It’s been a hell of a long travel day with my young kids, but we arrived.
After a near miss on our connecting flight in Charlotte, we thought we were home-free on our final descent into our beach vacation. Alas it was not to be. Pop-up storms in the area forced our pilot to abandon our landing and regain altitude to circle the area while the storms passed through.
It was there where things took a turn.
Apparently, our plane hadn’t been fully-fueled up from it’s last connection. So instead of gambling with the weather, we had to fly 200 miles northwest to another airport for an emergency landing due the fuel in the same storm system we’d tried to fly away from.
After the emergency landing in the storm, the pilots had to turn the fuel-deprived plane off for 2 hours while we sat on the tarmac due to the lightning in the area.
Oh yeah, this was with our two young kids. And while they were champs through it all, there’s only so much a kid can take. But here is where our story takes an interesting turn.
Through the screaming tantrum of my overtired and underfed infant child, the other parents caught my eye and nodded in solidarity.
They’d been there. Then because the last few hours had sucked for everybody I witnessed an amazing phenomenon.
As it became clear that our plane was not to leave again tonight, folks started scrambling to make alternative plans. The bearded heating and air-conditioning guy across from me joined forces with his seat neighbor the bodybuilder and the ladies behind us to rent a car and finish the trip by land.
I then saw that bodybuilder share his last THC gummy with his new friend, explaining for the drive ahead he’d need it more than him.
I looked around and saw others sharing plans, exit strategies, and provisions as well.
In that moment, the screams of my child faded, and I remembered a world that used to be. It was a world when people gave a shit about one another. When things like who we vote for and what we post on social media didn’t seem to matter so much.
In a time of frustration, exasperation, and even anger it was a moment that brought me back and reminded me of good things in our world.
And so we did the same by renting a car and driving white-knuckle in the storms and rain. But here we are.
And so I write this sitting on a patio overlooking the water. My family is safe and sound, and tomorrow we will wake up to the sound of the ocean.
What a world. What a life.