You can only be disappointed if you allow yourself to hope, but hope is a necessary part of life.
Yesterday, with 36 hours until our flight from Buenos Aires, we solidified a plan. We booked a flight that lands in Boston at 12:30 AM. We reserved a one-way car rental from Hertz, which is open 24 hours. The shuttle operators offered to leave my car in a safe spot with the keys inside. We’d be 36 hours on the road, but we were on target to be home by Friday at noon.
|Crane, by Carol L. Douglas|
I shared these arrangements with my kids; I told a pastor from our church. It felt awfully nice to write out these plans; it made them feel real. I told a few friends and went to bed with a plan. I’d start packing first thing this morning, right after I finish this blog. No, we don’t have much to pack, but I’d drag it out for the sheer joy of the experience.
I should have known better. At 10 PM, we received an email from Eastern Airlines saying that our flight is now delayed until the 3rd. That’s assuming they don’t delay the flight still another time—and assuming that this flight ever existed at all. Forgive our cynicism, but we now have a long history buying tickets that haven’t materialized.
Meanwhile, the costs continue to mount. As Senator Everett Dirksen famously said, “A billion here, a billion there; sooner or later it adds up to real money.”
I’ve been careful to keep my expectations low until now. You can only be disappointed if you allow yourself to hope, but hope is an integral part of faith. That’s a conundrum, but there’s hope that leads to dashed expectations and there’s true hope, which perseveres despite circumstances. I know I’m not alone in finding myself in radically-altered circumstances. If you find yourself sliding into hopelessness during this long, bitter confinement, let me suggest a few classic readings:
And, of course, Psalm 23.
I’d say this felt like a kick in the gut, but I was already feeling like I’d gone two rounds with a mule. Last week’s nemesis is back with a vengeance. I’m dosing myself with live-culture yogurt and drinking tea.
|The biggest excitement of yesterday was this poor kitchen worker dumping a tray full of china dishes on a tile floor. It rang through the eight-story lobby.|
I’m a big believer in staying busy to counter the megrims, but there’s very little work you’re allowed to do in a luxury hotel. We refuse room service and make our own bed. That leaves about 23 hours and fifty minutes to fill each day.
Last night, I found Doug ironing my painting shirts, which were still damp from being hand-washed.
“You hardly need to do that,” I protested.
“I’m doing it for fun,” he answered. The man’s gone daft.