Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sometimes you just can't catch a break. The past three times that I have flown home, one of my flights has been cancelled. I must hold some sort of record for number of flights cancelled or horribly delayed in one short life. I honestly feel sorry for any city I am flying in or out of, as once the universe hears of my travel plans, it is bound to be struck by some horrible weather front.

Last weekend was perhaps the worst travel experience to date. Minus the perhaps, plus the absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, holy heavens it was awful.

My flight departed on time from Laguardia, much to my surprise. I should have taken our timely departure as a sign of things to come - travel never goes that smoothly for me.

And behold, about an hour and a half into a non-descript flight our pilot got on the mike to inform us that we would be landing in Nashville. Uh...what?

Turns out, although the Cardinals were able to play downtown, the airport had suffered some damage in a storm and was not open for landing Friday or Saturday.

In tears, I headed to a hotel near the Nashville airport to spend the night. My long-suffering dad agreed to make the drive to Nashville the following morning to retrieve me.

After making the long drive from St. Louis to Nashville (and stopping in a Cracker Barrel in Middle-o-nowhere Kentucky, which is another story altogether) I finally arrived home exhausted, relieved, but still feeling slightly sorry for myself.

That is, until I noticed the day's paper on my kitchen counter. The cover featured a photograph of a young mother, visibly distraught, holding her baby in her arms, her house behind her more resembling a pile of lumber than a home.

The storm that I found merely irritating devastated much of the northern Saint Louis area. I was shocked to see how much physical damage the tornado caused, and very thankful that no serious injuries or deaths had been reported.

Alas, that calm did not last long as just a day after I returned to New York, severe floods hit the southern Saint Louis area, causing more physical damage and, unfortunately, taking several lives.

These incidents certainly humbled me; the minor inconveniences of my life pale in comparison with those who are struggling to put the pieces of their life back together.

The Red Cross and the United Way of Greater Saint Louis are teaming up to meet the needs of affected communities, please go to here to learn more about what you can do to support their efforts!

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