Friday, February 29, 2008

an adventure begins

We all rose early and left the house at 5 a.m. My family dropped me off at the airport, and I left the desert to fly to Seattle. I've flown into Portland several times, and it was my destination today, but AlaskaAir's flight schedule did not have a direct flight to Portland today. The flight was lovely, with lots of snowy mountains below. And flying into Seattle is far more beautiful than flying into Portland--views of the Olympics, the ferryboats on Puget Sound, Mt. Rainier, and the Cascade Mountains.

My seat was next to the window. On my right was a young Asian man, focused on his laptop and his Ipod. Next to him was a young blonde guy, also focused on his laptop and Ipod. As I also used these two items during the flight, I felt part of the young hip technological crowd. The two young guys fell asleep on their laptops and I envied their ability to sleep on an airplane. When we landed in Seattle, the blonde guy called someone on his cell phone; someone who was going to be meeting him at the airport. He kept saying, "Just look for the guy in a camo jacket wearing combat boots and carrying a violin." This was such an odd combination, but I was puzzled when he ended the conversation with "See you in a few minutes, Mom." Why wasn't his mom going to recognize him?

In the row behind me sat a woman carrying a dog. It was securely zipped into a soft carrier, but I heard it occasionally. Next to the dog-carrying woman was a very young woman, eighteen at the oldest, who had been wearing quite a lot of mascara but most of it was now on her skin because she had been crying. Apparently she was flying standby and almost didn't get to board the plane. I heard her repeat over and over, "I just want to get home to see my baby; he's 2 months old. They almost didn't let me on the plane. I just want to see my baby." Of course I don't know the rest of the story, but it was heartbreaking to listen to her. She seemed to strike up a conversation with the dog lady who helped calm her down a little. I've been praying for her today, and for her baby son.

My best friend's mother in law picked me up at the Seattle airport and we met my best friend in Tacoma. We carpooled with several other ladies to Portland for a women's retreat hosted by my best friend's church. A retreat seemed the best way to fuel up for what promises to be a rather draining week.

We're staying at a Marriott Residence Inn. I attended the first session of the women's retreat tonight. My mind drifted in and out, worrying about interacting with my dad this week, and hearing some of the speaker's words. The theme this week is Identity.

It is refreshing to be with my best friend....we've walked together through so many life experiences, living several states apart most of the last twenty years, but retaining our close friendship.

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