Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Boarding Pass



Prologue: 

It has been way too long since I've blogged. First of all, thank you to those who either emailed or saw me in person and inquired if all was well. Your concern has touched my heart. Sometimes it seems that we lose touch with not only ourselves but those around us. Doesn't mean anything in particular is wrong, at least for me, but rather just a time to come away and reflect, regroup, and recharge.

If you have followed me on facebook I want you to know that I didn't "unfriend" you. I deleted my account. Woke up one Sunday morning and this was what I was inspired to do...



I believe that this is what I needed and am now ready to start blogging again...


The Boarding Pass:

I wasn't planning on going to MQS this year - The Machine Quilting Showcase held annually in May. Usually I attend as part of the A1 Quilting Machine team.....but this year I'd decided I was just too busy to go, just the thoughts of one more thing on my to do list had me way over stressed. Funny how we think we are "in control" of our lives. As the time drew nearer some of my  fears of over commitment began to diminish, some of the obligations no longer became an issue...so when Stewart Plank (owner of A1) text me about 3 weeks prior to see if I could attend I text back "YES!"  After all, how could I miss the opportunity to see a show that specializes in machine quilting and miss the opportunity of introducing the public to our new A1 Elite Platinum (new touch screen and stitch regulated machine), much less miss seeing some of my quilting friends whom I only see at national shows!

So the tickets were purchased and I worked diligently through my "to do list" and worked on my "what do I need to pack list" and before I could blink it was the night before I was to leave for Witcha, Kansas.  

Have I ever mentioned that I'm a procrastinator? How's this - the airlines asks that you check in online 24 hours prior to flight....8 hours isn't too bad, is it? And oops, my procrastination of going to the office supply store resulted in no ink to print out that boarding pass on my way to the airport that morning. Oh well, they say you can print it at the ticket counter, right?

I just thought I got up in plenty of time....wrong again. Without a boarding pass I had to go through the full service line to check in my baggage AND get a boarding pass. Oh my! The line was incredibly long for 4:30 in the morning! I began to get really nervous. Why wasn't there a line just for people who arrived less than the suggested one hour before departure?!?!?! All I could do was pray.

Seriously, why do we say "all I can do is pray"  when that should be the first thing we do in a crisis! And not just in a crisis, but daily communing with our Father?

Praying led me to be more calm and removed the stress I felt climbing. I knew I just needed a good dose of patience.  They opened another line and asked all those who already had their boarding pass to go to a new line (oh how I wished that were me!) But it did reduce the line in front of me. Hope, yes there was hope.

Then they called on the loud speaker for boarding of my flight. Oh my!  Again I prayed and was given the boldness to ask to cut in line. How embarrassing! I caught the attention of a lady across the rope line from me and said "my flight is boarding, do you mind if I cut in front" (while ignoring all those wrapped around the line between she and I). She said "I don't mind" and I crawled humbly under the rope, not without some difficulty I might add, I don't pack light.

There were still 4 groups of people between me and the clerk at the check in counter. Swallowing my pride I asked them if they minded....rolling their eyes they gave me consent to go ahead of them. Or was it I took their no comment as consent?  I turned around to all the people who were paying attention that I'd cut in line and humbly apologized for my tardiness to the airport and my rudeness in asking to go in front of them. I didn't wait for a response of approval or disapproval, I just quickly made my way to the nice gentlemen who took my bag (thank you Lord I wasn't overweight which would have meant either repacking or money). He told me I'd best have on my running shoes because the plane wouldn't wait on me. 

One hurdle down, the next was the TSA line.....Oh my, oh my!!!  This time I didn't hesitate, I went right to the roped end of the zig zagged line nearest the front of the line and said "my plane leaves in 15 minutes, may I go ahead of you?"  I was trying to give my best smile and my most pleasant pleading look....you know, that southern woman in distress look that generally calls out to gallant  men (but doesn't work with other women).  I didn't make it to the top of the line, but it was the first zig of a 4 to 5 zag (oh so many rows!).  

Take off the shoes...put the purse, boarding pass, carry on luggage on the conveyor belt.....silently wish they could go faster....breath...pray...put on the shoes, grab the carry on, run, run, run! Thank goodness I can maneuver well on those walking sidewalks!



It was then I noticed I didn't have my boarding pass! I'd left it in the container from the TSA conveyor belt. About the same time I hear "KAREN OVERTON!" and turn to wave at the TSA officer acknowledging I was she - oh my! Thank you Lord no one else was on the walking sidewalk or I'd of gotten a ticket for going the wrong way in a one way lane! Or worse, had a head on collision!  Breath...pray...grab the boarding pass and run, run, run!  

Once I was safely in my seat I realized that I'd been humbled but the Lord answered my prayer and I was on my way to MQS! I laughed at myself when I realized that this looked like something I'd seen in some Sandra Bullock movie....don't you just wonder what I really looked like and how many people got a good laugh out of my crazy appearance. Hum, scratch that thought...

Interlude: 

For sake of time I will blog in the future about my experience at MQS....but believe it or not, there's MORE to the Boarding Pass story....

Return Trip Boarding Pass:

All to quickly my time at MQS was drawing to a close. Due to flight schedules I was returning to Houston on Saturday, prior to the show closing that afternoon. There was only ONE flight on Saturday, the next available would be the following day...

So Friday morning I decided that I really should check in as near to the 24 hour suggested time frame as possible. No free internet connection at my hotel so I use my iPad with my iPhone as a hotspot (thank you to my eldest son who is Apple certified/Verizon wireless genius who can help me out in any phone or internet situation) and confirm my flight - saving my online boarding pass as PDF and then emailing it to myself to be able to print from the hotel's business center later that evening...long story short, somewhere between printing it off Friday night and my 5 AM shuttle to the airport I misplaced my boarding pass. This is so unlike me....so once again to the full service ticket counter I go.

I had to smile when I saw the red carpet....in case it's not obvious, I have an A1 Elite and the A+ Elite logo was just the encouragement I needed at the moment.  They might as well have been personally welcoming me as a VIP for that's how I felt. Yep. It was going to be a good day!


Check in was pretty routine, I was a pound overweight - my luggage, not me (we won't discuss me!) - and had to readjust an item from the suitcase to the carry on. Boarding passes printed (two planes to Houston) and I was on my way to the TSA line, this time reminding myself to check everything in the container before I head towards the gate....

There was a problem with my carry on luggage...oh my! I was detained and they asked permission to search my bag (ever wonder what would happen to you if you said no?). The nice TSA  lady shuffles around in my belongings saying there was a container of liquid....oh my! Had I forgotten to take out that water bottle I was going to drink on the shuttle? But she can't seem to locate it. After the second search she pulls everything out of my bag - my pillow, my flannel sheet (I always bring my own when I travel), my makeup mirror....no water bottle...The lady TSA officer takes my bag back to the scanner...and the TSA officer  monitoring the screen shows the search officer that indeed there is something liquid in my case and to re-search again....it's then I speak up and say to check the outside pocket (somewhat camouflaged ) and there is the offending contraband. It's removed and I'm released to head to my gate. How embarrassing!

That's when I heard over the loud speaker "Will passenger Karen Overton please return to the Air Tram ticketing counter for your boarding pass" What? I have it in my hand!?!?!?! It's then I realize that I should have two boarding passes. The one for my second flight is missing. oh my!  Can this really be happening to me?  If I go back to the ticket counter I have to go back through TSA and the line is long and of course they are within minutes of boarding my flight....After consulting with a TSA officer concerning my dilemma it was decided that the next airport possibly could print out a boarding pass for me at the gate, IF I wanted to take the chance...if not, he'd make sure I went to the head of the line to go through security again.

I decided to take a chance.... I was assured by a fellow vendor friend from MQS (who rode the same shuttle to the airport and heard my name called over the loud speaker after we had parted at the security check in)   "If they can't print out your boarding pass at the next destination then you weren't suppose to be on that plane."  Truth, so plainly spoken. Time to trust God again with my situation.

So on to my gate I went, arriving right on time for my "zone" to board. Once safely seated with my seat belt on I shared my story with the gentlemen sitting next to me. He asked,  "That was you? I heard your name called over the loud speaker." "Did you laugh?" I said. "Of course." he replied with a chuckle. Humbled again..sigh....no matter, I breathed a sigh of relief that I was on the plane home - the only plane that day going home.

Home. I was reminded of one of my favorite songs (its actually my ring tone on my iPhone) "All I know is I'm not home yet, this is not where I belong. Take this world and give me Jesus, this is not where I belong". And then I remembered something from a book I read in the early 70's called The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom....after experiencing death for the first time in her young life Corrie was disturbed and cried to her father before being tucked into bed....

" 'I need you!' I sobbed. 'You can't die! You can't!' ....Father sat down on the edge of the narrow bed. 'Corrie,' he began gently, ' when you and I go to Amsterdam - when do I give you your ticket?' I sniffed a few times, considering this. 'Why, just before we get on the train.' 'Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we're going to need things, too. Don't run out ahead of Him Corrie. When the times comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need - just in time.' "

God provides our needs, just in time. His protection and love go before us, guiding along the way.  God is sovereign and He knows what is best for me and will always provide His best for every situation. He will always give me my ticket, whether for death or in life - just in time.

Including my boarding pass!


Epilogue: 

I arrived home safely - and later learned that God protected me from harsh weather conditions by leaving the show a day early. Truly truly, He knows what's best for me.

As I've been AWOL for several months I have lots of Quilt Rambler tales to tell. I will catch up! In the meantime here's just a taste of what I've been up to lately on this journey of life...
  



 Bike riding in Galveston and around the neighborhood.


I've started juicing - and not just fabulous fruit juices
I'm learning to "drink my greens"


I love the rainbow in my kitchen on grocery shopping days!


I've started teaching piecing classes again in the Quilts 'N Kaboodle studio. 

So hang around, there's more to come.  Karen, The Quilt Rambler


Special thanks to Elaine, Darsie, and others (you know who you are) for encouraging me this week. I cherish the hugs and the out pouring of love. So glad we are forever friends through Jesus!

7 comments:

Holly said...

Glad to see you again my dear friend, even if it is only on my computer! You and I are so much alike!

Muddling Through said...

Oh my goodness! I am exhausted just reading your post. Isn't it so good to know that our God holds our times in His hands.

Jeanie said...

Glad to have you back. Missed you! Jeanie in MO

fancystitching said...

So good to see you back at the blog again, my friend! I have missed you. Perhaps your return will help get ME motivated to get back to blogging. I have lots to share and even pictures of events, but have not managed to get it all down on paper, umm, I mean on the post. I had to chuckle at your MQS adventures. It is so great you can laugh about it now, but I'm sure it was not funny at the time.

Karen E. Overton said...

I truly appreciate the "welcome backs". I'm eager to catch up - stories, photos, shared laughter, quilts, housework...oh sorry, I was thinking of all that I need to catch up on (grin) thanks for not giving up on me! Karen

Our Joint Mission said...

It's nice to have you back. I was a little worried but figured life was directing you somewhere else.

Cathy said...

I also quit FB Karen and started blogging again today! I also started twitter so I can follow my favorite Christian teachers, quilting teachers, and art teachers along with lupus and ra encouragers. I had missed your wonderful blogs!