Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing

Travel

Calamity, Chaos, and Confusion

by Patty Fletcher

Sitting here in the quietude of my dorm room on this first day of Guide Dog school sipping my first cup of brew, I am amazed to find myself feeling so at ease. As usual getting here was adventurous and honestly, did I expect any less? After all, my aliases are Calamity, Chaos, and Confusion. LOL.

I woke yesterday morning at the ungodly hour of 2 AM. Did my morning routine of washing face, brushing teeth and hair. The problem was that I had no cat hurrying me along for Prince Edward was safely tucked away in the hospital wing of my vet’s clinic. Though I knew it was best for him to stay there while I was away, it was still hard not having him there to talk to, snuggle, and love.

Somehow, I made it through that early morning and, for a wonder, was ready to go when my good friend Christy texted at 3:15 to say she was on her way.

It’s the mark of a great friend who will get up in pouring rain in the wee hours of the morning to drive you to the airport and stay with you until you’re ready to get on the plane to fly off into the great unknown.

Soon they were calling my flight; Christy and I were hugging our good-byes, and I was on my way.

As I often say, “I make plans and the Universe laughs.”

Well, the S O B was sure giggling fit to split yesterday, let me tell you.

Once we’d all found our seats, gotten settled in and were ready to go and the flight crew began their flight checklist, it became apparent something was amiss. We heard someone say, “Well, I need someone from Maintenance now.”

I’m just here to say, on the ground or not, when you’re sitting in a plane the last thing you want to hear is someone stating they need someone from maintenance now. The other thing you do not want to hear is someone else exclaim, “What do you mean they don’t open until 7:30?”

Needless to say, we were all removed from the plane and our flight was delayed. Some were able to take a different flight and continue on their journeys. I, however, was not so fortunate and had to wait until the plane was fixed to get under way.

After some time, the plane was ready to go, and I was finally in the air. Unfortunately, due to the late takeoff I’d missed my connecting flight.

When I got there, I found everything had been arranged but I’d need to go from the arrival gate I’d come through to another departure gate somewhere on the other end of the vast airport. On top of this, I needed a bathroom and could find no way to do either because I’d been dropped unceremoniously in a chair by the door we’d come through by the gate agent and it seemed she’d decided her job was done and so once all the passengers in her line had been served, she set about making a personal call and ignored me altogether when I tried getting her attention for help.

Throughout all this, I’d been in contact with The Seeing Eye, and it was during one such call I finally found the assistance I needed.

I’d gotten out of my chair and walked into the middle of the walkway in hopes of attracting some attention just by being in the way. I was standing there talking in a loud somewhat agitated tone of voice to someone from the Grad Services department of the school when suddenly a man’s voice just to my right asked, “Miss, do you need some help?”

“Eureka!” I called into the phone, “Hang on, it would seem I’ve finally gotten someone’s attention.”

I explained my problem to the polite man and as he began to turn toward the counter just a few feet away, he said, “I’m a pilot, hang on here a moment; I’ll see what I can do. If I cannot get someone’s attention, we’ll have ourselves an issue.”

I felt both relieved and a bit embarrassed, if you’ve read my books, you know this wasn’t the first time a pilot had gotten me out of a jam.

Soon the security department was there asking what I needed, I explained again, and wouldn’t you know? Just that quick, there was a runner there ready to escort me to where I needed to go.

As we began walking quickly through the expanse of the airport to my departure gate, I asked, “Do you think we could stop for a bathroom break?”

“Certainly.” My escort said, “That will be no problem at all.”

When we got onto the floor we needed the nice young man helping me found a lady to take me in and soon I was feeling much relieved and we were on our way again.

I must admit by the time we got to the area from where I would leave, I was sweating and puffing a bit. Wearing a mask didn’t help but soon I was settled in a chair and relaxing with the masses.

Finally, I was in the air again and on the way.

Soon we were landing, the flight attendant was there and as we left the plane a man’s voice called, “Miss Fletcher, I’m here to escort you to baggage claim and then to your driver.”

Though the hike through the massive LaGuardia Airport felt a lot like pre-training with all the walking we did, I was soon meeting my driver and on my way.

About the Author

Patty L. Fletcher lives in Kingsport Tennessee where she works full time as a Writer with the goal of bridging the great chasm which separates the disAbled from the non-disAbled. She is Also a Social Media Marketing Assistant. To learn more, visit:  https://pattysworlds.com/.

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