Still in nice comfy America

My view at this moment

My view at this moment

Yes, I’m still here in America, where a moderately priced hotel lobby looks like this. (Yes, that really IS leopard print carpet.)  Where people expect to be comfortable and fed and provided with fast wireless internet. Sometimes they OK, I — even call the desk to ask what’s up, if, say, the internet doesn’t seem to support more than two pages loading at the same time. Spoiled me in my comfy little world.

But back to the travel story. The flight to DC was 3-1/2 hours, I think, right over lunch time. The only meal offered was a wrap type sandwich — for $9. Made me glad I’d grabbed the pizza. The plane managed to make good time, getting us to DC right on time. The plane de-boarded in a snail-like way. I was way at the back, and kept looking at my watch. My next flight was scheduled to board in 10 minutes. I was hoping the United ticket agent had been right about the closeness of the next gate.

Once freed, I dashed off the plane and was glad to see that my gate was only a few hundred yards away. I got there as people were standing to get in line to board. And onto that plane I went. The flight from DC to Miami was just under 3 hours. I thoroughly enjoyed my daughter’s ipod, onto which my son had downloaded the newest song by Shaun Groves.  (You can get it for free on Tuesday– I’ll tell you how.) Great song. I had to listen to it a bunch of times. I’m trying to decide if I’m brave enough to ask him to sing sometime this week after all the bloggers meet up. 

I also found myself lingering over the song “These Small Hours” from the movie Meet the Robinsons that I watched with my family on Friday evening. The words made me think of the way that I want to experience this trip, to be totally in the moment, however it unfolds, whatever I am experiencing.

Our lives are made in these small hours,
these little wonders, these twists and turns of fate
Time falls away, but these small hours,
These small hours still remain.

On the flight from DC to Miami, I happened to sit next to a little Asian girl who was probably 10. Her folks were a couple aisles back, and her dad called up to her a couple times, to make sure she was doing OK. She reassured him that she was fine but was full of reserve, reading Huckleberry Finn and clutching a teddy bear.

I felt sorry that she couldn’t sit with her folks, so I made small attempts at conversation during the trip, to which she politely gave brief answers and timid smiles, obviously not so comfortable with speaking with the strange lady. As the flight wore on and night came on, her head bobbed repeatedly until finally she tilted my way and I leaned my shoulder in to receive her sagging little self.

She slept for half an hour or so while I sat flipping through songs on the ipod, missing my own kids, and gaining comfort in the feel of her resting against me. I guessed she’d be embarrassed to awaken and realize she’d been sleeping on me. As I felt her stirring to awaken, I pretended to be asleep myself, not opening my eyes until a few minutes after she had hastily straightened herself and pulled her reserve back around her.

These small hours. I want to grasp them all.

Once off the plane, I grabbed my luggage and headed for the curb to wait for my shuttle to the hotel. All my flights had been short ones, but I had logged 13 hours either on planes or in the airport today, and suddenly realized I was weary.

The view last night

The view last night

The hotel was comfortable. My room had a lovely 10th floor view of Miami city lights, complete with palm trees that tickled my lil’ Idaho heart. Even more delightful was the fact that Skype worked beautifully. I was able to have a nice chat with my family, complete with video. However when the 3 year old asked if I was coming home tonight, I realized that perhaps we’d glossed over the length of time that I will be gone. Drat.

I slept late this morning — an unaccustomed luxury– and checked out at 12. Now I’m blogging in the lobby and thinking that soon it will be time to head off to the airport to meet the other bloggers.

4 pm is our meeting time.

Our flight out is at 5:50.

Dominican Republic, here we come.

Whether we’re ready or not.

{ 9 Comments }

  1. That was so sweet. I’m glad the little girl got to sit beside you. You were probably the next best thing after her parents.

  2. I’ll be following along, and I’ll post about this on my blog. My family and I are sponsoring a child as a direct result of the Uganda Bloggers trip. My prayers are with you. I hope that huge numbers of kids are sponsored. I’d love to be a Compassion blogger someday!

  3. Saying a prayer for you and your trip. May you and those you meet be blessed.

  4. Oh Mary I don’t know if you could be any sweeter. Thinking of you!

    Steph

  5. I am a fairly new reader who is thinking of you and praying for you. I’ll say a prayer for your family at home as well. Looking forward to your first post from “there”. God bless!

  6. I wish I was on my way to the DR right now!! But the next best thing is “being there” through your blog! Have an amazing time.

    I know October is over but I’ve posted the finale to my love story. Here it is:
    http://bringing-baby-home.blogspot.com/2008/11/day-we-met-part-vi.html

    And here’s his side of the story:
    http://bringing-baby-home.blogspot.com/2008/11/day-we-met-from-his-perspective.html

  7. If you have your husband fill a little jar with Hershey’s kisses or the like-one for each day you’re gone-your little one will have a very good idea of ‘how much longer’ until you’re home. It always helped during deployments back in the day my husband was in the military and gone, or now when he’s away on business.

  8. Awwww….love the story about the little girl falling asleep on your shoulder. So sweet. 😉

  9. why wouldn’t one of the parents sit where the girl was so she could sit with the other parent? especially a shy girl that was probably a little afraid of flying anyway. At least she had a nice seat mate to keep her company. 🙂