Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Frequent Flyers

Frequent Flyers

Up at 4:15am., waiting in airports,
almost six hours of flying
and another 1 1/2 hours
to drive home - he's still smiling!

When I was a young girl, it was a rare day to hear of someone flying to a faraway destination. I remember when I was seven years old, and about to fly to my grandparent’s home in Virginia for one month, a neighbor was aghast that I was traveling so far away. In those days, families hovered close by, and all the parishioners in our church easily resided within the general area to visit easily when invited over. It was rare to travel for a visit with a family member, and it was also rare to travel to visit a friend from our church.

Over time, our own family experienced a move to another town not too far away, just over forty minutes, and you’d think it was at the end of the world to our former lifelong friends and neighbors.

The move also collapsed our telephone communication abilities because our new area was far enough away to create long distance fees on my parent’s monthly telephone bills. Many family members and folks from our former area stopped communicating, mostly for the ridiculous fees charged by the telephone company for each minute transpiring in a single telephone call. Letters became a way of life, even to my best friend over the next few years. Such was the way of life when I was young, but no longer in our modern times today. Wow, have things changed dramatically or what? Our children have no idea what life was like when we were younger, and often take for granted abilities they have today.

In my lifetime, I flew as a young child twice, and not again until I was nineteen after winning a trip to a company headquarters I was on a working contract with. Many years passed by again until such an opportunity arrived, actually it was sixteen more years to be exact! My husband bestowed a very short trip upon me to Hawaii for my birthday that year, and since we never had a honeymoon or time away in our married lives, that was the beginning of a wanderlust experience I became quite comfortable with and would occasionally yearn for repeatedly.

In contrast, our own children became more frequent flyers as they grew, when travel became the normal thing with hockey tournaments taking place farther and farther from our local arenas. Before most of the children became adults, some had already flown as far away as Germany, Mexico, to other parts of Canada and the United States, and so forth. Our younger four children have become such frequent flyers they carry several airline frequent flyer point cards and have acquired free trips steadily since our move to the eastern part of our country. Such a change from my own youth, believe me.

We prefer this jumbo plane to the Dash-8 prop.

After the ordeal of the 911 tragedy, many people we know opted to take a train or even a coach bus anywhere they had to travel, but we have noticed a shift back into air travel once more since we have been living here in our new area.

All of our children still living at home own their very own suitcase on wheels, and know exactly how to pack for a trip away from home. They know how to sort their knapsacks easily with snacks and games for time spent in airports, rental car lineups, and the duration of our flights. All are completely comfortable in any airport security-monitoring situation, and have visited many countries to date. Traveling to them is second nature, and the only downfall is having completed so much of it over the past few years, ultimately if given a choice, they would gladly prefer to remain at home, unless it’s a family reunion we are flying to. (smile)

Independant travelers

Woven within these same years, I am just the opposite of my children and have discovered how much I love to travel, becoming an “adventure seeker” eager to take a road trip or flight whenever possible. It was not always this way though, as for most of my life, I hated to partake in most travel due to small children and many commitments at home. The only exception became many memorable summers taking the children to the beach for a wee vacation not too far from home, or on road trips to visit a few family members not too far away. As a homeschooling family, making plans to travel is simple; books come with us when necessary. A flight across the country is plenty of time to complete any lessons for the day, and still have time leftover for a few rounds of a gameboy game. hee hee

Last month I took our youngest daughter west to meet our newest grandchild, though I refrained from mentioning in my post "Up, Up and Away", that while I was away, my husband contracted a serious bout of pneumonia and could not get out of bed. The trip was ultra quick, worrisome, and created enormous emotional distress for our entire family, especially after I realized how I was facing the crisis from far away, and I just had to get home fast. Not only that, I didn’t have a ride from the airport quite a distance away and luckily was able to rent a vehicle, having to plow it through a blinding snowstorm all the way home. I was “carried” believe me. In addition, my husband was eventually on the mend, thank goodness!

There was still much left undone for me to tend to in the west, many family members and appointed tasks awaited my arrival, again! It was a difficult trip to decide upon, but my husband wished for me to complete the travel in due timing, at least as soon as he felt better again. I had no doubt he was on the mend, practically pushing me out the door to get this last trip complete in the All was accomplished this time around, at least all the intricate details that were most important and red flagged on my priority list.

I was able to return west once he became better; a trip with both boys escorting me this time around, and a whirlwind of a visit ensued. One week is just not long enough anymore, so in the future it will have to be a little longer as the time rushes by and often people are not informed of our arrival mostly because there is not enough time to meet or visit with everyone each time. I am sorry if I did not contact you while I was there, it was just no possible this time around.

Our flights this trip took us another route, and one of the planes was much smaller. We had full view of the propellers, and also the wheel system for landing. Our younger son took much delight in observing everything from his excellent window seat, while I grabbed the camera and took a few fun photos was our birds eye view.

It was snowing up there, and
the ride was very bumpy indeed!

Something else I have also not yet ever mentioned on this blog before, is the seriousness of a health issue which much of our travel happens to surround while maintaining specialist doctors both in the west and also now in the east and one in another country.

My husband suffers from a very rare lung disease, so rare that only five other known cases are in the medical books in the past decade (my husband was one of those). He will eventually require a double lung transplant, and thus far has surpassed the predicted initial timing by over four years.

My hubby is in touch and registered with several hospitals due to our move here, and we are in the process of choosing the best path for the future with the best doctors available for the assistance in the lung disease at hand. It’s name is so rare, the Mayo clinic responded to a letter I wrote to them several years ago and their conclusion was they cannot assist unless a transplant is imminent. It's very frustrating as even I know more about the lung disease from experiences with my husband than they have documented on their website.

So, we travel often because it is necessary.

We find adventure to distract us on our journey forward, and we delight in all blessings pouring forth day to day.

We attempt to remain in a positive state of mind, and trust God in all things as the road ahead becomes more and more difficult as health issues unfold, for ultimately, he has already ordained this life and he is our captain.

If you think of my husband, your prayers for him and our family would be most appreciated at all times. It’s been a tough walk already, and we area well aware that even a tougher one lies ahead, thus our verse on the right side bar as well…

We’ve been visiting the blog titled; “Confessions of a CF Husband”, where a young couple named Nate and Trish are facing similar lung transplant health issues. You can read the introduction about their plight HERE and watch this video HERE (you’ll need a tissue), and check their BLOG daily HERE. We ask you to keep them in your prayer petitions, as I can tell you it’s not an easy road for anyone facing this life altering health decision, not having an alternative for any other medical option. I found it wonderful to note they too adopted the very same bible verse as us to comfort them. Yeah!

On another note, I will keep posting a bit more of our trip west as I find time here over the next few days. Won’t you please come back and visit again; the tea will be steeped with a pretty cup and saucer filled with the brew waiting for you when you arrive. (wink)