Well, I'm back from the Oregon conference and it was wonderful. Fantastic. So many amazing things happened. We got to fly, drive a brand new rental car, stay in a palacial hotel (the Phoenix Grand Hotel, pictured above) and eat wonderful food -- in addition to the classes and the fellowship. But we did have something of a time getting there, as our Delta flight out of Tucson was "permanently delayed" when we arrived to check in. Actually the lady at the counter said "Cancelled" at first, immediately amending that to "delayed". Even though all the people on the flight were now being parcelled out onto other flights.
But they were very helpful, and got us rerouted through Phoenix instead of Salt Lake City and arriving in Portland at 5pm instead of 2:30pm. Because we were rerouted, we were "randomly" selected for being searched. Now the young lady I was with, a long-time family friend, is a top student with impeccable manners, and also very slender, very innocent looking, and was wearing a fairly tight tee shirt that day. Seeing her getting patted down was one of the funniest and most ridiculous things I think I've ever seen and I couldn't stop laughing about it. It was funny to be patted down myself. I don't think the lady who was doing the searching particularly appreciated it, though. She was very serious about her work... and I guess I just had a hard time taking it that seriously.
Anyway, we had to spend about two hours waiting to leave Tucson and another two in Phoenix. We both had work to do, and so the time was well spent. I also think perhaps I should invest in my own private plane cabin because I became incredibly productive stuck in a tiny aisle seat next to people who are completely engaged with each other, with nothing else to do. Sheer boredom forced me to do my editing work on Chapter 21, despite all the obstacles I kept encountering in the work!
At the end of the flight the young man seated next to me, seeing my earplugs wrote me a note: "Is Haiku 5, 8, 5?" Now poetry is not my strong suit. I think I skipped that unit in high school. I did know Haiku had a formula but I had no idea if it was 5, 8, 5, or 5, 7, 5, or something else entirely, and had to admit this, and also that no, I was not an English teacher! He thought, given the way I was marking up the manuscript that I must be grading papers. Oh, my. Woe to any student who would receive grading like that. I'm not sure I'm even going to be able to follow what I did!
Anyway, at length we got there and later that night we learned that my son and his traveling companions were also delayed out of Tucson, though not permanently -- just enough to miss their connection in Phoenix. As a result they did not get into Portland until 2 or 3 the next morning. Given all the things that were going on -- all the problems and hindrances that were hitting not just our group, but almost everyone we talked to who came -- we knew it would be a fantastic conference. And it was.
But more about that tomorrow.