Stress and rush. Rush and stress. That pretty much summarizes travel and saying kaddish. And it matters not what time of the year; short winter days, long summer days. It is all the same. Coordinating minyan times and flight schedules always comes down to the same two elements – stress and rush.
This past Thursday evening was no different; though when I made our plans for St Louis I thought it would be easy. After all the days are getting longer and mincha/maariv is now at 5:35 pm. With a flight out of BWI at 7:45 pm, I thought, it should be a no brainer to daven mincha/maariv in Silver Spring before leaving for the airport, drive to BWI, and easily make our flight.
Oh how wrong I was.
I left my office at 4:30 pm so as to make mincha/maariv at YISE at 5:35 pm. Maariv was over a little after 6:00 pm. I came straight home, packed the car, and off we went to the airport.. And then it dawned on me – I had miscalculated. The flight might be scheduled to take off at 7:45 pm but we needed to be at the airport at least 45 minutes before takeoff so that our bags 9filled with “goodies” for our kids in St Louis) would make the flight. As we drove down Kemp Mill Road I began to think, what could I do to cut down the drive time to the airport? And then traffic was at a standstill; on Kemp Mill Road? Really? There is never traffic on that street! I made a u turn and headed for University Boulevard, the Beltway and 95. Time was fleeting. Once on 95 I bobbed and weaved my way through the end of rush traffic at speeds of 70-80 mph plus. Finally, we made it to the airport at 7:15pm. I raced to check the bags, Marilyn parked the car and 20 minutes later we met at the gate.
In the end it all worked out – I davened mincha and maariv, said kaddish, we made our flight and so did our bags.
But not without stress and rush.