Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Perhaps you can relate?

I sat down recently and wrote about my last flight to visit my brother's family. Perhaps you have had a similar experience with air travel lately?

Hunger Strike

I’m a tightwad. So as I sit here on a flight from Dallas, Texas, to Kona, Hawaii, to visit my brother’s family, I am shocked to discover that the airline no longer provides complimentary meals or snacks.

What? I fume. I pay almost $1000 for this flight, am trapped here twelve
hours, and they aren’t going to feed me?
I refuse to fork over another $5.00 for a mere turkey sandwich. I feel it my personal responsibility to justice and all that is right to stand firm (or sit, as it were). It’s not just the $5.00; it’s the principle of the matter! Where is the lost graciousness of air travel? Where are the perks of a long flight – the two full-length movies and a decent meal? Where, in fact, are a blanket and one of those cute miniature pillows? Thus I begin my own personal hunger strike.

Instantly, my moments-ago full stomach starts to grumble and whine. I sit stubbornly in my narrow seat casting furtive looks at the passengers ahead of me opening their snack boxes. Humph, I mutter to myself. Cheezits and Oreos, who needs them? I have an unopened packet of pretzels in my purse from a previous, more generous flight. I reassure myself that I won’t starve, though pretzels are my least favorite snack. Tasteless pretzels are a fitting companion for the water I’ll order. At least water is still free. Surely.

The rustle of pre-packaged food items and happy munching increases my dissatisfaction. The cart is drawing closer to my aisle. I stare ahead, leaning my chair back a notch. It rumbles closer. I put a piece of gum in my mouth. I pick up the emergency procedures card and diligently study the diagrams. Perhaps I will need to know how to use my seat as a flotation device as we fly over Arizona. Nearer and nearer come the flight attendants and with them my last opportunity for guaranteed sustenance. Can I really let it go by and remain empty handed? The ten hours remaining loom long in my mind. I’ll eat pretzels and then sleep ‘till we get there, I tell myself.

But then another voice inside pipes up, reminding me of the $2.00 I saved when they passed out complimentary headphones since the video projector was broken. Instantly I only have to justify $3.00. My resolve crumbles. “I’ll take one!” I blurt out to the flight attendant, now at my elbow. To eat later, I tell myself. When it’s dinner time, it will be worth it. My hunger strike ends.

Soon the drink cart follows. Great, what will I have to pay for this? However, the flight attendant offers a selection of complimentary juices and sodas. When I select a cranapple juice, she asks if I would like the whole can. I nod profusely, feeling like I have just scored the deal of the century. Wow! The whole can free! Along with the drink, she places before me a packet of pretzels. I put it in my purse for later…just in case.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

this and that

Weekends go by WAY too fast! I'm just now getting online and it's time to start winding down. Tomorrow starts early. Just wanted to check in.

If you haven't already, go see the movie End of the Spear. It's about Steve Saint, son of Nate Saint who was one of the missionaries massacred in the 1950's with Jim Elliot. The movie is well-made and answers questions and loose ends that have taken 50 years to find out. Everyone should see it. Make sure you stay for the credits, 'cause they show some of the best parts then. You'll leave smiling.

I just finished the first week with a new Gateway school. It was a really good week. In fact, I actually had fun! I know there will be days when I don't like my job directing the Gateway Program, so I want to appreciate (and savor) the days I do. Friday I loved my job! I got to teach a short session, the participants are getting to know each other and slowly sharing more about themselves, I got to see my staff shine, and we had beautiful weather every day... If I'm going to share the bad news, I want to make sure and share the good, as well!

This weekend we finally had rain. It hasn't rained all day like today since September when Hurricane Katrina was blowing around, so everyone has been happy to see the clouds. Sunday afternoons are the best time to have a wet rainy day!

until later...have a good start to a new week!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Getting ready for Gateway

I've been back at work one week and it seems like three! Whew! The Gateway course starts next week with Registration on Sunday. I'm looking forward to getting to know this new group of participants. I think this job is a good fit.

Have Mercy!

Have Mercy!
Originally uploaded by aliciarobbins.
No, we don't usually dress alike! However, it's a cool shirt, don't you think. That's my mom, dad, brother, and sister-in-law (and the hands of Tabitha who doesn't like being left out.)

my brother's family

my brother's family
Originally uploaded by aliciarobbins.
My brother's family on our drive to the North end of the island. Yes, it is beautiful, but believe me, I saw more of the WalMart parking lot than the beaches of Hawaii during the holidays. smile. Benjamin is 8 with a broken wrist. Lydia is 6 and likes horses. Tabitha is 2 1/2 and likes to eat candy.

Making a Gingerbread House

Christmas was spent at my brother's house in Kona with his family and my parents. We had fun making a gingerbread house, but Tabitha kept eating the candy decorations faster than we could put them on the house. We finally convinced her to stop and leave a few on the house. Actually, she just compromised. Everytime she passed by the gingerbread house, she couldn't resist licking her finger, rubbing the candy pieces, then licking her finger again. By Christmas day the candy had practically melted before our eyes.