Keeping It Real Thanks To United Airlines

One of the critiques I have heard of social media like Facebook and blogging is that people only share the “good” stuff that happens in their lives.  They share the fun moments like days in the park, but not the afternoons spent tackling the piles of grass stained laundry.  People share their precious children behaving themselves perfectly during worship, but never blog about the raging temper tantrums in the middle of coffee hour at church because there weren’t any doughnuts left with sprinkles.  Grandparents post about baking organic, whole grain, oat cookies with the grandkids, but fail to mention that the adorable grandkids all thought the healthy cookies were disgusting and demanded Twinkies instead.  Pastors post about their awesome sabbatical adventures in Mexico and Michigan, but fail to mention that there were plenty of blips and bumps along the way.

Anyone who knows me – who has seen my hair – who has heard me preach and witnessed me officiate worship – or spent more than 15 minutes with me – knows that – Pastor Kerri McFarland comes with plenty of blips, bumps, and messy messes. 

The McFarland family sabbatical has had plenty of blips, bumps, and messy moments too. 

Just ask William his opinion of the food in Mexico or his feelings about his parents’ love of walking and hiking.  William also didn’t appreciate the people of Mexico’s insistence on speaking Spanish.

William really has a bone to pick with whoever designed the US customs system.  We spent 2.5 hours waiting in line to go through customs in Atlanta on Friday evening and by then he was more than ready to write, call, and personally petition his Congressman to protest the wretched state of our customs system.  The boy was outraged!  Jason, Jack, and I were just tired, but we are old.  Old people get worn down by life.  William is young and full of passion.

Once we finally made it to Louisville very late Friday evening/early Saturday morning – only one of our four suitcases arrived.  So Jason joined yet another line of less than happy people – to petition the powers that be.

So on Saturday afternoon – when not long after a nice man from the airlines had delivered our missing bags – Jason said to me – “United Airlines is offering us the opportunity to move our flights because of potential bad weather in Chicago on Monday.”

I said – “Let’s do it!” 

(I thought that we would be avoiding another troublesome travel annoyance.)

The last thing I wanted was to get stuck in O’Hare airport because of thunderstorms.  I had gotten caught up in thunderstorm delays at O’Hare when I was in college once and again when Jason and I lived in Minnesota.  It had been a miserable experience both times. 

So we went for it.  We packed our bags, paid the bills, and mowed the lawn.  We were in a taxi heading for the airport less than 48 hours after returning from Mexico, all because I wanted to avoid annoying airport delays.

(Insert laughter here!  Lots and lots and lots of laughter here!)

By 7:15 am on Sunday morning we were in the security line at Louisville Airport – when I glanced up and saw that our flight to O’Hare was delayed. 

And thus began our “Day O’Doom.”

Our flight was delayed until 9:30 am, because the flight crew was going to be arriving late.  Since there was nothing that we could do about the situation, we settled in to wait as patiently as possible.

We amused ourselves by watching a cute little bird flit and fly around the airport eating crumbs off of the floor from people’s snacks.

And we amused ourselves by taking pictures of the cute little bird watching us watching it.

We went for walks, but the Louisville airport is pretty small.  Jack discovered sour gummies that are sour all the way through and boy are they sour!

I knit A LOT.  Jason read and figured out alternative travel plans.  Jack texted, gamed, and probably wished for different parents.  William watched videos, and we all waited and waited and waited as our flight was delayed again and again and again.

Finally after a 5 hour delay – we boarded our flight to O’Hare.  We got settled into our seats.  We buckled our seat belts.  We met the flight crew.  We were thanked for our “patience” with all of the delays, and then the captain told us that there was a small mechanical problem with a backup system.  A mechanic was going to look the problem, but it was only going to be another 15 minute delay at the most.  HAH! 

Soon we were disembarking from the plane, because the mechanical problem was not so small after all.

In the end our flight from Louisville to Chicago was delayed for 10 hours.

Our flight crew may or may not have “hijacked” a plane to get us from Louisville to Chicago.  It was so funny to watch.   The flight crew of another plane walked off their plane and our captain declared something like – “This plane is OURS” – and he and his crew marched right on and took over.  I am sure that he had permission but from the outside it looked like a hijacking.

After a few hours in Chicago – we were off again for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  It was almost midnight when we landed, but it was totally worth it.

This is the view from our kitchen window this week.

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