As we travel on the weekends to speak at the Acquire the Fire meetings, we have one ongoing logistical challenge. How to take all our brochures and extra products with us without incurring overweight charges or extra baggage fees.
God is faithfully bringing us the resources to purchase our airline tickets, and we still economize in every way we can think of. We bring food along so that we can minimize our airport purchasing. We stuff every extra nook and cranny with our health food favorites: rice cakes, apples, nutrition bars, etc.
And since each 50 lb. bag costs $46 round trip, we have come up with many creative strategies to cram bookmarks and pamphlets into our carryon bags.
Kalyn and I thought we had the system beat last week. At first our main travel bag (which we check) topped the scale at 70 lb. So we did some shifting of heavy items for light ones between the clothes in our carryons and our materials and resources in our big gray suitcase. (Don’t tell the airlines, but it equals the same amount of weight whether it’s in the cargo hold or the overhead bin!)
We were feeling pretty smug until we contemplated hoisting that paper-stuffed carryon above our fellow passengers’ heads and into the small space in the overhead compartment. But we always have enjoyed a challenge.
As we walked down the corridor to board our plane, I remembered to trade suitcases with Kalyn, as I had promised her husband Adam I would. We didn’t want this so newly pregnant mama trying to lift the bulging bag by herself. We were among the last to board and the overhead bins were already crowded.
As we got about 2/3 of the way through the plane, I made my first attempt at planting the bag in the bin. No success. “No problem Mom,” Kalyn comforted, “I am sure those bins on the other side of the aisle are larger.” So we walked a few more feet and I again lifted the bag up, this time with the help of a fellow passenger. It got stuck part way in.
One woman who had been watching us announced loudly, “It’s too fat. Better take something out.”
My face began to flush. All eyes turned toward the two dippy women in the aisle with the overstuffed, chunk-of-lead suitcase. I knew the woman was right, but I scanned for another option. So we pushed on the bag a little harder.
Finally, our fellow passenger/helper began pulling our bag back down. We opened the burgeoning tote. Kalyn unloaded stacks and stacks of the offending brochures and cards into my cupped and waiting hands.
Ever try to discreetly crawl to your window seat with an overstuffed laptop case hanging on your shoulder, while both arms are full of paper treasures? It must have been that last little bend I did to wiggle into my seat that caused the apple to fly out of my laptop case and begin wobbling down the aisle.
Now a second passenger jumped to our rescue. He chased down the apple and carefully brought it back to me, holding it by the stem for extra sanitation effect.
“Do you still want this?” he asked with and embarrassed-for-you look on his face.
“Why, thank you,” I answered sweetly as I bent over and attempted to stash my papers under the seat in front of me.
“Houston, here we come,” I remember thinking. What a grand entrance. Two women trying their best to launch out into fruitful waters for Jesus, but bumbling around like clowns.
Maybe next time we should fundraise a little harder for the extra $46.
But good news, we made it to Houston with all our papers, pamphlets and bookmarks, and had great time ministering to the teens, parents and youth pastors there. You can read about it here.
I still have the errant apple. I just couldn’t bear to bite into it after I saw it roll down the aisle. Hey, maybe I could economize and recycle it to the prize box I made for the kids. I could put it right next to my Delta peanuts.