Escape from Seattle Print
Written by Sherry   
Tuesday, 23 December 2008 07:49

Depending upon whom you talk to in Seattle, either Seattle never gets snow like this, or they used to get snow like this but don't anymore, or yeah, it snows like this every year. I heard all three from people who live in this suddenly snowbound city. If snow like this is a regular occurrence, the city is woefully unprepared for it.

Thanks to the generosity of the Dominican community in Seattle, and the quick thinking of Fr. Daniel Syverstad, OP, the pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish, Seattle, I made it home to Tucson yesterday afternoon from Seattle. My original flight on USAirways was cancelled, as I had mentioned earlier, with December 26th as the next departure I could be offered. After frantically trying to find options, I settled on an Alaska flight to Idaho Falls, connecting to Salt Lake City, then to Tucson, departing at 11:30 a.m. yesterday. Yesterday morning, as I was packing, Fr. Daniel told me he was talking to a representative at Alaska about a non-stop from Seattle to Tucson departing at 12:20 p.m. on Monday. While she was telling him it was sold out, a seat opened up. Fr. Daniel booked it for me, and took me to the airport Monday morning around 8:30 a.m. The Seattle airport was a madhouse, with lines for ticketing, checking luggage, and going through security that seemed endless. Not to mention people trying to figure out what to do since their flights had been cancelled.


I cancelled my Idaho Falls junket before leaving for the airport. While I waited in line to check a bag (fortunately Fr. Daniel had printed out my boarding pass, so I missed one line), I chatted with the fellow in front of me who was headed to (drum roll) Idaho Falls. While looking for the end of the line for one security checkpoint, I overheard a volunteer mention there was another checkpoint that might not be as crowded. Understatement. There was one person in front of me when I got to that line.

While I was waiting for my flight to Tucson, I noticed the flight for Idaho Falls had been cancelled, and while walking back from getting lunch, I saw the fellow from the luggage line now standing in a line to get re-booked. I offered my condolences, and said a prayer that he and all the other stranded passengers would get to their destinations quickly and safely.

If you're home, be grateful - and say a prayer for those whose travel plans have been disrupted, as well as for the harried airline and airport workers who are spending extra hours at the airports struggling to get these passengers to their destinations.