Arrivals, Departures and Everything In-Between

September 2, 2014 8:43 PM

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Arrivals, Departures and Everything In-Between

On an otherwise ordinary Thursday evening at the end of July, I found myself rolling a carry-on bag through a bustling Chicago airport to catch a flight to California. A common enough scenario for many people, but certainly not for someone who had last traveled to the west coast on her own over four decades ago. Was it was scary, strange and surreal? A big "yes" to all that! But what set the experience apart even more, is that it came about due to an outpouring of extraordinary kindness from unexpected quarters.

Before the Internet existed, the best way to make friends in distant places was through the art of letter writing. As a person who equally loved making new friends and writing, sharing my life with pen pals (that's what we were known as back then) was a natural choice. My pen pals and I would not on...

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