Around two months ago I was looking at our calendars to see what was coming up in 2019. I noticed right away that there were a lot of “dots” on the last couple weeks of January. I narrowed in and realized why. Brad was headed to Vegas for his quarterly work trip which lasts 7 days. The day he would return from his trip, I would be leaving for the second part of Foundations of Christian Leadership, which I started last fall, and would be gone for 4 days. And, unfortunately, I would be leaving at 9 am on Monday while he would be returning at 12:30 am on Tuesday…
Once I got over the fact that we wouldn’t see each other for 11 days, I started to think about how this was going to work. Even though Denali would be fine with one stop in for a potty break and dinner, Steve would not. He needs more time out of his crate. I planned for a friend to stop by around noon to let them out. That same friend agreed to come back for dinner time. Then, I asked two other friends to come later in the evening for some play time. The plan was set, I felt good about the dog’s care and everything would be fine.
Until it wasn’t.
Enter Polar Vortex 2019. It turns out that when it’s negative a million degrees Fahrenheit planes scheduled to fly at night get cancelled. I was settling into my conference Monday afternoon when I got a text from Brad saying that his flight was cancelled. Immediately we went into planning mode… friends were willing to come again the next day, one of our go-to dog sitters agreed to stay the night. Everything was set.
Until… Brad sent me a text later that evening saying that the flight for Tuesday was already cancelled. So, more texting, more phone calls. At one point Brad said, “At this rate you’ll beat us home.” I didn’t see how that was possible since I wasn’t scheduled to be home until Thursday night…
Tuesday evening, as I was walking back to my AirBnB, I called Brad. He had read in our neighborhood Facebook group that a tree was uprooted and leaning on a power line, so the power company was coming to cut it down. There was a chance that power would go out for up to four hours. Seriously? Not long after that phone call, I got one from our friends who were at the house playing with the dogs. “Hi Anne. We’re at your house and the power is out.” Awesome.
I called my in-laws to see if they could pick up the dogs. I told the overnight friend not to come. At one point I was on one call when someone else called, so I transferred over. While on that call, someone else called. I felt like a telephone operator: “Will you please hold?”
Thankfully the power came back on within 15 minutes and we went back to the original plan. I said to my mother-in-law, “This has been the longest week and it’s only Tuesday!!” I sent a text to the friends who were managing the power outage and the cold temperatures and our dogs: “I’m so sorry for all of this craziness. And! I’m so incredibly thankful for you and what you’re going out of your way to do for our pups.”
Friend 1: We like doggies
Friend 2: And you:)
It’s hard for me to ask for help. I don’t want to burden people or inconvenience them. My friends didn’t feel burdened or inconvenienced when we asked for help. They were willing to help because they like me. Despite all the frustrations, I felt so loved and cared for.
Wednesday morning I’m back at the conference hoping for a calm, reflective day when Brad sends a text: “So our flight just got cancelled.” Now, knowing he’s in Vegas, you might not feel so bad for him. However, he goes to Vegas twice a year for 7 days. This isn’t a place he enjoys. He had already been there for a week, had only packed for a week and had only planned to be there for a week. Although he did get to play golf a few times, this wasn’t exactly a pleasure trip for him.
We put another plan in place. Our dog sitter agreed to stay for yet another night! Mind you, this is the coldest week we’ve had since the 90s and she’s agreeing to stay at our house many nights in a row. “I don’t know what to say. Thank you isn’t enough,” I wrote to her. She responded, “I’m happy to help you:)” I then wrote to Brad, “I don’t deserve her.” I’ve spent most of my life serving others and yet, when someone takes the time to serve me in my time of need, somehow I feel I don’t deserve it. I probably need to explore that a bit more…
In the end everything worked out. Both of our flights for Thursday were on time. I can’t tell you how awesome it felt to know we were both at our respective airports, through security and waiting to board our planes. As it turned out, I did get back before Brad… I landed 6 minutes before he did! In fact, our bags were on the same carousel!
We had quite a reunion when we got home. I just kept telling the dogs, “This was not the plan!” No, it was not the plan. Not even close to the plan. But, we’re all back together. The dogs were well cared for and all is well.
Many times throughout the week I commented how grateful I am for our village. Jake, my mom, Kathy, Emily, Laura, Sarah… but many others were willing to help if we asked. I received several texts asking if we needed anything. In the midst of a really stressful week, I felt loved by so many.
Denali stayed right next to me on the couch last night. She’s back next to me again this morning. Steve, who turned 9 months on Wednesday, is whiny and bored and keeps ringing the bell to go out while I keep saying, “You’re fine.” All is back to normal!