It’s been a couple weeks now that I’ve been traveling with my family, mostly driving through the Midwest, visiting relatives.
Pulling into our driveway well past midnight—courtesy of what was to us an unexpected wait, held captive out on the tarmac while Air Force One received priority clearance for their landing in the city of our connecting flight—we were weary but satisfied with our trip. We had connected with family we don’t often get to see, and we took care of some long-standing matters that set some minds at ease. All the while, I got to collect family stories and even stop in Fort Wayne for some research at what has got to be one of the country’s most extensive genealogy collections.
I’ll talk about that part of the trip later—after some sleep! In the meantime, despite the delay, I get to close my day knowing our family made someone else’s day, if only in a small way.
As is my husband’s custom when we fly, he packs a small token of appreciation to share with those who help us along on our journey: a candy bar with a thank you note. As I’ve explained before, it is amazing to see the reactions to a simple gesture of gratitude. We’ve seen this little note bring tears to the eyes of airline personnel—those flight attendants who evidently have quite the thankless job—and have heard story after story of experiences they’ve gone through in their years of service.
Not surprisingly, the crew of the Southwest flight we took from Chicago to our connection in Las Vegas also wanted to express some thanks of their own. In an impromptu response written on a paper towel from their kitchen galley and wrapped in a makeshift red ribbon borrowed for the occasion, their note back to us simply said:
Thank you both for the candy but most importantly the message. Thank you for the smile it brought to our day. It was a privilege and a pleasure to fly you both to Vegas [the connecting city we flew through on our way back home]. Hope you enjoy your weekend. Although the candy was eaten the message will not be forgotten.
[heart] Your flight crew
Sometimes travel—even travel we look forward to, like visiting loved ones or attending a helpful conference—can be exhausting, but little gestures like this can perk up those inevitable difficulties that cross our path as we simply try to get from here to there and back again.