Sunday, March 23, 2008

If this wasn't so funny and would be sad. I honestly think sometimes that Candid Camera follows me around. Sorry this is long. But, just typing it made me feel ALOT better!
A church van and 5 private vehicles left the 'ville Friday around noon to take 24 of our youth to participate in the Central Texas Leadership Training Conference. Ages 3rd grade through High School. They had been preparing for months for Bible Bowl, song leading, art displays, puppet shows, Bible readings, and on and on. They had worked so hard and were hoping to come back with lots of fun memories and gold medals! We have some talented kids in our group and they all did great and we did come home with lots of awards. So many of our adults, not me, had worked with these kids for months. I take NO credit for the talent there. I went as a chaperone and to help herd kids. Which I used to be quite good at. Maybe half of our group of participants were our "van kids". I love our van ministry and we have some kids that I think we are really making an impact on and then we have some that.....oh well, that is a whole different post. And I need an attitude adjustment on that one. Anyway. These kids had NEVER been out of our little town much less to a hotel. Much less to a very nice hotel. Or eaten in restaurants. They, once again, taught me a lesson in blessings. Taking things for granted. And paying it forward. And just plain old compassion. OUR 10 rooms that we had reserved in January were not ready when we arrived at 3. Hundreds of other churches were all showing up too and they all seemed to be getting in their rooms fine. We "bunked" down in the lobby with all our suitcases and kids and waited. And waited. At 5:30 we were all getting restless and hungry. We called pizza delivery and just sat on the floor and had dinner in a pile ...waiting. At 6:30 our rooms still weren't ready. WHAT???????? Yes, we were all checking with managers, etc. and trying to be Christian about this little clerical error but HELLOOOOOO we have children that are fixing to demolish this hotel. We can only hold them still for a while! Then the first of the crisises.......someone's stomach hurt. And she looked flush. Dizzy. Nauseated. And she felt warmish with fever. And we were all in the lobby waiting. We finally convinced the hotel to give us at least one room so we could put the "sick" one somewhere by a restroom and she could lie down. And we waited some more. Slowly, one little group at a time would get a room. Then at 9:30 ( PM !!!!!!! ) the last group got some type of room with fold out cots and chairs. Yes, they refunded us that room at least. This was the HILTON guys. A very nice upscale hotel. The conference is conveniently located in huge conference center of the hotel. But, the service left alot to be desired......Anyway. Notice I said crisis # 1.
After we had finally gotton our own personal groups to go to our rooms Friday night I had trouble settling my 3 "adopted for the next 24 hours" teenagers down. They were amazed by all the things that were in the room. The coffee pot.......the hair dryer in the bathroom....the big tv.....the fancy furniture......and on and on. Thank goodness a good movie was on and we finally settled down in our beds to watch it. And at about 11 or so I finally heard the sounds of sleeping kids.......So, I felt safe to fall asleep too. Sometime in the wee hours of the morning around 5:30 AM, we were awakened to what I can only compare to the horn of the angel beckoning the end of the world. We all four sat straight up in bed and I was as confused as they were ! The most HORRIBLE siren and recorded message was blasting out of box over my side of the bed telling us ......." This is an EMERGENCY ALERT. This is NOT a test. Please immediately evacuate your room and move to the nearest stairwell on your floor. Do not attempt to use the elevators. REPEAT THIS IS AN EMERGENCY SITUATION...." and the siren wailed and screamed and honked. And the voice kept on and on....... And we scuffled around our room like the 4 stooges wondering what to do next. I used my best girl scout face and tried to control the screaming sobs in the room ......... I grabbed my purse, my phone and the room key. The girls grabbed their sheets/pillows since we were in our jammies. We were the first ones out in the hall. Slowly, people started emerging from their rooms with confused looks, sleepy looks, and comments like, "Is this real?" We all started heading down the stairs. And down. And down. Did I mention that we were on the SEVENTEENTH 17th FLOOR??????? And I was herding 3 hysterical country girls who had never been to the city and they thought they were going to die. We made it down. Trust me I had my doubts at about floor 10 that I was going to make it myself! And by the way it was a false alarm ( thankfully ) . A faulty circuit or something. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. Needless to say, no one went back to sleep after that. It was like the marathon and I didn't even get to train for. So, my little jog down the stairwell resulted in this...........and not just me either. By noon the next day all the adults were limping! OK. I just realized that it is NOT my shins that hurt but my calves. I always get them mixed up! Shins front...calves back fatty part. Thank goodness for the fatty part. So......... sweet daughter in love brought me the last 2 seasons of Gilmore to watch so that I can finish my GG addiction. Since she is a coach she is accustomed to leg injuries of this type, she has ordered me to the couch for the next few days with a list of exercises and orders to watch the movies and rest my legs. So, being a compliant patient and mother I said, "OKEY DOKEY!"
But, seriously. I think God is going to help me find another way to minister besides this. Or else I am going to have to have some SERIOUS lessons in PATIENCE. SERIOUS.


Ashley said...

I wish I could have seen y'alls faces when the fire alarm went off! HA HA HA!! Welcome to Houston! :)

Love you

jody said...

TOO, TOO need to write the Hilton. That is ridiculous. They will give you a free room or something and you can go back and rest all by yourself! They owe you that, at least! I'm missing all of you. Love, Jody

Giggi said...

I think the Hilton owes you & Gor a deluxe long weekend retreat!!! Sorry things didn't go according to the plan! I think we have a hex on our plans! Love you!

Anonymous said...

Incredible! Heads should roll for that one! I mean, were they expecting yall or not? What would it imply if they were expecting yall? The only plausible reason I can think of for a situation like this would have been a fire in your room area. They could have offered you other rooms or another hotel! I'm sure that it was a horrendous weekend for the hotel personnel, but still...this was the Hilton, not motel 6! I'm so glad that you went and sounds like you even enjoyed yourself. I know the kids enjoyed being with you! Love, Vicky