I am so glad that I decided not to bring any technology on this trip. (HI from New York, by the way.) Usually, I am loaded down with electronics when I travel, because I want to take advantage of opportunities to get video footage of the nuns (or book interviews with Sr. Julia), take high-quality stills of stained glass windows in fabulous churches, and bring my work projects ahead, too. But the video camera will be needed for the Theology of the Body study group (I gave Sr. Irene and Sr. Helen a crash course in ustream), I brought Dad's old Palm device to use for word processing, and decided to forego the still pics for once.
And that's a very good thing, as it turned out.
I always get apprehensive when I unload all that technology on the TSA screening belt. Can't you just see the stuff jolted just enough, or the grey bin tumbling against another bin as someone reaches over it for a carry-on, and all that expensive stuff gets turned into a jumble of broken plastic and circuitry? And for me, it's all pretty irreplaceable. (Which is what really makes me nervous, O me of little faith.)
Anyway, today I had none of that. Just a backpack and overnight bag, with my shoes, a jacket and a quart-size, zip-closure bag of toothpaste and shampoo samples in the grey bin. So I went with confidence through the security gate, holding my boarding pass up for the agent to see. And then I was escorted into one of those roped-0ff areas, far from my stuff. Pretty soon, Sr. Helena joined me in the next roped-off spot, and the agent called for a female agent to come over.
There was only one female agent at that security station, and she was busy. My stuff went trundling down the belt as other passengers came through. We waited.
Was it the voluminous skirt again? Nope. This time it was the veil (the "headpiece"). They had to do a head-pat. Sr. Helena offered to take her veil off, if that would get things moving. (She had a laptop on the line!) Nothing doing. We had to wait for the woman to come and tap us all over our heads and shoulders. And then we were free.
As I tied my shoes, I saw another woman being led to the corral. She didn't have a veil or headpiece. Or voluminous skirt (though she really shouldn't have been wearing sweat pants).
I wonder what it will be next time. (We travel home through Philadelphia in two weeks.)