Holiday Travel

I was reminded of something that I’ve managed to avoid for a number of years. That “something” was traveling by plane during Christmas week. Leaving Orlando, I realized an awful lot of residents there must really care about their families elsewhere because I struck up a number of conversations with family members who left that tropic climate to travel to Minnesota and Wisconsin for the holidays.

I met one young fella who was about 4 years old who was really looking forward to his first experience with snow. I told him I thought he would enjoy it and then quietly told his folks we were still waiting for our first substantial snowfall but did give them directions to Buck Hill in Burnsville. For those of you not familiar with out area, Buck Hill is a place they can make snow when Mother Nature doesn’t meet the deadline. It provides some decent downhill ski and tube experiences.

Despite the crunch, and I do mean crunch, I was impressed with security folks with TSA (Transportation Safety Administration) and the airport police and security people both in Orlando and Minneapolis/St. Paul who, despite some short tempered travelers, were calm and cheerful. I took the time to thank them. If you get a chance, thank them for their work next time you go through. It’s a challenging job with a lot of pressure and I appreciate what they do.

At least Minnesota didn’t let me down. I left 65 degree weather to arrive home to 9 degrees. I know it sounds crazy but it actually felt good to get back into winter. It was fun to see all the Santa hats and holiday decorations worn by those waiting for family and friends when we got back to Minneapolis/St. Paul. It helps to get one into the spirit of the season.

As we drove back to Northfield, I also thought about our soldiers stationed around the world who will observe the holiday season without benefit of the company of their family and loved ones. There are a number of organizations that allow you to forward needed supplies, gifts and words of encouragement to them. I would recommend that you take a moment to do just that.

I’ll try to get the info out to you soon. If anyone has links or legitimate sources please email me the information so I can post it here.

I hope that as you enter this busy week, you can take time to share a smile and a word of encouragement to those out there helping us get through the season safely and sanely.

Happy Holidays!

About Gary Smith

Chief Smith has served over 31 years in the criminal justice field. He is currently a consultant assisting public and private organizations better establish community goals and ethical conduct with the members of their organizations. Chief Smith serves as a facilitator, lecturer, professor and other capacities both inside and outside the criminal justice field.
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