Once I was in the ticket line, Dave put my suitcase down beside me, quickly hugged me, kissed my cheek, and said, “Good-bye.” I thanked him for everything and he left. There I was in the huge Orlando airport, surrounded by strangers, with no clue where to go or what to do next. I felt so alone! But, thankfully, I didn’t have to think about it very long. The ticket agent called, “next,” and that was me.
Picking up my suitcase, I went to the counter where I attempted to lift it onto the scale; the agent had to do it for me. Everything was taken care of in a few minutes and he gave me instructions as to where to go from here. It went something like this: “Turn left, then right, then you’ll go through security, then find a sign that says Gate 60 to 99 and wait for a tram.” Somehow, I managed it. I’m not sure I’ll ever understand how. I have to believe my guardian angel was with me, guiding me all the way. Before I knew it, I was standing at Gate 97, which was exactly where I was supposed to be.
When I was allowed to board the plane, about thirty minutes before scheduled take-off, I found my seat, put my carry-on into the overhead compartment, sat down and breathed a sigh of relief! Then I took my cell phone out of my purse, called my husband and let him know I was on the plane and would see him in a couple of hours. Whew!
My seat mate was a sweet young girl who happened to be a student at Marshall College in Huntington. She was returning from spring break, which she’d spent in Orlando. She was very friendly and we talked, making the trip go faster and my anxiety less severe.
In fact, at one point, looking out at the clouds gave me a peaceful feeling, and there was no fear at all. I thought about my visit with Carol. It was special, indeed. She and her family had treated me very well. Her friend, Dave, did, too. He repaired the broken heel on my shoe, took me to and from the airport, and cooked a special dinner for us on Sunday. I was very appreciative!
When I felt the plane gradually losing altitude, I knew we were getting close to landing. Looking out the window, I could see houses and other objects below that weren’t visible a few minutes ago. Then the captain said, “We'll be landing in Charleston in about seven minutes. Hope you’ve had a nice flight.” It was exciting to be coming home!
It took too long to get off the plane. I knew my husband was waiting and I couldn’t wait to see him and the rest of my family.
Funny thing about traveling. For me, at least. No matter where I go or how long or short the stay, it feels wonderful to return to my home and family! Carol’s house is beautiful and I was treated like royalty. I had a wonderful time, but I'm always drawn back to where I belong.
Why do you suppose that, after being away for a few days, home seems so much sweeter? My 45 year old domicile is looking "lived in" and "grandchild marred" in every room. It could use a lot of fixing up, but when I return from a trip, it is the most beautiful place I've ever seen! It's mine and it's "me" – my mess and my personality. And I love it!
Carol sent an 8 X 10 album of the pictures she took, and I’ve made a video to send her. We have beautiful memories – enough to last a lifetime. I’m grateful for that, but, to quote a well-known American proverb, “There’s no place like home!”
No more trips for me for a while!
No more trips for me for a while!