Riding Skylink–A Great Way to See Texas

What a view!

I am not a frequent flyer. One of the delights of flying last week was discovering the interesting conveniences airports provide, specifically the Skylink transport system at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport.

With a three-hour wait to fly home ahead of  me, I texted a critique partner who was flying another airline to see where she waited.  Terminal C. Stopping in at a Hudson bookstore in the airport I asked the cashier how far that was.  She said, “Just take Skylink. It’s right outside here on the right. Two minutes max.”

“What is Skylink?” I asked.  She explained it was a transport system that circled the top of the airport, carrying passengers to different terminals as well as to the Grand Hyatt hotel. Who knew?

Like a little kid exploring the unknown, I loved the adventure of it. I followed the signs to Skylink and faced the tallest escalator I’d ever seen. Three flights of moving stairs carried me to the loading dock.

There I boarded a car shaped like twin peanuts end-to-end, complete with giant windows. Grabbing a pole to hold on, as if riding a subway train, I watched the dry and flat Texas terrain move beneath me as I approached Terminal C.

 Texas is flat and the view from the car extended for miles in every direction.  I wondered what the state looked like when not plagued by drought. I imagined the cattle drives I’d read about and wondered if this stretch of land fed into the Chisholm Trail and once bore the weight of cattle on their way to market in Abilene, Kansas. 

At terminal C I exited and followed the escalator down to find my friend. We chatted for about an hour before I decided I better get back to my flight.

Now an experienced Skylink rider, I grinned as the little nut-shaped car transported me back to my terminal. I wondered how  many airports provide those.  At San Francisco I’d ridden a shuttle bus so I guessed Skylink is not a universal phenomenon, but it provided me with a glimpse of Texas I might not otherwise have seen. Another adventure to tuck in my writing memory book.

 Psalm 19:1 (NKJV) “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork.”

Recipe for Adventure–Finding Love and War in Texas

Our destination for dinner
 

 

Mix together:

One large passenger car with Texas plates

One GPS locator with construction site issues

Five out of state women—

A Californian at the wheel

A Canadian riding shotgun

Three backseat drivers—

One from Michigan

Another from Connecticut

And a third from Oregon

One confusing MapQuest map 

Add a pressure cooker of the following:

A second car of women already on their way

A reservation at a restaurant in the historic district of Dallas called Grapevine Mills

A bridge scheduled to be blown up early in the evening, necessitating an earlier than anticipated return to the hotel.

When you finish, you’ll have an exciting Friday evening of fun in Dallas, Texas at the American Christian Fiction Writers’ conference last weekend. 

The Scoop:

Like a frightened pony at the starting gate, the GPS locator returned our car to the hotel three times. When finally we hit the freeway, the GPS estimated destination time had increased from seventeen minutes to forty. The GPS insisted we make a U-turn in the middle of the freeway—a maneuver legal in Texas, but not where I come from.

After finding ourselves in Coppell (Ka-pell) which appeared several miles to the north on our MapQuest map, we knew that we had strayed from our appointed destination. 

California, our driver who remained cool, calm and collected throughout the experience, decided to ignore the GPS and use her own instincts to find the place. Michigan was now wishing she’d dined at the hotel. Connecticut was praying that the Lord would protect and preserve us, and Oregon was praying for a sign—a big green one along the side of the freeway with the words Grapevine Mills printed on it. 

Meanwhile, the other party had reached the restaurant and telephoned us to see where we were. We didn’t know. 

Duh. 

We wandered through residential streets with our nose pointed toward the airport, reading markers like watering holes. We could see the planes coming and going, which served as our direction finder. We could also see the Mall we sought sitting on the other side of the freeway. The sign I’d prayed for appeared—Grapevine Mall next exit. After a couple of sharp lefts and a right, we arrived.

 Our waiter, Casey, grinned at us like a Cheshire cat with a secret and asked us where we’d been. When he heard our journey, he told us we’d definitely been lost. But after serving our food, he asked if we needed anything else. We told him we needed to pray—he offered to do that. 

“I’m a man of God, ladies. I’d be happy to pray for you.”  A recent graduate of Teen Challenge, Casey told us how God had rescued him out of a dismal life. With that, he prayed, an eloquent petition of thanks for our safe arrival, prayer for our return trip and a blessing on our evening together.

 We were so blessed, we didn’t need dessert. 

Philippians 4:19 (NKJV) “And my Lord shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Our waiter, Casey. He earned big tips at our table

 And the blown-up bridge? Nothing we couldn’t handle now.

 More Dallas to come in future posts.

Dallas, Texas Here I Come!

Michael Hyatt

This week I leave for the American Christian Fiction Writers conference in Dallas, Texas. I’ve attended different conferences in recent years, but this will be my first time at this one. I’m told by those who traveled before me that the ACFW conference is much more intense than others, the business atmosphere palpable.

But I also know that these conferences are a time to regroup, spend time in worship with other Christians and to make new friends from around the world.  One woman is traveling here from New Zealand, another from Australia. My roommate is coming from Michigan. Imagine a group of seven hundred people coming together with one focus—to write better books for people to read. Talk about a powerhouse!

Classes and workshops run all day with our special speaker—Michael Hyatt—every afternoon. Hyatt has written four books. One stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for seven months. He has spent most of his career in the book publishing industry, most recently as the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the seventh largest book publisher in the United States. He still serves as the company’s Chairman. He now devotes most of his time to writing and speaking. I’m looking forward to hearing the man speak and learning from his wealth of experience.

My blog will return at the end of the month.  Until then, I’ll be practicing my Texan—y’all have a good week, y’hear?  

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” Philippians 1:3

 

Annual Floral Parade

Summer is waning. The flowers have all bloomed. Before the rain comes, and it will, and the flowers fade, I wanted to share their beauty with you. So today I share my dahlia garden with you.

One of my favorite passages from the Bible is Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NKJV)

“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die;

A time to plant, And a time to pluck up what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal;

A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh;

A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones;

A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;A time to gain, And a time to lose;

A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sow;

A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate;

A time of war, And a time of peace.”

Solomon writes further, vs. 14: “I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever.”

Enjoy the flowers. Prepare yourself for the next season. And know that it’s all part of a greater plan.

Some Assembly Required

Complete with easy setup guide

 

Some Assembly Required

Three words that can strike terror in the heart of man.  And woman, for that matter.  Especially if you are a young father assembling toys on Christmas Eve. Or an older adult who didn’t grow up in the techie world we live in.

Earlier this summer, the cable company told us we needed to install a digital device. We ordered two. They came. Put the box on a shelf. Forgot about it.

But on the designated date, the television reverted to a notification screen. I don’t remember the message, but it amounted to—if you can read this, you forgot to install your new device.

Busted.

I had to go out of town that evening, so I left the installation to my husband. When I returned he had both digital devices hooked up, ready to go online and boost the signal. The instructions said to wait forty-five minutes, and if the television turned off, turn it back on. We waited an hour. The television turned off twice.  We went to bed.

The next morning we turned the thing back on.  Still no reception. Better call them, my husband said, and left for work.

I called. Got one of those computerized smiley voices. You know the ones. “Sure, I can help you with that. Just move in front of your television where you can see all the connections, and I’ll troubleshoot for you.”

One problem. The telephone was connected to the wall and the television was across the room.

I hung up.

Later my son came by. I explained the problem. He had me call again while he stood at the television. The cable lady—a real live human being with a sense of humor—found the problem and within five minutes we had our limited basic cable channels up and running. She even gave us twenty dollars credit for our trouble.

I’m so glad God finished the job when he made man. In Psalm 139:13-14 (NKJV) the Psalmist writes: “For you formed my inward parts. You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are your works, And that my soul knows very well.”

No assembly required.  Praise God.

As for the cable company? In yesterday’s mail, the cable bill informed us the price is going up. I ask you, how much can eight basic channels be worth? Time to shop around.