Posts Tagged With: air travel

 
 

Where Am I?

Where am I?

That’s the question I’ve asked myself on waking this past year.

That probably happens to us as we get older, but I’m not that old. Yet.

“Where am I” came as a result of what seemed like constant traveling since June 2016.

IMG_8829A funeral, a birth, a reunion, a contract, another birth, an illness, a visit, more visits, a hospital stay, a conference or two, grandbaby sitting, visits, a 60th anniversary celebration, more visits, oh, and an eclipse. That briefly sums up most of the reasons for my going and going and going. A few times I stayed put. Six weeks were the longest I stayed anywhere and even there I left and returned on short stints.

At least half, or more, of every month our house sat empty, except for the occasional scorpion wandering through or a random spider spinning lies.  I was gone so much that we debated moving, on a permanent basis, out-of-state. But the stars didn’t align and it never felt right.

When I was away from home I missed my bed, my friends, my routine. But when I rfullsizeoutput_5eeturned I was anxious to leave again. The emptiness of a vacant house can wear on a person. And by vacant, I mean empty of people, not things.

I got in a bunch of amazing hikes though and a couple of campouts. I hiked in the snow as well as in the heat, but most importantly, in the mountains.

I experienced winter, which I haven’t done in decades. It’s a fun novelty when you know you don’t have to endure the full six months of it. Well, it’s fun unless your flight gets cancelled due to the weather and it’s nearly Christmas and company is due at your house that day while you’re in another state. Good times. But then, that resulted in a side trip to see my cousin, which was an unexpected bonus.

Through it all I learned to relish my personal space. Airplanes don’t lend themselves to emotional comfort if you’re an introvert with a fairly expansive personal bubble. (And an expansive backside.) And yet, on the other hand, I learned to cherish hugs and physical touch and actually being in the same room with the people you love. Phone calls and texts and video chats are great, but none of that compensates for the real thing.

IMG_8997I drove a few times to my far off destination. A debate still runs in my head if road trip or air trip is more comfortable, emotionally and physically. Eleven hours in a car can race by if you have an engaging audio book to keep your mind occupied.

Those people who travel as part of their job are troopers. Kudos to them for waking up in a different hotel, city, country, or hovel.

MSH has traveled for work most of our married life. I thought he had the kushy part of that deal, since he left me with the kids and went off to work (and sleep) without constant interruptions and demands. He’d fly home every few weekends to visit us. Until this year I didn’t realize what a drag air travel can become. Until this year I didn’t appreciate all he’d gone through living alone, living away, living out of a suitcase.

I love that man more than ever before after this year’s experiences. I’d prefer keeping our traveling to trips we take together.

fullsizeoutput_5eOf course, I’ve got to book a flight today for a trip next month. It’s definitely one I’m looking forward to as it involves some of the grands. So when I told a friend I was done traveling, I guess I only meant temporarily.

If home is where my heart is, then I’ve been home this entire past year. My heart is always with MSH. My heart is with my children and grandchildren. My heart is with my parents and siblings. My heart pounds right here in my chest reminding me to live and love life where I stand. No matter where that is.

So, where am I?

I am home.

~~~~~

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” ~ Ursula Le Guin

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Categories: Family, Relationships, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Happy Side of the Airport

I hung out today on the happy side of the airport.

Which side is that you ask?

Why the arrival side, of course.

By MSgt Mark C. Olsen [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By MSgt Mark C. Olsen [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

People pour down the walkway like milk from a tipped over gallon in little wavelets. Finally, blessedly, released from the tube of recycled air and far too intimate perimeters I could practically see bruised personal space bubbles fluff up and stretch. As they walked toward luggage, toward loved ones, toward whatever they flew here for, a sort of relaxation visibly enveloped nearly every person.

Hey, i even saw two smiling TSA agents. They must have just ended their shifts, because I’m fairly certain they aren’t allowed to smile on the job. At least, I’ve seen very few who do. (Can’t be an easy job, not sure I’d smile either.)

Three dogs also walked up from the deplaning area. Not by themselves. No, humans’ accompanied them. One rode very stylishly on a faux leopard skin doggie suitcase, its little head peeking out at the crowds. Oddly, all three dogs I saw were small white poodle-ish pups. Made me wonder why. I suppose bigger dogs either aren’t allowed or the owner would have to pay full fare for a seat just for the pooch.

I wondered what you’d do if you have doggie allergies and you get on a plane with one of these unusual passengers? Can you request a no doggie flight, like some people can request a no peanut flight?

Just curious. But not curious enough to research it.

By CPT William Carraway [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By CPT William Carraway [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The happy side of the airport most often involves hellos, hugs, kisses, smiles, laughter and cheering. Lots of good stuff going on there. Homecomings almost always feel like a blanket settling on your shoulders. I like that.

Of course, not every passenger gets a greeting in the terminal by someone they know. Some rush past all the mushiness like it’s a disease they might catch. Others dodge the huddled groups and couples with little notice or concern. And often, there’s a taxi, bus, shuttle, another flight, or a car waiting to take them away from this odd place of comings and goings. I would never refer to the arrival lanes outside as a happy place, even though happiness surely happens. It’s private and sheltered, not public. Plus, there’s too much exhaust, too much cigarette smoke, too much noise, too much rushing. it doesn’t feel happy. Not like inside feels happy.

I meant to take pictures, to better illustrate what I experienced as I waited almost an hour. ( I was a little overly excited to get there, and I also overestimated how long it would take to navigate rush hour traffic.) But somehow, even taking iPhone photos seemed intrusive and kind of, I don’t know, rude, I suppose. I attempted a photo of the dog/leopard skin bag but it was blurry and I felt sheepish afterwards. I don’t think I’m very stealthy. And I know I don’t want some stranger snapping my photo at an airport, or any public place for that matter.

I’ve always enjoyed people watching. I find it exceptionally rewarding at an airport both for the variety and the amount of people. Today’s excursion provided some vicarious joy while I waited. And then, my own giddy greetings and hugs made the day completely wondrous.

If you ever find yourself in need of a boost and an airport’s handy, I’d recommend a visit to the happy side.

Categories: Happiness | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Flying High and I’m Feeling Good

English: Crop circles along the Columbia, Wash...

Crop circles along the Columbia, Washington, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s Gratituesday! Today I’m thankful for air travel. What a miracle to climb aboard an airplane in a cold, rainy, or snowy place and a few hours later find yourself on terra firma with balmy skies and a warm breeze. I never get over the wonder of leaving home at six in the morning and then finding myself standing in Mom’s kitchen at lunchtime. Mom lives almost eight hundred miles away! Is that amazing or what?

I was well into my thirties before I ever flew on a commercial airplane. What a revelation! That sensation at takeoff of being pushed back into your seat as the plane propels itself fast enough to achieve flight never gets old. Every time feels just as exhilarating as the first time I experienced that singular phenomenon.

Landing, too, has its commensurate push forward on landing, but with a kind of sadness that the miracle is over.

I find both much more exciting than a roller coaster ride because at the end you’re somewhere different from when you started.

Agricultural Patchwork

Agricultural Patchwork (Photo credit: matt.hintsa)

As a young child I had the opportunity to ride in a four-seater airplane from the local airport. Up, over and around the city we lived in, I got a glimpse, a bird’s view, of the big tiny world I lived in.  Brushing what I thought was dangerously close to the mountains, my only worry. Everything down below seemed so small, which in turn, made me feel puny and small. Unfortunately, I don’t remember much more about that flight.

Agricultural quilts, in squares and rounds and triangles, never cease to entertain as I’m airborne. Experiencing the Grand Canyon, Mount St. Helen’s, Lake Tahoe, mount Rainer, the Great Lakes, or the Pacific Ocean, from the perspective of thirty thousand feet brings new appreciation for those wonders.

Lake Tahoe from my window seat.

Lake Tahoe from my window seat.

Overcast skies and thick layers of clouds that block such views can disappoint. But then, breaking through and flying above the cloud formations provides entertainment better than any museum or scientific wonder.

If you’ve never had this opportunity, I really hope you get the chance to fly!

What a world we live in! What an age of convenience and luxury and speed. How blessed I feel today as I type this post sitting in a comfy seat on the plane as it’s bouncing a bit in the air turbulence and as I sip my lovely beverage and much on pretzels. The changing landscape of Arizona passes below me and I’m in awe.

Astounding!

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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