I looked at my watch and said, "At least we're on time. We're right on schedule."
I disembarked and was stunned to see the size of the terminal. "Which way to the baggage area?" I asked an airport employee.
"Way down to the end," he replied. "Then you have to take a train to the baggage area."
"A train?" I yelped. "I didn't expect such a large airport. This is just like Denver!"
"Yeah," he grinned.
After I got off the train, I saw a group of passengers around a carousel.
"Denver?" I asked. Several nodded.
Of course, my baggage didn't show up on the carousel. The baggage office was nearby, so I went in. A bored agent was nodding his head while an annoyed passenger said, "My luggage is missing. My luggage is missing! I have to have my bags. Do you understand? My luggage is missing."
"Excuse me," I said. "Is that the Denver baggage on the carousel?"
The other passenger, an exasperated man, said, "Look! I was here first. My bags are missing. I have to have my bags."
"Mine are missing, too," I said. "I just want to know if that's the Denver flight on the carousel."
"This is Denver," the agent said.
"Right!" I agreed, "but I don't see my bag."
"Where did you come in from?"
"Denver," I explained again.
"This is Denver!"
"Yes, I know, but my bag isn't on the carousel."
The other passenger was now quiet, looking at me compassionately.
The agent tried again. "Where did you fly in from?"
"You're in Denver!"
"No! I came from Denver. I'm here now."
At this point, the other passenger said softly, "Do you have a cell phone?"
"No," I responded.
"Well, I do. Is there someone you'd like to call?"
"Yes," I said. "My wife. There are people waiting for me, and I can see I'm going to be delayed because my bag is missing. Maybe she can call them and tell them I'm delayed."
"Do you know your telephone number?"
"Sure," I said, and I wrote it down for him and thanked him for his kindness.
He dialed the number, and I didn't hear him say, "Ma'am, I'm in the Denver airport, and I'm terribly worried about your husband."
Meanwhile, the agent asked to see my boarding pass stub. He left to make a phone call and then came back and said, "Sir, your flight to Winnipeg had to return to Denver because of weather problems. This is the Denver airport."
At last I understood.
I had to spend the night in a hotel and catch my flight to Winnipeg the next morning after a few hours of sleep. The flight left on time, but we weren't in the air 15 minutes before an announcement came: "Due to bad weather up ahead, we may have to land in Fargo, North Dakota."
However, things must have improved because we landed in Winnipeg on time, and my bag was waiting for me at the baggage area.
The views expressed in "Mind Over Miller" do not necessarily reflect those of the editorial and practitioner advisory boards or the editorial staff.
Robert M. Miller, DVM, is an author and a cartoonist, speaker, and Veterinary Medicine Practitioner Advisory Board member from Thousand Oaks, Calif. His thoughts in "Mind Over Miller" are drawn from 32 years as a mixed-animal practitioner. Visit his website at www.robertmmiller.com.