It is no fun to be trapped in the airline system when Mother Nature overrules the schedule.
My sympathies are with the many stranded travelers.
I had a minor brush with the problem yesterday.
I was transiting through Chicago on my way home.
The sun was shining bright, but the schedule was dark.
I looked at the board at 3:30 p.m. and saw that my 5 o’clock flight to Green Bay was on time. I thought I was lucky.
It didn’t take long for the changes to start and I was a typical rat in a maze.
The departure gate changed five times as the posted delays unfolded.
In all, I was in Chicago three hours longer than the schedule said I would be.
But I was lucky.
I got home last night.
That helpless feeling then went away.
Naturally, I was thinking about how new collectors feel rather helpless when they look around and see how the numismatic field is organized.
Like passengers changing waiting lounge areas for other waiting lounge areas at airports, they are in motion but they don’t know when they will get to their destinations.
Every collector has been there and done that.
We all make mistakes.
Some are more costly than others.
But we learn and get going and it turns out to be the trip of our lives.
I have been on mine now for 52 years.
Yes, I know this sounds like a platitude.
It is. But that doesn’t make it any less true.
The key to success is the willingness to learn and to adjust to what exists.
It does not help to think that things should be done differently. Even when you are right and things could be different, a couple of million coin collectors and dealers are not going to change their behavior – at least not fast enough to be of any assistance.
Every would-be collector simply has to trust that there is method to the madness of the veteran numismatists and to try to learn as much as possible from them.
All new collectors can get home and become a veteran collector even if it seems like the scheduled arrival time is beyond their control.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."