October 12, 2009
A Homecoming (Of Sorts)
Most of my readers know I am a devoted fan and season-ticket holder of Montana Grizzlies football games. For my family and me, the Homecoming game is always the most important game of the year. We reunite with friends at the Homcoming Parade, enjoy tailgating festivities with my old college buddies, and normally share dinner with several family members after the game. Keep this in mind as my story progresses.
Last Wednesday I flew to Dallas on business. I had some presentations to give, and because I used to live there, I planned several meetings with old friends, former co-workers, and colleagues. The presentations went off without a hitch, and the reunions with people I still hold close to my heart were thoroughly enjoyable.
When I booked this trip, I knew everything would have to go according to plan in order for me to get home (late Friday night) and up before the crack of dawn to drive the family over to Missoula, MT for Homecoming. That being said, I asked the girl booking my flights (over a month ago) to give me plenty of time for a connection in Denver, so there was no chance I would miss the last flight back to Spokane that evening.
The flight I originally selected gave me 2 1/2 hours in Denver before my connection. A little longer than I normally like, but just fine under the circumstances. My "booking agent" called me back and said I could save almost $200 if I left Dallas a little later on Friday. Problem was, I only had a 40 minute window to catch my connection.
I've traveled enough to know that sh!# happens, so I was reluctant to compromise. Regrettably, my fiscally responsible side took over and agreed to the cheaper option. By now, you all know where this story is going...
Long story short, mechanical problems with the plane delayed our takeoff from Dallas for an hour. We arrived in Denver exactly one minute after my connection had officially left the gate. I (along with 60-80 other travelers) was marooned in Denver.
I called my wife to tell her I wouldn't be able to make it back home in time to travel to Homecoming in Montana. I called or e-mailed all my friends and family with whom I had made plans to get together over the weekend. I steamed and I stewed and I cussed in my hotel in frigid Denver about my best laid plans being laid to waste. (all the while remembering the old adage "When we make plans, God laughs.")
I finally made it home Saturday afternoon. I hardly think the $100 travel voucher from the airline compensates me for my loss. My tickets to the football game alone cost $100.
As I steamed and stewed and cussed even more about my misfortune, I forced myself to remember all the positive things that came from my time in Dallas. I met up with some of my closest friends and shared more than a few laughs. My presentations went well. I rekindled some professional relationships and expect to garner a hefty amount of business from them. In other words, I guess things could have been worse.
You just couldn't have convinced me of that Friday night.
Make it a great week.
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