As the phrase goes, “it’s a small world”. I had a wonderful Christmas day with my family today. Frankly, we had a great relaxing weekend. In addition to the family time, calls to touch base with close friends, Lego building and Christmas gifts, I got an additional small Christmas surprise that started with a small flight delay on December 8th.
On that day, I was laying over at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago when my late flight back to Pittsburgh got delayed by a couple of hours. It had been an extremely long week, so I got dinner at a pub within the airport. I was traveling by myself, so I sat at the bar vs taking up a booth or table that a group could use. While sitting there, a nice young man (I’ll leave his name out of this to protect his identity) from California sat down and started up a conversation with me. Turns out, he was originally from the Pittsburgh area and was traveling back to Pittsburgh to meet up with his girlfriend. She lives with him in California but was traveling for work that week along the east coast. So, they were going to meet in Pittsburgh to visit her parents (she’s also from the Pittsburgh area) and catch the home Steelers game. While we talked, I learned that her parents live within a mile of my house.
I also learned that we were both on the same flight back to Pittsburgh and I offered to give him a ride to his girlfriend’s childhood home, so she didn’t have to come pick him up, since our arrival was now delayed well past midnight. At first, he wasn’t sure and I just left the offer open in case he changed his mind. Later as we were boarding the flight, he asked me if the offer was still good. Fast forward to the end of the flight, we picked up my bags and away we went. I dropped him off at this destination (again it was about a mile from my house) and we parted ways.
As you can guess, during our time together we talked about the Steelers and I told him about my part time gig photographing the games from the sidelines. At the time we talked, he didn’t know where he would be sitting, but I told him to text me during the game and I’d come over to photograph his group (him, his girlfriend and her sister). Sure enough, on game day he sent me a text and I took their photo. Turns out, they had great seats in row 1 behind the Steelers bench.
Following the game, I sent him the photos (see the photos below) and got a thank you. It was a nice exchange that went from Chicago to Pittsburgh. I really never expected to hear from him again. Well today (Christmas day) I got another text from him that included a photo (see below) of his girlfriend at their house in California. She’s dressed in her Steelers gifts and holding a frame that includes the two photos I took of them. He didn’t have to send me that, but it helped make a great day, just a touch nicer. As I said at the top, it is a very small world. And what a wonderful world it can be at times.
I hope the two of them have a great 2018.