Expect the unexpected, because something will happen. Always.

When I was newly back from Israel, I took a three-day weekend from my new job to visit friends in San Diego. I bought a carry-on bag (I love luggage). Got tickets to San Diego — not easy because flights to California from New York typically end in Oakland, SF, or LA — none of which are close to San Diego. I finally found one with just a single connection. That was as good as it would get, so I took it along with all my vacation time at work.

I got to La Guardia on time and ready to go, but the plane never made it. Four hours later, the plane was MIA and my connecting flight in Salt Lake City came and went without me. I demanded my money back

The perky young thing at the ticket counter explained, “These are non-refundable tickets. See? It says so right here. We can get you on a flight to Los Angeles tomorrow afternoon. How’s that?” My sense of humor had gone missing with my aircraft.

“Los Angeles is more than 3 hours drive from San Diego and I don’t have a car. By the time I got there — if I got there — I’d have to turn around and come straight back. I’ve paid for taxis and lost my holiday time. All I got is a long day in your waiting room. Either get me on a plane for San Diego now or give me my money back.”


I got the refund. Took a taxi home. Spent the long weekend feeling sorry for myself. I never made it San Diego, though I did see those friends a few years later — at least for a couple of hours. But, eventually, we lost touch. Distance only makes the heart grow fonder if there is a likelihood of ever seeing that person again. Otherwise, after a while, there seems no point in fighting to retain a connection.

Our fondest illusion is that we are in control. Architects of our destiny. That’s the promise we get from our parents while we are growing up. It goes hand in glove with the big lie, that if you do “life” right, you are sure to get what you want. All you have to do is keep trying. We know — because “they” told us — that good work will be rewarded. Kindness will be returned. If we eat right, keep fit, and exercise we’ll be healthy. Forever. Bad things won’t happen to us.

From the little stuff — flights cancelled, vacations rained out — to failed marriages and careers crashed, life strips us of illusions. But what’s left is real, solid, and true. Is that such a bad thing?

We are passengers on the bus that is life. We aren’t driving. We don’t even know what road we’re on, or our destination. Sometimes, it’s worth reconsidering your options. Stop trying to wrestle the steering wheel out of the driver’s hands. The bus is going where it’s going. Enjoy the ride.

Life is not about where you end up. It’s about the journey.

15 thoughts on “ALMOST. NOT QUITE.”

  1. Absolutely. And sometimes it isn’t what happens but the way in which it happens..Terrible events can give rise to wonderful aftermaths. Mysteries of life. It never ceases to surprise. Incredibly beautiful photo, Marilyn.


    1. Vermont in the autumn may be as close to perfect as anyplace on earth.

      Yes. Terrible things sometimes lead to amazing, wonderful experiences. The thing is, life happens. Good, bad, turns, twists. It just is. We want it to make sense, we want there to be reasons WHY stuff happens. I’m not sure there really are reasons. I suspect we assign meaning because we need it to be there. Life just is, but I’m glad it is. Meanwhile, everything is better if you have a great view of the mist lifting off the mountains and a really good cup of coffee 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Travel used to be so much more fun when we were younger.
        Our bodies had more spring, zip and energy. There was less angst to travel in those more “innocent” days.
        Now, even local drives are often cause for high anxiety.
        I’m glad I have pleasant memories of past travels…
        The Vodka flight to Rome..
        The Rum & Coke, seaplane trips from Miami to Bimini..
        I can see clearly now……..


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