The writing day is beginning under rainy skies at the airport.
I checked the flight schedule with United before leaving my house. Everything is on time! Woo hoo! Let's leave for the airport, my flight's in just 90 minutes.
Forty-five minutes later, matters had changed.
Don't know what the weather is at my first stop, San Francisco. Traditionally, wind, rain, fog and sunshine cause weather delays at SFO. That's part of SFO's vision statement: "We pledge to manage flights in and out to anywhere, any time, as long as the day is not sunny, rainy, windy or foggy."
Airlines and passengers are all very impressed with this vision statement. It's a true and honest vision.
But after I arrived at the airport and settled in, tradition was recognized, and the flights from MFR to SFO were all weather delayed.
A great shout of cheer went up in the terminal when the notice was posted and the announcements made. Many passengers had been afraid that tradition would not be observed and the flights would depart on schedule.
Upon hearing of the delays, the passengers all rose and spontaneously broke into the call people and re-book dance. Everyone knew their moves and it was beautifully executed. I was proud to be part of it.
A few didn't fully embrace the tradition, instead chaffing at it. "When will I learn?" one woman asked. "MFR to SFO is always delayed. I should have gone PDX or SLC." Others laughed at this. Silly, silly woman.
The tradition caused me some changes. Instead of leaving at 10 AM, I leave at 2:15 PM, fly through Denver and have a three hour layover instead of one hour in San Francisco, and I arrive at midnight in San Antonio, just five hours later than originally planned. Other than those changes, there's no difference.
Medford's airport doesn't have much. Standards ergonomically designed seats that make you long for a wooden church pew's comfort are arranged in rows by gates with televisions showing talk television and game shows. A gift shop, game room and restrooms occupy alcoves. Upstairs, with a view of all the delayed flights, is a diner.
Home is twenty minutes away so my wife could come and get me, return me home and then bring me back here but when you start doing the higher math involved, it don't make no sense. Besides, I have a cuppa coffee and my computer and they do have sixteen computer cubicles. I've set up camp. Let the writing craziness begin! As far as I can tell, this is like being at home writing or in the coffee shop writing, but with the added pleasure of security and flight announcements being made over a PA system, and less comfortable chairs.
Sometimes you need to pause and listen to the announcements, to hear if they're saying something important besides TSA travel tips and parking zones. The parking announcements are pretty crucial to us, since we're all in the terminal, waiting for flights, but they just interrupted those announcements to let us know some other flights were cancelled. This caused another great cheer, then several people broke into the run to the restroom dance.
Oh, no, sunshine has snaked through the clouds. That means there will probably be another flight delay or cancellation. It's part of the Medford's airport to sacriface a flight when sunshine appears in order to keep his sunny presence.
Maybe, I'll be lucky and they'll chose my flight for the sacrifice. Fingers crossed!
Meanwhile, I'll write like crazy. As a man on the PA system just said, "Enjoy your travels!"
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com