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 Texas : Features : Columns : Letters From North America :
Going the Distance
by Peary Perry

Peary Perry
The distance I have to travel from one airport gate to another to make a flight is an indication to me that God is alive and watching everything that I do. You know in the Bible, it says that His eye is even upon the sparrow. Well, I am certain that means His eye is upon me as well.

Whenever I need to lose weight and exercise more, the gates I arrive at and depart from are placed as far as you can go without actually leaving the airport. I suppose if I really needed big time help, Iíd probably have to get outside the airport and walk a couple of miles down the road to catch my next flight. For example, Houston has a new terminal.

When I arrive the other day, I just truck on down to where my airline has always been, totally unaware that they have run their flights from the new terminal as well. Youíd think someone would tell you this in advance, but no, thatís Godís little ha-ha and shame on me for not asking before I was dropped off. So, here I am with my luggage without wheels, I donít think I need them because Iím tough and in shape, right? Wrong.

Terminal C is very far from terminal E. My old body is dragging by the time I get to the gate and flop down in my seat. But I think to myself, well Iíll be alright once I check into the hotel. Not going to happen. God still has his eye on me. He hasnít forgotten.

When I arrive at the hotel, the only, and I mean the only place to park is right by the front door. This should have been my first clue that something was going to be amiss once I checked into my room. It was.

This hotel is built like a bowling alley. Long and narrow. Very long and narrow. Extremely long and narrow. Did I mention that itís very long and narrow? Now picture thisÖIím at the front desk with my non-wheeling luggage and what room do I get? If you said close to the front desk, youíd be as wrong as you could be. My room is the last one on the first floor at the end of the hallway as far as you can go without leaving the building. Iím noticing a trend here. I insert the electronic key into the door, what happens? You know what happens, it doesnít work. So, now I have to march back to the front desk (I did leave my luggage in the hallway) and get a key that worked, then back to the room. This time I manage to get inside, and then think to myself, letís look outside and see if there are any parking places closer to the rear entrance and then in the morning I wonít have to lug all of this stuff back to the front of the hotel. Down that long and narrow hallway, far, far away.

Am I in luck or what? Thereís one space left. I put my shoes back on, hurry to the front lobby, get to the car, drive to the back and arrive just in time to see some elderly couple trying to get their luggage out of their trunk and up the walkway. Dejected I drive back to the front lot only to find my space gone and another one open about 200 yards further away. I manage to make it back inside my room and start to lie down, when I notice some things that I hadnít noticed before. First off, I canít find the light switch to the bathroom. Then once I locate it, I find that itís not on the wall where it usually is located, but down about a foot. Then I notice I donít have a tub, just a tiled floor, with a shower curtain.

Iíve been put in a room designed for a handicapped person.

Now, I could go back up that long hallway and ask for a regular room, but to tell the truth Iím just too tired to do so. I decide to just deal with it.

The closets are different since they are designed for someone in a wheel chair. It seems as though the bed and countertops are lower to the ground than normal and then thereís that shower thing. No tub, just a tiled floor with a drain. With the bed being lower to the ground, it makes it harder to put your socks on in the morning.

But, you know thereís a lesson for me in this. First off, I need to exercise more and eat less. Second, Iím not handicapped, or in a wheel chair as many folks are. Bless their hearts. My life is a piece of cake. It should be my life is a salad. I need to take this experience as a sign to straighten up and fry less.

I should be thankful for what Iíve got and not what I think I need. Perhaps itís Godís way of showing me what some others go though just to get a good nights sleep in a hotel somewhere. Itís also to show me that I need to take better care of myself.

Donít give up on me Lord, Iím still learning.

© Peary Perry
Comments go to pperry@austin.rr.com

Letters From North America - February , 2005 column
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