"I left my laptop charger in LA and my suitcase is lost so I’m wearing someone else’s dress watching the sunset eating sushi and I don’t care if I ever wear pants or work again."
That was my first instagram post after arriving on Bonaire. So...here's what happened.
Friday was insane. Movers came and hauled all my furniture away to my friend Julie's house. (God bless Julie for buying all my stuff!) Then I sorted through the rest of my things, wiped down walls and baseboards, cleaned the floors, packed my suitcase and loaded everything that was left into LZ's car so we could divvy it up between her and H at her house. When my paycheck came, we raced to the bank. First we couldn't get out of the parking lot. Then a bus blocked us, then a fire truck. It was like the universe was messing with us. I flew into the bank at 4:59 and yelled, "I made it!" as everyone turned and stared at me.
It was that kind of day. Run, run, run.
That night, LZ, H and I ate pasta and drank wine. We divided odd kitchen gadgets, linens, and food between them. Then H took me to the airport where I started to get a little teary. (It's hard to leave the people you love.) I shook it off, handed my suitcase to a man who put it on a belt and I walked to the gate.
I was exhausted. I'd woken up before 4:00 every morning last week. Too anxious to sleep. Too many things to do. Get a Covid test. Take boxes to a friend's house to store. Fill out a health declaration. Work. Cancel insurance...and on and on.
As soon as I got on the plane, I fell asleep. I woke to sticky wine teeth, a headache, and an announcement that we were late to arrive in Miami. So, I grabbed my backpack and my ampcoil and ran through the terminal. The flight was boarding. There I saw Billie, a woman I'd chatted with in a Bonaire Facebook group. She asked if I'd gotten my negative test results. I said I hadn't. She raised her eyebrows at me.
I said, "The results will be there when we arrive." I'd committed to trusting the universe, so I had to trust the test results would arrive on time. Plus, there was nothing I could do if they didn't. I got on the plane and fell asleep again. When I woke, I had an email saying my luggage was delayed and it would be on the next flight.
The next American Airlines flight is Wednesday.
I took a deep breath and got off the plane. The heat was smothering. I fumbled to log onto WIFI. Thankfully, my negative Covid test results were in. Inside the terminal, I waited an hour with other passengers for a baggage customer service agent. I could not believe I'd made the rookie mistake of not packing a change of clothes in my backpack. I stood there in the zillion degrees and humidity sweating in pants and sneakers (I freeze on planes.) trying not to cry.
The woman next to me held a smashed suitcase. The woman behind me had a bag of scuba gear that looked like it had been in a shark attack. She held up a shredded fin and I couldn't help but wonder if my suitcase was shredded.
Finally an agent came and I filed a claim. A taxi driver was waiting to take me to my apartment. I felt so bad for making him wait. I rushed outside, covered in sweat and saw a woman holding a sign with my name on it. I stared at her. Was she my taxi driver?
"It's Jean!" she said. Jean is a friend of my friend Tina (Tina is an amazing healer - check her out here). We've chatted on the phone and she's been super helpful with questions about Bonaire. She knew I was coming in that day and she decided to come to the airport to give me a Bonaire welcome.
I ugly cried.
She said, "Let's go to my house. I'll give you a toothbrush and toothpaste and something to wear."
I was so relieved. I ugly cried some more.
At her house, she introduced me to her neighbor Irene who gave me shorts and a bathing suit. I love Irene. I love Jean.
Then she dropped me at my apartment. Not long after that, I walked to the restaurant in the video wearing Irene's dress. I felt so grateful for Jean and Irene. They saved me.
In all the craziness in LA, I left my computer adapter in my old apartment. H picked it up and is mailing it to B who will bring it when she visits on the 11th. Meanwhile, I needed something so I can go back to work on Thursday.
Jean took me to a store she described as "Big Lots on steroids." They had a charger but it doesn't continue to charge while plugged in. So, I can only work in hour spurts. So, I posted in the Bonaire group where I met Billie, and a very kind woman from Massachusetts offered to bring me an adapter when she flies in on Wednesday's American Airlines flight.
Hopefully, my suitcase will come with her.