My Thoughts

We are off to see the wizard. Well, maybe not. We are, however, embarking on a long-scheduled soar across the pond and a sail from Barcelona to Athens. Hopefully, the smoke will not follow us on the jet stream. Even more so, three weeks from now, I earnestly hope someone with a few brain cells will put a serious damper on the hell fires consuming California that continues to spew smoke and ash on the fair state of Nevada. One can only pray and hope.

Yesterday, we crossed the border into that third-world country, and it smelled, tasted, and looked every bit the part. Sunny California has definitely lost the sunny, turned grey and smoky. The highways are like a worn-out washboard, you are definitely in for a severe headache and a very bad massage. Reminded me of Baja California. The high density housing looked every bit like Moscow or Chicago, it’s impossible to tell the difference. Traffic, of course, is overwhelmingly madcap, where are the keystone kops when you need them; never for a moment do you not wish you were somewhere, anywhere else.

International travel is a nightmare. What can go wrong, will; what can go right, won’t. The paperwork is as thick as the 2,500 page infrastructure bill and as bizarre. We were supposed to fly to London. Got to San Jose and attempted to check-in; online check-in was not an option. The check-in area had plenty of kiosks but not a person in sight. Of course, a live person was required, so cancel early check-in. London requires a negative nose swab so made an appointment, got a $150 cotton swab stuck up the nasal passage, then told the results would be available sometime before 2:30 pm the next day, today. Only problem, our flight was for 6:30 am. Uh huh. Got up at 3:00 am, Ubered to the Aeroporto San Jose, to be told that we couldn’t fly unless we had the results. Hmmm. OK, can we rebook? Sure. Got booked reasonably direct (only two stops and plane changes) to Barcelona, sans London, which was a good thing as Barcelona doesn’t require a cotton swab. Only thing. Had to redo a hundred or so pages of documentation.

Got our tickets, checked our bags. Ready to go. Whoa, hold them winged horses. Flight doesn’t fly until 2:30 pm, it is now 5:30 am so Ubered back to where we spent the night and hung around until time to fly on the first leg to Phoenix, Ubered back to the airport. Nice to know we helped the ride-share economy. Going thru security was a breeze, no problems other than the silly mask thing. Went to get a bite to eat. Never saw so many closed up restaurants, etc. Got on board, flight was fine, hour and a half.

Deboarded at 3:30 pm Phoenix time and looked at the tickets for the next leg to Miami: 11:15 pm!!! Eight hours sitting in the gate area waiting for the next flight. My aching behind. While I was at it, looked at the scheduled departure from Miami to Barcelona: 5:10 pm Sunday. Did the math. A six-hour flight means we arrive in Miami around 7 am (given a two hour difference), no problem just another 10 hours twiddling thumbs in the airport. Scheduled to arrive in Barcelona around 9 am Monday!

Any way you look at it, that is a whole lotta of time between toothbrushing, showering, and a nice change of clothes. Not sure I want to be with myself over the next few days. I really hope the cruise is worth all the pain and nonsense. One can only hope.

No matter how difficult this has been so far, I cannot get all the Americans trapped in Afghanistan out of my mind. The disastrous bungling by the current administration over the withdrawal of American troops is inexcusable, horrendous, terrifying and wrong, wrong, wrong. Sure does make my difficulties seem insignificant. The Americans in Afghanistan are in my thoughts and prayers; the useful idiots in Washington, they should all be fired, especially lost in Austin, winkin’ Blinkin, and silly Milly. As for Joe, seems like the perfect opportunity to invoke the 25th Amendment. Stupidity over cognitive impairment seems a slightly better option at least in the short term.

Just my thoughts for a Saturday for what it is worth.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.