We stood in four consecutive and long lines at an airport when leaving an island not far from Colombia, South America. The week had been almost unreal, a place of 80-degrees-plus weather. Sun, no rain, no dark clouds, only soft breezes to help clear the head.
A few days before, we had gone to sea on a sunset-view boat powered by engine and two huge sails. We met another couple and had a few laughs over the silliest of things. I don't know why when the server with a cheese tray left me I called out, "Can I be hungry again soon?" He understood what I meant: ''After you serve those other people over there could you pass this way again?"
At the end of the week, along with who knows how many others returning to the U. S., we were late getting on the plane that did, to its credit, wait up to 45 minutes for those of us who went through the slowest passport checking process ever, courtesy of U. S. Customs. Of 12 American agent booths, only four were open. No officials seemed to mind that families with small children had already been in line for three hours. I'm not kidding. I think our fellow countrymen/women need to get outside on the island more. They could use some good island refreshment to return their smiles or "Enjoy your stay?" greetings for those coming and going.
One frustrated mom said, "If I had my island T-shirt, I'd tear it up!" Then she said, "Oh, it's not the island's fault. They are not responsible for this!" I felt relieved. I would have hated to see that red heart logo ripped to shreds.
There are far, far worse things than standing in line for hours to catch a flight home from a lovely island with people who are among the friendliest ever in a place of new things to taste and see. I would like to return to visit a few of the large and small churches with freshly painted steeples and doors open to the breezes.
"How are you today?" you ask someone and they reply, "It's a beautiful day. Every day is a beautiful day."
Come on, does such a climate with water, sun, swaying palm trees and...well, you can picture it...make life more beautiful? In some ways, it can. In other ways, though, I think they have their share of clouds with sun. Yet, there is that...attitude helped by the climate.
We returned home to learn that a loved one we'd spent several hours with en route home via Florida had been taken to the hospital. Within an hour of our takeoff, he'd gone into a health alert. He seems OK, now, but what a scare!
We don't know what the next hour, day, or days will bring our way, do we? An attitude of gratitude helps. While my husband was talking by phone to his brother who was finally stable in hospital, he mentioned, "Our luggage still has not caught up to us." And those of us in the room whispered loudly, "No problems! Good news!" He got it, and switched gears.
Ahh. That's better. And that's our expectation today, three days since we last saw our luggage. If it never comes? It's a beautiful day. We have life! That brings us to this day and place where temperatures are dropping and leaves take on their changing colors: "We're getting ready for a glorious time just up ahead. It won't be long."
Yes, I read Pollyanna as a child. What a spunky, toothy kid with an island attitude. "Oh, I'm so thankful!"