It was a week ago tonight that I was writing my last post as I sat in Kevin and Angie's family room and they watched a football game. This week has gone so quickly, since I've been back home.
My Facebook status update after I arrived at Kev and Angie's house on Thursday night:
The enormous full moon sitting on the snow-topped mountains, as I looked in my rear view mirror on the way to the airport was the highlight of the trip. It was downhill from there.
- there was no seat assignment for me
- when I got a seat, it was window - I am only comfortable on the aisle
- lady in front of me decided to put her seat back in my lap, which doesn't help the claustrophobia
- my injured foot was killing me by the end of the flight - must have been tied too tight and it swelled
- just enough time in Detroit to grab a bagel
- from Detroit to Manchester, NH was on a "mini plane" with mini seats, mini aisles, and a mini rest room
- driving 2 hours in pouring rain in the dark in unfamiliar territory a bit unnerving (thank the Lord for the person who invented the GPS!)
SO GLAD to be here - Angie had a lovely pot roast dinner waiting.
Friday morning, Kevin and I went to a cute little old-fashioned diner for breakfast after Angie went to work. He needed to study for a major test in his statistics class the next day, so I headed over to visit my dear blogging buddy, Groovy. We had a too-short, but sweet, visit, and it ended with an introduction to her newest family members --
When I got back to Kev's house, I discovered that he had not been studying after all - he'd fallen asleep and had a wonderful long nap (which he must have really needed). So I relaxed all afternoon, reading a good book, while he struggled with studying for his exam. By the sound of his struggling, I was really nervous about how he was going to do. I was praying for him to have peace of mind, and clarity.
Late in the afternoon, we headed over to Augusta and picked up Angie from work, heading for the annual Teen Challenge Harvest Banquet - which was the great excuse I used for going out for this visit. The banquet is always held in the house that used to be the governor's mansion. It is a lovely place for such an event.
Kevin was asked to be the first on the program. He was able to give a bit of his testimony, which is always such a thrill for me.
We met this young man sitting next to Kevin when we were out there in July. He has had his struggles, as all of these young men do during the program, but I have faith that he's going to persevere and make it to the end this time. He's a lot of fun, and he and Kev have a similar sense of humor, which makes them fun to watch in their interactions.Kevin and Angie were enjoying their time together.There is a young man who is staying at the Teen Challenge house with the guys. He is an amazingly gifted artist with wood. I wish I had taken pictures of some of his things. He set up his wares at the banquet and contributed 20% of his sales to the program. I bought one of the adorable snowmen for my collection. I wish I had his web address so I could send you over there to look at his things. He is so very talented. Unfortunately, the right "arm" broke on the way home, so Dwight is working on getting it fixed. It may involve finding another stick. I was so sad when I opened it after I got home and realized that I hadn't taken sufficient care of it. It's very hard to carry something so fragile and keep it safe on such a long day's trip.Saturday we left the house bright and early, because Kev's exam began at 8:30, and the university is in Portland, an hour away from their house. He was a nervous mess. Angie and I went along for the ride, and waited in the car in the parking lot. We had planned to do some running around, but it was a cold, breezy morning and that didn't sound very inviting. He thought the exam would take him 2 hours, but after an hour and a quarter, he kind of bounced out of the building with a smile on his face and a thumbs up - he felt really good about how he'd done. He called today to tell me had scored a 93%!
We headed for brunch at a little cafe in downtown Portland. It's very popular, and required quite a long wait for a table. But we weren't in any hurry and enjoyed visiting and people watching while we waited. The parking situation was pretty grim, and I was so amused and confused by these signs!
The time sped by much too quickly, and before long it was Sunday morning and time to re-pack everything so that I could head for the airport in Manchester, NH, right after church and a quick lunch. Kev and Angie are working on getting acquainted and involved at their new church.
The drive back to the airport was much easier when it was daylight and not raining. I left at noon so that I'd have plenty of time to get the rental car turned in, find my way to my gate, and not be in a rush. It was hard to find good music to accompany my trip, but I did manage to find a Christian station out of North Carolina that played old, old, old music, old, old music, and old music. It was the kind of songs that brought back many good memories - many of the ones that Dwight and I used to sing in church as duets.
I have to say that the only thing about Maine that I really dislike is the ridiculous abundance of toll booths! They get you coming and going, over and over again. It can add up very quickly. (Of course, I've never been there in the winter, so that might be the other thing I would dislike).
I had plenty of time before my 4:13 flight, and enjoyed the peacefulness of the small airport - it was amazingly empty that day, and it was so nice compared to most airports. When we boarded the puddle jumper for the first leg of the journey home, I was happy to have a seat to myself - there was only one seat in each row on the left side of the plane, and two on the right. I wondered how this could be balanced! The one and only flight attendant was a guy at least my age, hopefully older, since he looked like he was in his 70s. I remember when I was young and used to think it would be fun and glamorous to be a "stewardess." That was before I realized they were basically waitresses in cramped, uncomfortable conditions, high in the sky. I was too tall in those days. Now you can be old, young, man, woman, tall, short, fat, thin.
The flight to Newark was uneventful. I must say that the Newark airport is my least favorite ever. This was my second time there, and perhaps my last, if I'm lucky. From the very serene and peaceful situation in Manchester, I couldn't believe how crowded the waiting area was when we got off the plane.
I was happy to have a couple of hours to maneuver the change of concourses, and time to eat in the Food Court. It was like a little United Nations in the Food Court - interesting to watch and listen. I have to say it's much easier to read when the conversation around you is a language you don't understand. I wasn't so excited to get to my gate and find out there was a minor delay, which turned into a much more lengthy delay. I finally learned that the plane we were to leave on was coming in from Jamaica, and had been held up in Customs for some reason. We finally boarded at 9:30 p.m. for a 4 1/2 hour flight against a head wind from the west. It was a crowded flight, but I was thankful for the aisle seat this time. We landed finally at around midnight Denver time. By the time I got to the shuttle but, to my car, and finally home, it was 2:00 a.m. It took me the better part of this past week to feel back to normal.
I know several things for sure:
- I missed my traveling buddy - it's not as much fun alone.
- I will always check luggage - it's worth the price. Especially when I'm alone.
- I will never fly anything but Frontier or Southwest again - preferably Southwest, because baggage flies free! And because they have a sense of humor, nicer planes, and generally a better attitude toward those of us who pay their salary.
Have a wonderful week as you look forward to Thanksgiving Day and ponder the many things to be thankful for.
- I missed my traveling buddy - it's not as much fun alone.