Saturday, March 8, 2008

Nolarae: Mircle of Friendship..God's precious gift

God is good and I am blessed to have the gift of friendship of Shirley. I hope to all who read this, that if you ever need a friend on a road trip.. you will be blessed as I have had on the "Road to Rome" with my friend Shirley. Special Note: Will post pictures later from our 36 hours in DFW. I do not know how to do it on this blog.
March 6: Arrived at DFW 2PM. The rain and light snow had started. 3:30PM our flight had been changed to 5:45PM departure. 4PM flight had been canceled.
BE HAPPY ANYWAY: Shirley began calling the number for re-scheduling @ one end of the main lobby and I got in line which was very , very, long and longer. Earlier in the day we had met 2 ladies traveling from Amarillo and Fort Worth going to London. We all were going on the same flight to London. They got in line behind me and I began conversation and we all were laughing and sharing. Come to find out, they were celebrating their 60thB/D and one who had been 20 years CA /breast survivor. Shirley signal that she had finally got a person after holding for 1 hour and I sent one of the Texas ladies to Shirley so, she could see if they could get help too. Well, after all the talk on the phone Shirley and our new found friend gets in THE LINE, and the news is not good. So, we continue to stand in THE LINE . It is now 7:45 PM and nearly 4 hours later, we are up to the counter. Kevin , is the ticket agent and he spends nearly 1 hour getting our next flight out. Kevin has been very kind to us and patient. And of course, we are very grateful to him . At 9:05PM we have a flight out on Friday: 10:10AM to Atlanta and then Atlanta to Rome. I gave Kevin our blog to log on / we gave him a hug and also, took picture. Our Texas ladies came up to us, and said they had gotten their new flight, we hugged and wished them well. It is now 5 hours later. We agreed to stay at the airport . We had dinner and then settled down around 10:30PM in a row of chairs in D36 gateway with several other people. They had run out of sleeping cot; did give us a blanket. May I say at this time: the chairs and floor are very challenging to me at 58 years old. However, @ 3AM I had enough. Got up and started walking around. Notice our flight was still on schedule and by this time , Shirley was up and we got coffee . When we checked our flight schedule @ 4.. still on; 4:20AM flight had been canceled. So back to THE LINE. This time, it was only a little over an hour. We recognized several of the people in line, from Thursday. As we moved along THE LINE, Shirley and I shared what might be some alternatives to our situation. In the meantime, a French group, about 30..decided they did not want to wait in THE LINE and the police were called in to help. By this time, people had no more patience. Also, a young man from Germany, was in front of us. I noticed he had his ticket and I shared with him.. he did not have to stay in this line, that he could go to the machine and get his passport and ticket scanned and they would call him to check in his luggage. He went, and came back and said thanks. About a few min. later, he tapped me on the shoulder and asked if he could get us a coffee...he was very grateful. We just smiled and gave him our blessings to have a safe trip. We believe him to be in his middle 20's and thought that it was very sweet for him to come and thank us again. Also, Shirley said he was a "hottie". HAHA
We are now in line for another hour and the agent Patricia tried to get us on a flight. However, ever thing was book on Friday. Saturday was standby only. As we were waiting, I notice to my left, a young girl in a wheel chair dealing with a nose bleed. He husband was standing over her with paper towel. They were with the French group . I reached in my bag for a packet of traveling wet towels I had and walked over to her and handed them to her husband . I did not speak French nor did he speak English, but the look in his eyes were thankful. ... as I have learned with several years serving in medicine...The eyes are the gateway to what is in our souls and heart. Back to the ticket agent... Shirley and I agreed we could spend the whole weekend of stand by and not get out. So, we made the choice to stop and just re-group and go home. It is now around 6:30AM and we go to the baggage area to inquire what we would need to do to get our luggage ... we are told that our luggage may go to Rome and then come back. The look on our faces and what we felt in our hearts could not be expressed. Our heads are hanging very low as we walk out of the airport to get a shuttle home. The air is crisp and wintry smelling... snow from the day before scatted around the parking lot and small drifts on the parked cars; the sun is just breaking out a new day.

BE HONEST AND FRANK : Once we got to my house the tears and pity party was on.
Shirley said it best" she felt like we had been cheated". We were 2 souls who had just had our asses kicked ... been rode hard and put up wet to dry. 9AM we drove to the bank to exchange our Euro money. We took a hit on exchange of money and went to breakfast. We had been up almost 39 hours and our heads were killing us. The only place we had been was DFW and back! Bob came and pick up Shirley around 12:30 and I went to bed. More tears and struggles of "why". Friends called to say they were sorry . Finally...I am blessed with the gift of sleep.
I am up within a few hours. Billy Graham special is on : What is Happiness ..... several different people gave their testimony on this subject. The one that caught my eye is a young cowboy who is the 2007 champion bull rider. His testimony and how he gave his life and dedicated his bull riding career to Jesus Christ ... he gives the glory to God when he rides the full 8 seconds or if he is buck off in the 1st second. My thoughts were...somedays the journey is smooth...other days you get buck off the road and have to experience the unknown. The final analysis, it is between you and God.

Saturday Morning: March 8 ... ROAD TRIP
Up early / the world is looking better . My good friend Dr. G has called me several times .... she had asked if we thought to upgrade our tickets to Rome. I am on the phone to American Airlines...and during my call, Shirley calls me and she is thinking the same way. Cell phone in the left and home phone in the right, we are having conference call and book our trip to Rome. And it did not cost us anything extra. Shirley calls to see if we still have our rooms at the convent; answer is no; Sister Martha suggest Santasofia. Shirley calls and they do not speak English. Shirley call me back and I get Dianna , my neighbor out of bed ...and it is only 7:30AM to speak Spanish to them and its works. We make the connection and we have rooms. Shirley calls again, and says we are going to DFW to check on the luggage. Again, we are told probably our luggage is in Rome. As we are walking out of the airport to the parking garage.... we cannot find her car. We are freezing and laughing and pressing the panic button on the key. Finally, after I am walking down 3 levels and she goes up 2 levels... Shirley finds the car/ drops me off at my house/ fixes the travel blog...( I broke it ) and leaves to go home. I am updating the blog...when Shirley calls and says our (seats) departing flight to DFW to New York may have a problem getting on. I call ...Ms. Margaret Foster @American and she explained very nicely we have tickets...but our seats are not confirmed. Our seats are in a hold block of the airport... which are for people who may need special needs;it is the law to have a number of seats for special needs. Ms. Foster also, e mail me our conf. for our flight. We will check in 4 hours before our flight leaves in the morning for assigned seats.

March 9: Depart DFW 12:10 NY ; Depart NY to Rome. Arrive March 10th.. early AM

March 16th: Depart Rome to NY; Depart NY to Dallas.

HUMOR ALWAYS GIVES A SPECIAL LIFT: I want you all to know...we did not loose all of our sense of humor during this adventure. Shirley said if we could not get our picture made in Rome, Italy...we were driving to Rome, Texas and take a picture. I mentioned to Shirley that I might get my hair colored in Rome next week... she has already found the place to go!
Will keep y'all posted as we continue this Rome, Italy adventure. God is good and so is the MIRCLE OF FRIENDSHIP. nola rae


Ron said...

Sounds like a Willie Nelson song..."On the road again...I just can't wait to get on the road again!" Glad things are working out. I just talked to Shirley and Nola. They have confirmed seats and should leave in about 2 hours! I, too, am thankful for the gift of their friendship.

Ron said...

Just talked to Sister Maria Nola Rae...they had made it safely to JFK. Next stop...Rome! Woo hoo! Can't wait to hear about the trip.

stephanie.dyer said...

You two are truly having the time of your life! Good, bad, happy, both are going through it together and toughing out all of the obstacles you have faced already. I'm so glad y'all finally got off the ground and are on your way. This is definitely the makings of a new movie..."Shirley and Nola's What the &@%! Adventure". Can't wait to see the previews (pictures)!
May God keep you both safe in your travels this week.