9/11: My Story — Episode II

Beryl Byles

After two days in the care of Carol and Merlin, Beryl had yet to receive permission to return to Philadelphia. A few more adventures awaited her before she was cleared to embark on a flight home. Episode II concludes with her personal reflections and a warm story describing the purpose of her trip to Brussels.–Editor


Day Three and the Journey Home
The next day, Thursday, Carol needed to complete her planning with three other ministers for a Prayer Service that evening. Merlin also needed to be away and they allowed Joe, Peg and myself to be at their home for what we thought was going to be the morning. The hotline number had been helpful in providing information about departure times, but the delays began to be the norm. Carol came home and suggested that we might like to get out for lunch as a change. As we drove around, I noticed the many flags at half-mast, which felt like a very supportive gesture on the part of our neighbors to the north!

More television that afternoon plus the opportunity to get on email at the home of a neighbor of Carol’s made the time pass quickly. At 6:30 p.m., Carol needed to be at the church for the service.  Read more

   

9/11: My Story — Episode I

Beryl Byles

REUTERS/Sara K. Schwittek/Files

This week marks the 21st anniversary of the September 11th attack, a fitting time to publish a memoir penned by a fellow OLLI member. Beryl Byles was a passenger on a return flight from Brussels on that fateful day. Over the course of this week, OLLI Connects will run her story in two episodes. Today’s issue recounts her arrival in Moncton, New Brunswick and continues with a description of the hospitality she received from our neighbor to the north.  On Thursday we will finish her story with Episode 2, including her journey home after nearly four days delayed in Canada until tourists were cleared to fly over US air space. —Editors

Day One

While we each have our own individual story of where we were and what we were doing on September 11, 2001 and beyond, I want to capture my account of being a “stranded yank” in Canada. This effort represents my need for closure, a way to capture the “extraordinary” so that I can get back into the “ordinary” activities of my life. Hopefully, it also will serve as an invitation for you to share your own individual experience.

I had been airborne for just over an hour on U S Air flight #335 from Brussels at the time of the first attack. Four or so hours later, the pilot informed us that we had experienced higher-than-predicted head winds and, although we certainly had enough fuel to reach our destination of Philadelphia, we would be going into our fuel reserve and he did not like to do that. Therefore, we were going to land in (Moncton, New Brunswick) Canada where the ground crew was prepared to take 45 minutes to add the necessary fuel before we would continue on our way. (I think the 45-minute timeframe was geared to allay the anxieties of the majority of the passengers who were scheduled to make connecting flights in Philadelphia.)  Read more

The IPCC Report on Climate Change

Story by Al Carlson
Video and Abstracts by
Theresa D’Aiuto Sokol

We now know that Climate Change (aka Global Warming) is happening. But who’s keeping track of it? And what have they learned? And who will it affect? And in what ways? And how soon?

Helping you find answers to those questions is what this issue of OLLI Connects is about. We didn’t say “giving you the answers”. We don’t have the answers. And if we did, they sure wouldn’t fit in our standard weekly issue. But we can give you an overview in what we hope is clear English and provide you with links to more information.
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The Hurricane

Mary Bowers

My job as a medical equipment sales representative took me to a new hospital in Port Charlotte, Florida.  It was late August, and the moment I stepped off the plane I was met with the smothering effects of the humid heat and tropical vegetation.  Before I had left home in Atlanta there had been a report of an impending hurricane in Florida, but no one had mentioned it, so I assumed it had moved on to another target, as hurricanes will do.

I planned to take advantage of the trip to southwestern Florida to visit my friend Amelia who had recently lost her husband.  She and he had retired to this area to raise horses, and it had been ages since I had seen her.  We planned to get in a good visit over the weekend before I returned to Atlanta on Sunday evening.   Read more

Stormy Travel

Jan Vaupel

The weather that affected my life most recently happened on April 7th on my flight out of Tampa in a lightning-and-thunder filled rainstorm.

I am flying American, not my usual standby, Southwest. I love Southwest. I have their credit card and like their offbeat humor. But I change because my Coast Guard son is flying in from Cali and we want to meet up in Richmond at 4:15 p.m., then drive to Gloucester, our final destination.  On Southwest, I would get in at 11:50 p.m., an unseemly hour, so I find an alternate flight on Black Friday.  Perhaps that should have been a sign. It’s American Airlines, one way, for a great price.

I’m in line outside TIA. I’ve just checked my bag when the lady behind me asks, “Did you hear our flight’s been delayed two hours?”

  Read more

On Cloud Nine: The Calm Before the Storm

Marilyn Myerson

August ushers in the most active weeks of Florida’s annual hurricane season. Unstable tropical climate conditions triggered by warming seas have spiked record storm frequency and intensity over the last decade. We think it fitting to present a five-week series pertaining to weather and climate while you anxiously track the NOAA hurricane maps. A recent challenge issued to the members of the Imaginative Writing Crew yielded several stories on this topic, a new memoir marks the twentieth anniversary of Hurricane Andrew, and a mixed media report on the latest climate research will wrap things up at the end of the month.

We begin with Marilyn Myerson’s On Cloud Nine: The Calm Before the Storm –Editors 

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Three Odes to Women

Morrey Grymes
Bruce Zimmerman
Peter Terzian


Poetry has the unique capacity to capture our deepest thoughts, whether they be the experience of mounting grief, tender remembrance or even a flight of fancy. With economy, rhythm and the taste of language on the palate, our three contributors present an array of emotions in Three Odes to Women. –Editors

The Overturn of Roe v. Wade

 

Sign for International Women’s Day 4. Original public domain image from Flickr

The Supreme Court’s recent decision overturning Roe v. Wade created a huge amount of controversy in our society. We were interested in the opinions of our readers on this hot topic, so we invited you to submit your reactions in the hope that we could prepare a special edition. These are the responses that we received. –Editors
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Life in the Fast Lane: Sun City Center Style

Don Menzel

Three years ago, Kay and I, along with our family luv “Emmy dog,” left Tampa with a new 4-wheel drive Jeep and hit the trail to the Rocky Mountains, settling in Loveland, Colorado. (Yes, there is a Loveland in the U.S.A.—actually two with Ohio the home of another.)

Excited about living on the “Front Range” in Northern Colorado, we were certain we had found our “forever home.” Alas, three years later, we purchased a small house in Sun City Center, Florida, where sun & fun gush galore. Of course, getting there on I-75 heading south from Tampa is a challenge with 90 mph bumper-to-bumper traffic that turns into “How slow can you go?” when you get off the Interstate.

So, what’s it like living in the fast lane in Sun City? That’s the tale I am going to share with you.

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Favorite Memory of Mom

Ray Ann Favata

My favorite memory of Mom was her ability to produce beautiful wearable items sewn by her hands and heart. She was a good seamstress. Not great, because she could not design and cut out a garment without a pattern like the contestants on Project Runway. She was good because she could purchase a Simplicity (her favorite) pattern, select the fabric and create an outfit anyone would be proud to wear.

She mastered the pinch-pleated skirt. It was always made from a colorful printed fabric rescued from the bargain basement at the local Woolworth 5 and 10¢ Store. Imagine, with just two yards at 25 cents a yard, I had a skirt for a few dollars.

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