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Writing 101: Staff Edition

Though school is starting back this month, learning never stops. In fact, we pride ourselves on working to improve always. One of the organizational values of The Lighthouse is self-evaluation. Our Book of Culture and Being says, in part, “we are constantly evaluating and re-evaluating ourselves, our positions and contributions.” Not long ago, this showed up as an opportunity during an all-staff writing workshop we had on as part of our work retreat in Portland, Ore., with our partners, National Crittenton.

We figured we’d share what we came up with you, for kicks and giggles. The prompt: Tell a story about a moment(s) in your travel day.

The Cooties

They touched, for five straight hours. I sat, statuesque to steer clear of any cooties the couple next to me were spreading around. On this evening flight from Atlanta to Portland, I watched them do a dance of sorts—intertwined arms and legs, adjustment to tray tables, anything for them to maintain touch as if their public displays of affection were somehow the lifeblood of the Boeing737. I fixated “A Song of Fire and Ice” and considered I was cold as a Stark … or maybe they were just gross. –RNH

Streets in the Sky

The cabin rattled, as the plane cut through clouds—puffy, grey pockets of clouds. As the plane dipped and pivoted, so did my stomach, from chest to throat then in place again. Turbulence is like potholes in the sky; this is no different than State Street. I clenched my fists, as the movie from the flight paused for an onboard announcement. That’s when it came into view: crisp, snow-covered peaks that reached toward the sky and split clouds in two, edge and ridges like a cracked mirror. –MM

Always Learning

As I stood at the luggage carousel, I watched a young mother of four calmly and particularly maneuver the task of traveling. I looked on admiringly as she commanded her troops to grab their Minnie Mouse luggage while changing a diaper and making pick up arrangements. As the squad was shuffled away by their leader, she and I exchanged glances of affirmations and support. I then realized there is never a time that I’m not learning how to be a better mother, leader, and woman. –MB

Round and Round

This flight to Portland was my first long flight. Like Erykah Badu, “Can I get a window seat?” I was able to switch my assigned seat to sit by a familiar face, there was a decent movie selection, and excluding the turbulence during the flight, it was a nice ride.  I saw mountains as we approached Portland’s airport and was amazed by the white fluffy clouds we flew through to get to them. We finally landed to grab luggage and that is when my night became challenging.

While at baggage claim, the rest of the team easily grabs their luggage off the carousel, and I waited patiently for mine to come through but there was still no purple suitcase. Wait. I believe I see it! Nope, that’s not my purple suitcase. As the team tried to help me locate my luggage, there were multiple purple bags, but none of them belonged to me. The carousel continued to go in a circle, around, around and around. –JH

Disappearing Act

They disappeared. I looked around, still missing.

“Where had they gone?” I wondered. “Did they see the time before they left?”

I was growing agitated. Slowly, the crowd began to thin. I had no desire to be the last one standing there. Natalie, consistently dismissive of the clock pounding away seconds in my head, says, “We’re not flying Southwest.”

She rolls her eyes, as I stand. I look off into the distance. The once bustling gate is almost barren. I turn around, the last of us gathering bags. Annoyed, I turn and there I see Raegan and Skye calmly walking to the gate! I’m so annoyed. I overreacted again. –JLM


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