Friday, May 10, 2013

Bea's take: Handling adversity (with lots of help)

       Here is what Beatrice posted on Facebook earlier this week about our trip to Holland: 
       "Today I am grateful for the life-enhancing aspects of adversity. Our trip produced more than ample evidence of connection between the two:
       -- Disjointed travel connections taking us through Germany rather than Chicago as we began the trip, then stranding us in Chicago for hours on our return;
       -- Nico's bag delayed by days upon arrival in Holland and placed aside in a temporary spot rather than arriving ... with my bags on our late-night return to DFW;
       -- Our choice to travel without phones;
       -- Our limited language skills while it seemed everyone we met spoke three or more languages;
Beatrice, at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
       -- Amsterdam's transportation system which is far more complex than that of the Metroplex so that we needed to navigate trains, trams, buses, subway, ships and ferries in addition to being pedestrians in a city filled with hundreds of thousands of other tourists in town for the queen's abdication, the reopening of the Rijksmuseum, the apex of the tulip season and the endless array of events connected to these;
       -- All of the above amid endless bicycles and scooters and motor bikes clogging streets often no wider than many US alleyways.
         And yet ... in each instance of complication or adversity, we were met by an angel of mercy. Seriously. People everywhere went out of their way to see that our immediate need was met.
         -- A gate attendant at DFW jumped through hoops to reschedule us so that we were not stranded overnight and didn't lose our first vacation day entirely;
         -- A gentleman who loaned Nico his laptop to notify our host of changed flight;
         -- The young man at the information desk at Schiphol Airport who allowed Nico to call our host when we finally arrived four hours late;
         -- A delightful bar owner in the little town of Medemblik who welcomed us and provided the Wifi key necessary for us to send a birthday greeting to our daugher Rachel back home;
         -- People using public transportation for their daily commute who relinquished seats to tired and befuddled travelers;
Model of the original Radboud Castle, built around 1282,
 overlooking the harbor in the small town of Medemblik.
      -- Strangers who eagerly took photographs of us -- at our request -- at stop after stop, and countless others who took time to listen to Nico's broken Dutch and assisted us with times and locations and directions to keep us moving forward.
          Our host kidded us about the degree to which Murphy's Law came into play in our trip. I don't see it that way. I'm absolutely certain that in each instance we met with adversity so that we might experience the "milk of human kindness" which flowed so freely around us.
        Life is so beautiful and there is so much goodness within our fellow man for which we are grateful."   
         Nicely said. My wife is as good a writer as she is mother and grandmother, and that's pretty darned good.
        Next blog, my commentary on some of the points she made.



  1. From David Henington: The milk of human kindness. ... A beautiful statement.

  2. From Lana Hebert: Sounds as if you had an awesome trip.