My column for our local newspaper.
The snow came and went here in Georgia and I missed the entire thing.
I was up in Philadelphia working on a project and flew out early morning Tuesday, before the first snowflakes fell. By the time I landed a few hours later, I heard the Atlanta airport was already closing down, that I had gotten out just in time.
My trip was quick, and I spent two days working on my project and getting updates on the weather from my family. At first it seemed the snow might never come, but it did find its way to our beautiful city and made a lot of Southern children (and grown ups!) very happy.
I enjoyed watching all the celebrations from afar — checking pictures online of friends enjoying the rare treat. There were so many videos and pictures of hillside sledding, children being pulled along in whatever did the trick, and beautiful snowscapes of dusted decks and yards.
Of course I wanted to be there but I was okay about it all. It is what it is, that’s been my mantra of late. My eyes were on the prize — returning home to my babies mid-morning Thursday.
But Thursday came and the airport scene was still a mess. I checked in for my 9 am flight, which was quickly moved to ten, and then eleven and finally, when they announced 12:30pm, they admitted they were looking for the pilots.
It was crazy.
At some point, once the flight was officially cancelled, I started making plans to regroup. I made a new reservation for the next day and started the work of collecting my luggage, which I decided to check at the last minute. There was obviously a whole host of emotions going on at this point which I kept at bay by choosing not to fret. It was a choice, and that actually worked.
But as I made my way to baggage claim, I had to sadly admit to myself I wasn’t going home today. The only thing that made a 24-hour delay bearable was how many people I met that morning who had been waiting days to catch a flight. Once the ice started forming in Atlanta, everything went nuts.
I stood at baggage claim thinking about the mess. That’s the part of the storm I witnessed. The trouble with travel. The images of cars stuck on highways. Stories of people forced to sleep in their vehicles overnight.
While my husband and kids were home joyfully playing in the snow, my take on the situation was the reality that life does indeed shut down when snow falls in the South — and that is exactly how it should be.
In the meantime I waited for my suitcase to pop up onto the carousel, with no guarantee that it would even be found. The nice woman at the gate had asked for a description of my bag, which made me a little nervous. I’m probably not the only person with a berry colored Samsonite?
I stood there and said a little prayer and started getting antsy — what if? what if! — when I realized there are so many times in life when there are no guarantees.
Of course the truth is there are never any guarantees, but so often things go the way they should that we start to get very attached to things going as planned. Which is always nice and brings a lot of peace.
But as I stood there waiting and wondering I realized — this is life. And we can either view it through the lens of all the ways we are disappointed or inconvenienced, or we can enjoy the ride.
Life is an adventure. It can be so much fun. Of course there are hiccups and bumps in the road, things don’t always go the way we want or the way we planned. But that’s okay.
For me, as I stood and waited, I put my focus and gratitude on my children being cared for in my absence, and the freedom that comes with not always knowing exactly what is to come.