A Long Flight

The transition from New Zealand to Chicago feels more tedious than ever. Crammed in my window seat, tossing and turning, snoozing and waking, checking the flight map again and again. I enjoyed a movie, had one of the best airline meals ever, read, and finally prepped myself for sleep. I was confined to one seat (I had two on the one way over and slept so well) and pulled out my homemade pillow case, which I discovered en route keeps the airline pillow from slipping away iso easily. I was ready.

And I did sleep, maybe off and on for four hours, changing position whenever a body part ached. After awhile I turned on my Kindle and read, dozing off frequently, waking again, reading again etc. The windows are dark in spite of the fact that it is around noon current time and I can see the sun high in the sky. (They are also warm, approaching hot, which I never noticed before.) I checked the Flight map and saw that we were approaching Mexico, but an “hour” later, we were still approaching Mexico.

The lights in the cabin are still dark so I don’t want to bother anyone else, limited to my devices and the screen in front of me. Even that seems intrusive.

I didn’t even want to take this trip. I had such a lovely time in New Zealand that going home was not on my wish list. I think we were all ready for me to leave, but I would have preferred a Granny Pod in their back yard or a small house within walking distance. I woke up most mornings to one. two or three of these cuties in my bed.

Saying goodbye to little Whit—knowing that the earliest I will see him is seven months or more and I will never get to hold him as a newborn—was hard. Theo “blocked” the door of my room with two hoola hoops and announced that I wasn’t allowed to leave. Later he decided he would “tum” (come) with me. The girls are used to the routine of grandparents coming and going and maybe glad that I wouldn’t be competing with them to hold Whit. He will be well loved.

I will also miss the quality time I had with Anne on this trip. Between James’ work schedule and weekly trips to the chiropractor (plus a bit of shopping in town and ALWAYS lunch at a cafe) we had more time than usual just to talk one on one. My love language (quality time) was amply supplied.

Weekly surf lessons provided three beach trips. Swimming lessons added town trips. Dates with the kids were three more chances to enjoy One Road ice cream, plus one last stop before boarding my ride to the airport.

Tirau is a small town lined with cafes, small shops, and crazy corrugated metal signs and structures. The Community Church, just a block from the manse where they live, has grown considerably since I first visited, bursting with youth, but well-mixed with lovely older people as well. I enjoyed getting to know some of them better.

The lights are coming up in the cabin. People are stirring. The Flight Map shows us approaching Texas and tells me I’m less than three hours from Chicago. I’m not ready to go home, but I am anxious for this trip to end.

Maybe that’s the point.

7 thoughts on “A Long Flight

  1. Ready but not ready–I can empathize with that. The beauty of staying longer is experiencing your family in their normal routine, and that’s something you can then imagine when you’re back home. So glad you had quality time and filled up your tank 🙂

  2. Readjusting to life back home and apart from Annie and family is gonna be hard for sure! I hope reconnecting virtually helps ease the ache a bit until you can return.

  3. Glad you’re back safe and sound. How’s your oldest doing in a smaller home and without some of the amenities?

  4. Welcome back! Kids are just gorgeous!!! What’s not to love? Sounds like an amazing time. Hope rentry is gentle!!💕🙏💕

  5. Enjoying connecting with you through this. My heart goes out to you with all of the grand child references. They are SO the best (at these ages for sure as my 7 are also “distanced” and are all 8 yo to newborn). Thankful for technology and its ability to keep us connected … and this connection to you! (Say “hi” to John for me, too.)
    Thought you might like my latest grand child cross stitch but it doesn’t seem to want to post here.

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