After seven, relatively uneventful, take-offs and landings I have come up one short of the required eight to get home. I’m overnighting in Denver, tantalizingly close to home. After two+ weeks of summer heat by travel in undone by winter snows in the great state of Montana.
It’s 2:30am, my body thinks its around noon and is hungry and eager to be active. I’m grateful for the few hours sleep I did get and the very long hot shower, a first in the same 2+ weeks. My feet ache slightly from the 71 or so miles we walked on this trip, and my back side is a bit terse with me about the 40 hours of airplanes and airport chairs it has so far endured.
My companions, whom I parted ways with in Brussels, are now tantalizingly close again. They have been put up in a hotel across the parking lot from mine after failing to make there connection home after mechanical troubles in Chicago. So here we are. Three people who have spent the better part of three weeks not separated by more than a few yards, each in our own room, with our own bed, our own tv, our own space. Though, I imagine none of us will be putting it to good use.
I can’t really reflect on the trip as a whole yet. I did spend the better part of one flight yesterday reviewing all the pictures I took on the trip though, while the memories are still fresh. Perhaps to help it set in my brain a bit before the everyday world I inhabit when I am not playing globe trotting pastor starts to film it over. It was a mix of highs and lows, but mostly highs. It was also a mix of great hope and great despair, though mostly hope.
I am am excited at the notion of seeing my kids again and holding my wife in my arms. They have been the foundation that has let me savor this experience without to much worry about what my absence is causing at home. Perhaps that is the true measure of things, relationship wise, not the time you are together but the time you are apart. I’m a much better person because of my wife. She makes things possible in me that otherwise I’m certain could not happen. Even a continent or two away she works her magic on me. I’m undyingly grateful to her for all of this.
In a couple hours I will head back to the airport unnecessarily early. I’m taking not risks on this. Though, one would think the lead off flight with Angola Air in a rat trap 737 would have been the risky part. Yet, I take nothing for granted. If things go well my son and I will still make the pinewood derby races at noon (his first!) and we will have the afternoon together as a family.
Thank you to all those that supported us on this little adventure. I think we have accomplished much, and we are bringing back much to share. Thank you for your prayers, they have been heard and answered. If something had to go wrong, this is about the mildest form of ‘wrong’ I can think of when you consider where we have been and what we have done.
God bless you all!