"To get away from one's working environment is, in a sense,
to get away from one's self;
and this is often the chief advantage of travel and change. "
Charles Horton Cooley
I just got back from a whirlwind trip to the other side of the country to visit my daughter. Actually it was more than just a visit. It was an opportunity to witness the dynamic, awesome transformation of the girl I once knew into a woman capable of setting a goal and crossing the finish line with vigor and grace. The growing has been happening for years, I just haven't been around to watch. In my mind's eye Weneki is often still that
little brown eyed, chubby-cheeked baby I held in my arms. In reality she is an athletic beauty to behold.
At the beginning of the year Weneki set before herself two major goals. First of all she returned to college for a nine-month course that proved to be daunting but not un-doable. Second, she began training for the 1st annual Trek Women's Triathlon. More on that later. It deserves a whole post in itself. It was an inspiring day for me on many fronts.
I flew home on the red-eye flight. I hit the ground running as soon as I entered the house. Dad had breakfast to eat and there was a little sparring to be done which I'm sure was just his way of welcoming me home. Yeh, right! I've got the third load of laundry in the washing machine and dishes to be put back on the shelves. For now I'll just list some of the highlights of a delightful weekend.
- Finding out that when the airline says that you can have one bag and one carry-on, what they really mean is you have to lug the bag on the plane with you or you have to pay $20.00. I sent up my first prayer of the trip. One of thanksgiving that I had packed light ... for me.
- Finding out that the gate my plane taxied into at 8:20 am was across the airport from where my connecting flight was due to leave at 8:30 am.
- Discovering that they don't call it "bullet" train for nothing. Hold on, said the canned voice from some overhead speaker. What should have been said was "hold on tight." I know this because as soon as the train shot forward so did I. The only thing that stopped me from propelling towards the front of the train at the speed of light was the man in front of me. Still, I almost ended ass over suitcase. I knew to hold a little tighter, plant my feet and lock my knees when told of the upcoming stop. Like an example of some law of physics, when the train stopped, the man in front of me was thrown backwards almost knocking me off my feet one more time. I guess turn-about is fair play!
- Hearing the man beside me snoring so loud he woke himself up then tried to act like it wasn't him!
- Being greeted by two of my favorite people in the whole world and knowing the adventure had begun.
- Remembering what it's like to ride up hill and down with a girl also known as Rolling Thunder.
- Holding and feeding 5 week old babies and knowing that God knew what he was doing when he created babies. The only flaw is that they don't sleep much!
- Re-connecting with a good friend.
- Filling up my senses at Pike's Market. French bread. Fresh vegetables. Flowers everywhere. Giant lobster tails. Lavender. Jewelry of every sort.
- Getting up at 5 am to get to the race site in plenty of time.
- Hearing the girl who was lost in thought and nerves one minute, laugh and chat with other competitors the next.
- Seeing the goosebumps on Weneki's shoulders as she waited for her wave to hit the water. Being there with her cadre of cheerleaders at each point of the race cheering her on. Smiling at the fact that she was smiling.
- Seeing women of all shapes and sizes and ages cross the finish line. Seeing tattoos where breasts used to be. Seeing a young boy join his mother as she came down the home stretch.
- Watching my daughter become a champion as Van Gelis played on the loud speakers.
- Walking around a city that scares me because of its size yet calls to me because of its energy. Soaking up the cool temperatures. Catching a slight whiff of autumn in the air.
- Laughing. Crying. Saying goodbye.
- Falling asleep somewhere over Montana and waking up in Atlanta ... almost home except for the fact that might flight was cancelled and I had to wait an hour and a half for the next plane.
- Standing on the sidewalk and watching as Sweetie pulled up to the curb. Feeling oh so glad I went and oh so glad to be home again.
Wishing for you a place to visit and a home to return to,