Practicing Patience

Yesterday we got to practice patience, something we’re told we’ll need plenty of in getting around in Indonesia.

Friday we flew into Santa Barbara from Phoenix. Months ago I promised to do the memorial service for a parishioner of my former congregation. The memorial was this morning at 11am. We made it to the Santa Barbara airport in plenty of time to catch our 5:00 pm flight to Salt Lake City, which would take us back through Phoenix on a connecting flight. We arrived in Phoenix without a hitch, with an hour before our flight to SLC.

But then the weather alerts started echoing off of cell phones throughout the terminal. A combination dust storm and thunderstorm was moving into the Phoenix area. We wondered how this would affect things. Boarding was delayed by 15 minutes, then by another 15 minutes. Eventually we were able to board.

We sat on the plane for another two hours. Continued wind and dust prevented the ground crew from completing luggage loading. Then passengers from another SLC flight that had been cancelled were brought to fill in the few empty seats on our flight. Then the winds required we move to the opposite end of the runway to take off towards the west rather than the east. Then the winds switched again and we had to move back to the original departure runway. We finally were able to take off close to 11pm. Salt Lake City is on Mountain Time instead of Pacific Time, so we’d lose an hour in the process. We arrived at SLC after 1am, and the rental car counter closed at 1am.

So we have no way of getting easily from SLC to Ogden, where we’d be staying with Gena’s aunt. Do we take an Uber? That turns out to be very expensive! Plus, we’d have to come back down the next day to get the rental car. Do we sleep in the airport, pick up the rental in the morning, drive the 40-minutes up to the church in Ogden?

In the end we decided to Uber to a hotel. Better to get a few hours of sleep on a bed and have a shower in the morning than do without any of the above! We arrived at a hotel near the hotel, only to be told they had no rooms available. Not only that, they estimated none of the other hotels in the block around them had rooms! We went to the hotel next door and indeed, they had no rooms either and shared the same skepticism that any rooms were available near the airport. But they were kind enough to let us use their wifi for a few minutes.

Eventually we were able to Uber to a hotel further away about 3:30 am. We wouldn’t be getting a lot of sleep, but a couple of hours and a hot shower afterwards definitely seemed the best of our options!

We’re grateful for technology that allows us to quickly determine options, and we’ll look forward to a nap after worship Sunday!

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