Friday, July 24, 2015

what would you do?

Right now, I'm sitting on my hotel bed in Tulsa, OK, trying to decide whether to:

a.  head east to Arkansas, then north to Joplin, Missouri, then west to Kansas, then south back to the Tulsa airport, hoping to make a 5:30 flight home, or
b.  head north and west to Wichita, Kansas, to chance a surprise visit with my first lawyer boss and his wife, the now mission president and his wife over the Kansas, Wichita LDS church mission, or
c. head directly to the Tulsa airport to ensure I catch my flight home tonight.

A dilemma, to be sure. 

Why, you may ask, am I in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the 109 degree heat index of July?  Why, indeed.  Who exactly schedules paralegal conventions in Tulsa in July?  Why, of course, the paralegal organization, to which I belong, that also scheduled last year's convention in Charleston, SC, and previous conventions in Portland, OR, and Omaha, NE, and Dallas, TX, and New Orleans, LA.  Seems a bit hit or miss when it comes to location, although it seems the common theme is July, which is apparently always hot.  Or maybe obviously, always hot, sometimes with additional humidity.

I have been in search of a comments/suggestions box into which I would have dropped a note suggesting we convene only in coastal cities.  Yes, I'll admit a bias toward time spent in July at the beach.

Next year's convention is in Las Vegas.  In July.  I may need to plan a bit of a getaway of my own to the beach in July next year during convention time.  Vegas?  In July?  Please and no thank you.

But about my dilemma today.  Class gets out around noon.  My flight leaves at 5:30.  The drive to Wichita according to Google/maps, is 5 hours 24 minutes.  The drive through four states I haven't yet visited is 4 hours 49 minutes.  Neither of these options allow for stopping to visit or looking around, except for the looking around that accompanies a five-hour drive.  If only I'd thought this through a bit earlier.  I could have left class around noon yesterday, and if my timing had been right, picked up my rental car from the valet and driven off, thus avoiding the three-hour wait outside the hotel while the police checked it top to bottom in response to a bomb threat that was called in. 

Seriously.  Who does that?  Calls in a bomb scare to a hotel in Oklahoma?  In July?  I'm sure everybody takes bomb scares much more seriously than they did when I was a kid and a bomb scare call meant we all got to sit on the grass outside the school for 30 minutes.  Nowadays, in Oklahoma especially, bomb scares are understandably a big deal.  Unfortunately,  I hadn't considered going for a drive yesterday, so my rental car sat in the parking garage while my fellow paralegals and I melted away in the Oklahoma humidity.  The speaker for our planned convention luncheon (with its crisp things wilting, hot things cooling, light fluffy things gelling), was the former mayor of Tulsa, who eventually delivered an inspiring speech about the importance of volunteering even just an hour a week to help kids learn to read, and also was the first to tweet about the bomb scare, thus ensuring we made the local news.  Social media and local news.  Gotta love em, right? 
Looking out my hotel window at the lovely little downtown park where we waited for the all clear

That was pretty much the excitement for this convention.  Conventions aren't as much fun when your fellow paralegal is no longer working with you.  I find myself wondering if a five-hour solo drive around the countryside of the heartland of America is a good use of five hours, while hoping traffic doesn't keep me from making my flight home for the last of the Pioneer Day celebrations. 

And that is why I'll probably go with choice C and simply head to the airport, dawdling along, finding a spot to read more of a book, waiting for the plane to board.

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