Illness and Weather: The Great Equalizers

Today, I was supposed to be in Salt Lake City for the Alt Summit blogging conference. I was really excited about the learning and mingling opportunities.

The morning started off really well with an on time departure from Santa Barbara at 5:30 am (yes, 5:30 AM…the Silver Lining is that I am a morning person) and another on time departure from Los Angles to Salt Lake City.  About an hour into the hour and ten minute flight, our captain came on and said, “The Salt Lake City airport is closed. We are being diverted to Iowa (or Idaho).”

So, right now, instead of listening to a fab-o presentation by best-selling author of Makers and The Long Tail, legendary Editor of Wired Magazine, CEO of 3D Robotics, and one of today’s most influential innovators, Chris Anderson, I find myself sitting on the floor of some tweeny weeny airport in either Iowa (or Idaho). It just occurred to me that it might be a good idea to figure out where the f-bomb I am.

As I am sitting here looking outside at the plane on the snowy and icy runway, I am thinking about how weather and illness are great equalizers:

  1. Storms and illness happen when you least expect them.
  2. They both stop you in your tracks. It doesn’t matter if you have plans or things you “have” to do. Life stops and changes in an instant.
  3. There isn’t a single thing that a anyone can do to change a storm or a diagnosis.
  4. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you have or where you live, diagnoses and storms still happen.
  5. The only thing that we can control is our attitude.
So, while sorely disappointed (with a sore back and tush from sitting on the concrete floor), there are some Silver Linings from today’s diversion (of course there are!):
  1. I remembered to grab gloves on my way out the door (because it is f-bomb COLD here!).
  2. The itty-bitty, teensy-tiny airport has Wii-Fii (for FREE!). JFK International Airport could take a lesson. Just sayin’…
  3. Plenty (LOADS!) of time to catch up on email!
  4. The couple sitting next to me (also on the floor) kindly offered to charge my phone (because my electronics are, of course, still on the plane).
  5. I won’t stay here forever.

PS – I just heard a guy say, “I’m stuck in Idaho.”  So, I guess I’m in Idaho.

Leave a comment


  1. says

    Dear Holly,
    My name is Jennifer and I live in Seattle with my husband and three children. I was diagnosed with breast cancer this past June at 44 with no family history. I had a double mastectomy and four rounds of tc and I am currently taking Tamoxifen. My tumor was ER, PR positive and I was node negative stage 1b with a very grey oncatype.

    I want to thank you for your amazing website. It is such a wonderful gift to anyone going through breast cancer. It has been a great inspiration to me. I can’t think of anything I have enjoyed reading more since my diagnosis. I only wish I would have found it soon. It is such a fabulous combination of information, humor, and inspiration.

    I was hoping to ask your opinion or pose a question that recently arose with me. I have made radical changes to my diet and I am always trying to do better. I am very confused by the recent articles on antioxidents and whether we should be avoiding them or not. I was wondering what your thoughts and others are on this subject?

    Jennifer Broughton

    • says

      Dear Jennifer,
      Thank you so much for your kind note. I'm hoping that your recovery is going smoothly. It takes a long, long time. I would gently encourage you to be kind and patient with yourself during this period!
      You pose an excellent question about antioxidants. I know that it is very important to stay away from them (especially supplements) when undergoing radiation. However, what to do after is a whole other issue. Personally, I don't take them.
      Here's the thing: (as I'm sure that you already know) many people will say lots of different things about what to do or not to do before, during and after treatment. It's important to talk with your health care team to find out what is best for you and your circumstances.
      I hope this helps.
      Thank you so much for joining The Silver Pen community! It's great to have you.

  2. says

    There are some things we have no control over, like the weather or an illness. All we can control is our attitude towards how we react to these events. It sounds like you found the silver linings to cope with the situation of a delay in the airport. I am sorry you missed your seminar, but the Salt Lake City airport's closing signals a very bad turn of events. I hope you were able to catch a flight back home within a reasonable time frame. 🙁

    • says

      I sure did, Carolee. The ultimate Silver Lining is that I was (eventually) able to make it. Though I missed 1/2 of the conference, today has been great. Thanks for your note, as always, Carolee!

  3. Isa says

    Hollye bonita, "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans" my only wish for you is to chillax (I suppose is literally freezing over there in the weeny airport in the middle of nowhere Idaho) but enjoy the moment, you are the Goddess of all SILVER LININGS, so I am sure you'll come back with a FULL travel tote of amazing SL to share with us.

    P.S.: Here are some fun facts about Idaho:

    Idaho's Population is around 1.5 million with about 600,000 living in the Boise metro area.
    Top 3 Industries: 1. Manufacturing 2. Agriculture 3. Tourism
    Idaho is 83,557 square miles.
    The word "Potato" first appeared on an Idaho license plate in 1928. The now famous words "Famous Potatoes" apeared on our plates in 1957. Did you know most Idaho License Plates tell you where the driver is from? Learn our license plate designations here.
    The deepest river gorge in North America is Idaho's Hells Canyon (7,900 ft deep).
    Shoshone Falls (212 feet), near Twin Falls, drops 52 feet further than Niagara Falls.
    Idaho's Largest Cities: Boise (185,787), Pocatello (51,466), Nampa (51,867)
    Nearly 85% of all commercial trout sold in the U.S. is produced in the Hagerman Valley.
    State Motto: "Esto Perpetua" meaning "It is forever"
    The statehouse in Boise is geo-thermally heated from underground hot springs.
    Idaho's flag (picture) is blue and contains the Great Seal of Idaho. The flag was adopted by the 1907 legislature.
    The first alpine chairlift was used in Sun Valley. In 1936 the fee was 25 cents per ride.
    The Gem State: Idaho produces 72 types of precious and semi-precious stones.
    Idaho's state fruit is the Huckleberry, our state vegatable is, of course, the potato.
    Idaho's highest point is Mt. Borah (12,622ft), Lowest Point is Lewiston (738 ft)
    The Great Seal of Idaho was designed in 1890 by Mrs. Emma Edwards Green. It is the only Great Seal in the 50 states to be designed by a woman.
    Idaho has 3,100 miles of rivers – more than any other state.
    The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness is the largest in the lower 48 states-2.3 million acres of backcountry.
    Idaho is the number one producer of Potatoes, Trout, Austrian Winter Peas and Lentils.
    Idaho's capitol is Boise.
    Idaho's Salmon River near Riggins is the longest free-flowing river that heads and flows within a single state.
    Arco was the first city lit by Atomic Energy, July, 1955.
    Idaho's state horse is the Appaloosa. Our state fish is the Cutthroat Trout.
    Idaho's state flower is the Syringa. Our state tree is the Western White Pine.
    Idaho is bordered by Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Canada.
    Twin Falls was the sight of Evil Knievels jump in 1974.
    Idaho is the 13th Largest State in the U.S.
    The 1940 film "Northwest Passage" was filmed in McCall.
    63% of Idaho is public land.
    Idaho's state bird is the Mountain Bluebird.
    The Fosbury Flop, a high jumping technique, was invented by Ketchum resident Dick Fosbury.

  4. E.B. says

    Absolutely, the one thing we can control is our attitude. Ah, Idaho … I believe that is the state known for its most excellent potatoes. Potato soup for lunch, makes your tummy warm and happy! Wishing you a safe journey back home and a lovely, lovely weekend.