the next table to ask two gentlemen sitting there if they had heard the announcement. They confirmed that it was indeed our flight. They would be scrambling too. A few quick bites of my egg salad sandwich and we had to rush to the boarding gate. As we grabbed our gear and headed out of the coffee shop, another garbled announcement told us that we should board in four minutes!

We arrived to a person-less gate. What now? I asked someone passing by what we were supposed to do and were instructed to go outside. I asked why we were boarding so quickly after we were told about the three hour delay. The woman said, "If we don't get you there now, we're not going at all because there's another snow storm coming to Chicago later on."

I dragged my carry-on suitcase stuffed full with Grace Cafe books through a snowy runway with Mary-Catherine at my side. What? Where was our plane? The wind was blowing, my arms were full, and it was freezing cold out. I tried to grab the hood of my coat from behind me with one hand and throw it over my head to cut the wind. We walked and walked and approached a plane that someone had pointed to. We had to climb up the stairs with me dragging up the carry-on. Stepping into the plane, I banged my head and couldn't believe that the plane was so small. We found our seats and I took out my cell phone before we were told to turn them off, to call the woman at the retreat house. I asked that she please go back into the chapel and say a few prayers for us because of the rinky dink plane we had just boarded and the whole cartoon feel to the situation. Would this plane make it through the snowy weather?

Actually, although I welcomed as many prayers as we could get, I felt that God certainly had His hand in this because the three hour delay changed so dramatically and we were allowed to board much sooner than we had anticipated. I was glad about that since I knew there was another snowstorm coming later that evening. I wanted to get there in between storms so we would be safe. I don't really like traveling in the winter.

To be continued (Sorry, but I'm tired)...


Roxane B. Salonen said...

Hope you are resting up. What a trip! But over 100 women -- wonderful! I can't wait to hear about that part.
Hugs from here,

Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle said...

Thanks, Roxane. I'll finish up that post very soon. :)

God bless,