In case you missed it, our old friend Mercury turned retrograde yesterday at 6:50pm PDT, and will remain so until June 11th. Of all the planetary retrogrades (apparent backward motion of planets in relation to the Earth), it is Mercury’s retrograde that always gets the most attention and seems to create the most anxiety—I even saw an advertisement on the internet recently for a “Mercury retrograde kit” to help people navigate through this challenging time. Personally, I look forward to Mercury retrograde because it is a time when it is best to be introspective, reflect on the past, and move slowly. These are all things that I do quite naturally. My wife says that I have three speeds—slow, slower, and stop. I had almost begun to think that I had transcended Mercury retrograde—until last night. This past weekend I taught a workshop in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The closest airport is in Norfolk, Virginia, about an hour and a half away. My flight was scheduled at 6:30pm last night, from Norfolk to Philadelphia, and then Philadelphia to San Diego. One of the experiences associated with Mercury retrogrades—especially on the day it changes direction--is travel delays, so I left the Outer Banks early to give myself plenty of time to get to Norfolk. Along the way I checked my phone occasionally for Orbitz updates for my flight. Everything looked great until just before I got to the airport, when I received a notice that my flight would be delayed for three hours. This meant that I would also miss my connection in Philadelphia. When I arrived at the airport I spent a lot of time at the ticket counter with the agent, trying to figure out an alternative way to get home last night. Ultimately there wasn’t one, so I was left with the choice of flying to Philadelphia, spending the night there and flying out this morning, or staying in Norfolk and flying to Philly this morning. Since there were thunderstorms in Philly that were causing air traffic delays, I opted to stay in Norfolk, at the lovely Doubletree Inn. After a “gourmet” meal at the hotel restaurant, I retired to my room to catch up on all the latest news of biker shootouts, Isis assassinations, and the grand finale of “Mad Men”. With such disturbing images in my mind I didn’t get to sleep until about midnight, with my alarm set for 4am so I could make my 6am flight. Around 2am I was awakened by a loud ringing noise. At first I thought it was my phone alarm until I looked at the clock and realized that the sound was coming from outside my room. I hastily got dressed and went into the hallway to investigate, along with many of my neighbors. We figured out it was the fire alarm and went down to the lobby to see what was going on. The employees in the lobby were as befuddled as everyone else. The fire department arrived, checked the building, and determined that nothing was on fire. Unfortunately they couldn’t turn off the alarm, which continued at high volume for the next hour. Finally, one of the employees found an old set of keys, and through a process of trial and error, found the key to reset the fire alarm that had been set off on the fifth floor. I managed to get back to sleep about 3:30, only to have my alarm go off at 4am. My flight to Philadelphia left on schedule this morning with me on it. By the time we arrived at the gate and I retrieved my luggage, I had 20 minutes to make my connecting flight. Checking the board, I noticed that my departing gate was in another terminal, reachable only by shuttle bus. Digging deep, I summoned a speed slightly above “slow” and managed to be the last passenger on the shuttle going from terminal F to terminal C. Finding an even greater speed, I arrived breathlessly at my gate 5 minutes before departure, fully expecting not to get on. The gate agent saw me and asked, “San Diego?” I nodded and she waved me on—the last person to board the flight. Gratefully I’m home and hoping things will be okay until June 11th.