It seems like every plane journey teaches me the fortitude of the human spirit (and the difference between boredom-airplane-hunger and actual-life-hunger).
My patience was waning. Flight #2 was delayed for another three hours, and all looked grim. There weren't even any good snacks available! (See hunger note above.) Then, a conversation with a couple nearby put it all in perspective.
They were from Joplin, Missouri, site of the terrible F5 tornado two years ago. It was dusk and the woman was in her backyard admiring her flowers, chatting with her neighbor about how great both of their yards looked. In an instant, alarms went off through town signaling bad weather. She and her husband went to the basement, but didn't feel so worried. Then, in under a minute, what they described as "the loudest thunder" ripped their house apart. Everything was gone. Only one credenza was salvaged, strangely, "with some dishes still in it!" the woman said, laughing. I remarked that she seemed so at peace even just two years later. "Stuff is just stuff," she repeated with a smile and a shrug.
We boarded soon after and parted ways, they were in first class. (Can you blame them?) Any sense of annoyance that I may have had before was definitely gone. "Yeah," I thought to myself, "let's not complain about anything ever again."
Have a great day, amici.