Off to Iceland, Unmoored and Rootless

After months of anticipation and preparation, I found myself anxious and excited to meet my classmates at school and carpool to Toronto for our flight. Arriving at our gate, five hours of driving behind us, five hours of flying ahead of us, I started to get to know my classmates. Work was already far from my mind. My youngest child was in safe hands. I felt a rare sense of freedom…I was unmoored and ready to grow. Arriving in Reykjavik at 6:22 a.m. (2:22 a.m. back home), we piled into two vans and took off for our hostel. I never got to do a year or even a semester abroad when I was in engineering school. Now was my chance to experience life abroad as a student.

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After settling in to the hostel, with strict instructions not to nap, we changed into many layers of clothing, piled back into the vans, and drove halfway back to the airport. We were at our first site. Our mission was to observe. I pulled out my waterproof field-book and a mechanical pencil and looked around. The landscape was alien…so alien that filmmakers often use it as a backdrop in movies that take place on Mars and other extra-terrestrial places.

I sketched the outcrop in front of me…I saw a dark band of basalt heaved up over red rock. I moved closer and looked at the rocks. I was clueless. I looked aroIMG_2185und and saw that classmates were climbing up the rocks. I took a deep breath and started climbing. I mostly looked at my feet…the way was steep and the footing unstable. I nervously climbed higher and higher. A new classmate reached out a hand to steady me. I accepted, feeling part grateful and part pitifu
l. Eventually, I could look back and see a circular depression…a volcano crater! Or so I thought…

One thing that I needed to learn was how to be safe. I flashed back to the first time I was in Colorado taking skiing lessons. Three times on one downhill run, I almost died. I was out of control. After the third time, I finally internalized the lesson
that it did not matter how slowly I descended the mountain as long as I was in control. I thought of that often every day I was in Iceland.

Rootless ConesMeanwhile, some of my classmates had wandered much farther afield. The landscape was full of many similar structures and they were off in the distance examining them. I continued to observe. I wrote a lot of random things in my notebook. I did not feel very scientific…I couldn’t organize my observations or my thoughts. Eventually we gathered and our professor gave us some insight into the site. It turned out that we were observing a cluster of rootless cones.

Even though I’d been up for over 32 hours, I felt energized. I couldn’t believe that I was in Iceland. I had eleven more days of traveling with my class, holing up in the hostel at night, working with my two undergraduate teammates by day, exploring volcanoes, glaciers, waterfalls, and everything else that I could absorb along the way.

Find the Joy in the Journey…and what an amazing journey it is!

Gearing Up for Iceland

I’ve already purchased the most important parts of my gear for my upcoming trip to Iceland…hiking boots, socks, and my geologic field book. I’ll wear the boots every day, hiking around volcanos, geothermal pools, and fault lines. The socks are also key. I got the best, warm socks with no seams which are knit to conform to your foot. The notebook was prescribed…a waterproof, bound book with geologic references in the back. Next up? Layers.

I bought my boots at REI. I don’t know what it is about them that drew me there, but I couldn’t even think of another place to go. Once there, I was surprised to learn that they are a co-op and that membership of $20 (which goes to local trails) gives you entrée to discounts and more. In my first trip, I got my boots, socks, and water shoes. The water shoes will be nice for the hostel shower, but I really bought them for fording streams (don’t you just love the adventure in those words?).

My second trip, I was in search of rain gear…my outer layer. The weather will be between 30 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. I will need to go out for the day with clothing that protects me from rain and snow and sun. I could head out in a snow squall, spend hours making observations in the rain, and then find myself at a geothermal pool ready to swim. The sun will be up for 20 hours and in twilight-mode for the other four hours. What to wear, what to wear!

The helpful folks at REI helped me find a rain jacket and rain pants. For some reason, the woman helping me thought I was going to Iceland with my husband, despite my correcting her multiple times. I told her I was traveling there with a class. Finally, she got it and apologized. Then she told the next associate that “the teacher” needed help finding a waterproof pen. I let that one slide. Yes, I am a 52 year old student…being mistaken for a teacher is an honor!

In the end, I chose the low-end products for my outer layer. You can spend a fortune on this stuff, but I’ll only need it for a couple of weeks. I need to buy bigger sizes so that I can wear a light jacket and pants over at least two other layers for warmth. When the associates tried to get me to buy other layers, I demurred. I have tons of running gear and I’m pretty sure that I can fill my suitcase with my winter running tights, running jackets and long-sleeved T’s. I don’t need backpacking-specific clothes when I already have similar gear for running.Buff

I did succumb to something called a “Buff”. This turned out to be $20 for $5 dollar worth of fabric. I bought into the concept of a lightweight loop of fabric that I could wear around my neck and use to warm my neck, face, and/or head just by shifting the fabric.

In the end, it’s not about fashion. It’s about flexibility. I’m not ready to pack yet, but I am thinking ahead to when I will. I need a few new things…hopefully things I can continue to use after my trip. In the meantime…

Find the Joy in the Journey…and remember, you can’t go wrong with layers!

 

 

These Boots Are Made For Hiking…

I’m the poster child for late bloomers…but I like to think of myself as a perennial. I go through cycles of blooming and live to bloom another day. I bloomed a couple of years ago with my long-distance running. That’s not to say I won any awards (ok, ok, I did come in second in a small 10k), but I did run four half-marathons and live to tell the tale.

My latest blooming, or rather struggling to dig my roots in and raise my leaves to the sun, is to go back to school at night for a masters in environmental science. If I were going to college now, I would pick it as an undergraduate, but back when I went to college it really wasn’t an option. No worries…I believe in reinventing myself at every age.

I started my new degree a little over a year ago. I took a groundwater modeling class just because it was the only class offered in my degree. Last Fall, I took a course in restoration ecology and fulfilled one of two prerequisites, geology. Now I’m taking environmental communications and environmental chemistry. It’s more of a struggle than I would like to admit…

In all of this, though, is a wonderful adventure…the other prerequisite that I need is a field course. So, I’m going to Iceland. Yes, pity poor me, I “have” to go to Iceland! I will study the geology of volcanoes and glaciers in the place where the earth is visibly tearing apart. I will hike up volcanoes, ford streams, swim in geothermal pools, and sketch land forms into a notebook as the wind and sleet assail me.

The first thing I’ve done to prepare myself physically, is to buy my first pair of hiking boots. Off I went to REI…I joined the team as a member…which means $20 to be used to support local trail systems. I bought my first pair of hiking boots, and a pair of water shoes…for those times when I need to ford a stream. I bought hiking socks too. My premise is that if my feet are happy, I will do well.

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Back home, I put on my socks and boots and went for a “hike” around the neighborhood to break in my boots. Three miles later, I felt as if I’d made little progress in breaking in my boots. The next morning, however, I felt differently. I had shin splints. My calves, and various and sundry other muscles, were inexplicably sore. I had expected to get blisters as part of the breaking-in process, but apparently it wasn’t really the boots that needed to “break in”, but my own body that needs to prepare for my trip.

I woke up sore today, but after work I put my hiking boots on and headed out for a walk. This time I only went two miles, but I felt as if I were wearing ski boots. Each step felt heavy and filled with import.

Now my boots are five miles into breaking in…and so is my body! I can easily walk, or even run a few miles with no negative effects, but hiking must be a different experience all together. Good thing I am starting two months in advance to prepare my body for my next, big adventure!

Find the Joy in the Journey…and never stop finding new journeys!

 

Thanks For Gold Elite Status–Mi Tocaya

Early in my career, I tried to learn Spanish. I got pretty confused with French words, which I hadn’t realized I’d known, popping into my head instead of the Spanish as I tried to converse with a classmate…she had the same trouble with Italian. Oddly, we were having quite a conversation with full comprehension until the instructor overheard us and got annoyed.

I learned the rudiments of Spanish and still remember some of it more than 20 years later. One word that I learned from my Columbian instructor, which I found so novel that I’ve saved it in the back of my brain for just such a time as this, is tocayo…tocaya for the feminine. It is a word that is used to indicate that another person shares your first name.

For years now, I’ve lived a half-mile away from a woman with not only my same first name, but also my same last name. I’ve gotten her mail, gotten her vote (she got mine, not to worry), and been confused for her at the bank, pharmacy, and even doctor’s office. Once, the electric company combined our accounts thereby putting my Social Security number on her account. I met her one time at the polls where we were standing next to each other in line. I’ve not seen her since, although we go to the same church and obviously shop in a lot of the same places.

Altogether it has been something of an annoyance to have this particular tocaya. The other day, however, I got Gold Elite status at Marriott. It seems that she forgot her rewards number and when she called to find out what it was, she was given mine. I called Marriott a couple of years ago when I started to get e-mail reminders of “my” upcoming stays. Other than securing my account with a PIN and removing my credit card information, there was nothing else they could suggest. They did not offer to call the other Laura and inform her of the mistake.image

Meanwhile, she does quite a bit of traveling and all of her rewards points flow into my account where they are automatically converted to frequent flier miles. And now I’m Gold Elite. I feel like planning a trip to take advantage of the perks of Gold Elite, whatever they may be. Upon investigation, the perks are room upgrade, lounge access, and internet upgrade. There are a few others that are probably not useful to me like discounted long-distance and fax.

As you can see from the photo, this perk only lasts until the end of the year, so I need to plan fast! Alas, my problem is my child…not a problem child, just that I am tied to home lately. I used to travel for business, where I would inevitably stay at a Marriott property since it is a preferred provider to my company. I used to be Gold Elite on a regular basis…not any more. Now, I have a 14 year old daughter and no back-up plan for child, or shall I say, teenager care. I don’t mind asking if she can spend a night or two at a friend’s, but when I travel I like to go far and wide and stay a week or two.

I’d love to return to Quito or Dublin, or (oh yes!) Paris…but if I have to wait a few years while my daughter grows up, so be it. I can dream in the meanwhile.

Find the Joy in the Journey…and the pleasure in dreaming!

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles—Traveling in France and Germany

I enjoyed my week in Europe and especially enjoyed traveling throughout France to find myself in the middle of a rural area inside a big factory to see how they make the things my company needs. Frankly, France is not a low-cost manufacturing country, but it was interesting to see a couple of manufacturing innovations that I, a 24 year veteran of manufacturing tours, had not seen before.

After three days of business, I had a weekend in France to myself. I met up with a dear friend and threw myself into the whirl of the social scene. I wrote about my struggles and regrets about not speaking French in Five Days in France—Language Lessons.

Traveling around France, I was always a passenger. I’d flown into Paris and then met up with a French colleague who did the navigating and driving for the first two days. After that, we had all pre-purchased roundtrip train tickets between Paris and Poitiers. This was harder than it should have been. My travel agent clearly preferred that I buy my train tickets on my own once I arrived. I was on a tight schedule and needed to be on the same trains as my colleagues, so the travel agent was forced to do what she is paid to do…handle the problems that arose in buying my tickets. Fortunately for me, she found success the second time around.

When it was time for me to get to Cologne, however, I was on my own both literally and figuratively. The agent hadn’t helped with my train tickets, but I thought I could handle it on my own anyway. What I hadn’t thought about was that I’d always bought my tickets in the airport in Frankfurt…This time, I flew from Paris to Cologne and the small airport did not sport a ticket office for the trains.

I managed the flight from Paris to Cologne with ease. By this time, I knew well the part of Charles de Gaulle that I inhabited…2F where I flew in from the US and which abutted the train station, and 2G where regional flights started and ended.

When I arrived at the Cologne/Bonn airport in Germany, I followed the signs for the train which brought me to a stand of ticket kiosks. Confronted with an array of choices, I started by choosing to proceed in English. Unfortunately, the names of destinations stayed stubbornly in German including my destination of Köln Hbh (Cologne Train Station). I guessed this was where I wanted to go and proceeded to buy the ticket. Then it asked me which tariff to pay…I was clueless and chose the first of two. 2.7€ later, I had my little, paper ticket.

The scrap of a ticket had 1b on it as the only direction. I saw signs for  tracks 1-2 and 3-4, so headed for 1-2. In the elevator down, I asked an elderly couple if I were on the right track. They didn’t know. I got to the tracks and decided that since the Germans were ultra-precise, I’d get on the train which arrived at precisely 11:44. Two trains arrived at that exact moment going opposite directions!

I chose to get on the train that everyone else got on and prayed it was correct. As it stopped along the way I looked for any clues that I was traveling in the right direction. Each stop mentioned Köln, so I assumed I was heading into the city rather than away. Finally, with relief, I heard the main train station called and gathered my things. At that moment, the elderly man from the airport peaked around at me and told me that this was my station. I was so touched that although I’d lost track of him, he had been looking out for me all along!

Find the Joy in the Journey…and don’t be afraid to journey alone!

Five Days in France–Language Lessons

The last five days I haven’t stayed in one place for more than a day, and often less than that, but I’ve spent it all in France. It has been part business and part pleasure and all amazing. I haven’t stepped on a scale since I’ve been here and I also haven’t exercised except for walking. I will face the consequences when I return home, but in the meanwhile I have enjoyed some lovely meals made more lovely by the company I’ve been fortunate enough to have kept.

Many (many) years ago, I chose French as my language to study in high school. At the time, French was considered the international language of business and, I believe, was spoken by more people than any other language except maybe English. That isn’t true today, but I am still drawn to the language out of love of my first, albeit not too successful, foray into foreign languages.

Sixteen years ago, I went to France on business for a day and a half. As I sat in a cafe in Toulouse, I soaked up the sounds of the language and knew that if I could only stay for three months, even one month, the language would be mine. Sadly, I’ve not had that experience and as much as I talk (and write) about studying French, I’ve not done so. Never has that been more of a regret than in the last five days. I vow to do better!

In business, it is not actually necessary to speak French because now English is the international language of business and I’ve got that language down pat. These last two days, however, I threw myself into the social world and found myself floundering to come up with even the most basic of sentences. I hear the words, I even understand some very small part of some of the conversation, but I am in no way able to get along in a social situation without at least one “translator” or a few people who speak English. I have found that many French people who claim only “bad” English, speak rather well in English…far, far better than I can hobble along in French. Each day that I’ve been here, however, I’ve found my vocabulary returning…but not the grammar.

Not surprisingly, I remember the words for food most easily. Ordering in a restaurant is not too bad, but once I start speaking French, I get stuck and have to switch to English all too soon. I’ve found that if I start out in French, even with as benign an expression as bonjour, I get a stream of French back…so I am careful to say “hello” when I really need to ask a question, like how to find my hotel.

When I started this 50 by 50 I think I listed learning French as one of my goals…then I flip-flopped with Spanish so many times that now I’m not sure…and haven’t learned either. What I have learned is that Spanish would be more helpful for my job (although all my Mexican colleagues speak English, so it would mostly be out of courtesy), but that my heart is and always has been set on learning French. Why have I fought it for so long? Why have I ignored it for so long? Good questions.

I am at a point in my life when I need to follow my heart more and more and let logic be damned.

Find the Joy in the Journey…don’t over analyze what is written on your heart!

Travel Panic–Part and Parcel of The Journey

I hate the planning and packing for foreign travel, whether for business or pleasure, but getting to the airport with plenty of time to spare I feel the greatest sense of relief. When traveling business class (for work, of course) it’s even better because I get to wait in the airport club with “free” snacks, drinks, and WiFi.

I was up at 4:30 a.m. yesterday (I wish I could say this was an anti-jetlag trick, but it’s just nerves) frantically packing and making sure I hadn’t forgotten anything. Most likely to be forgotten? PJ’s. I packed two pairs. At 7 I opened my work computer and tried to call-in to a meeting from home. Failure! I called on mycell phone and limped along without the documents I needed. Thankfully I wasn’t the host! I drove my daughter to school while calling in to my second meeting and got to work in time for the third.

My home printer wasn’t working, so while participating in meeting number three, I printed out my itinerary and boarding pass. I’d sent myself a couple of other files to print, my girls’ schedule for the next week and contact information for the babysitter…my dad. Between meetings I called IT about my access problem and they did something magic on their end and I’m good to go. Thank goodness…or maybe not…now I have to do my e-mail and work in the evenings when I get to my hotel.

After meetings four and five, I headed home for a bite to eat and to bring the the papers to leave for my dad. Ahh! I had plenty of time before I needed to be at the airport, so I putzed around doing some chores. I put the garbage trolleys out (hopefully putting them out three hours early wouldn’t get me in trouble…you never know, the city has harassed me in the past over lesser sins). I cleaned up the dishes. I grabbed a few more things I’d forgotten. Then I realized that although I only had liquids in 3 oz. or smaller containers, I didn’t have them in a 1 quart zip-top bag. While remedying that, I thought of something to add to the schedule for my dad…OH NO! I’d left all the papers at work.

Thankfully, I live close to work and I still had plenty of time. I retrieved the papers and brought them back while I talked to my dad on the phone, during his three-hour drive, about the evening’s schedule. Welcome to my world, Dad! My older daughter would be an hour away getting fitted for her graduation dress (more about that later…what a hassle!). My younger daughter needed to be picked up from school and taken to an activity, then picked up again. Dinner would be late…and of the from-the-freezer-to-microwave variety.

Hearing the steady voice of my dad on the phone, I relaxed. My girls couldn’t be in better hands. I drove to the airport, feeling a bit silly to go so early, but it was so much nicer than rushing. I got to the parking garage and was directed to the fifth level where there were open spots…except their weren’t. No worries. I drove around lazily until I saw a businessman ready to leave and took his spot as he left. In the airport, I got into the long security line…no problem. I answered the TSA’s pilot-program “extra questions” with a smile. I went through security taking my time. (Oh, but I forgot about the whole underwire problem…not too bad in the US, but I’m flying home out of Frankfurt where an underwire is an excuse for contact way too intimate for a casual encounter.)

And then I was in the airport club, one more stage relaxed…peak relaxation would come when the plane took off and there was 0% chance of missing it!

Find the Joy in the Journey…I know I will enjoy this trip, especially now that the planning is over!

Busy As A Bee—The Drone Wars

Lately, I’m as busy as a bee…but don’t those poor drones work themselves to death? Busy is as busy does…what does that mean? Perhaps it means that I am the measure of what I do; I can be productive or wasteful, depending on what I am doing or not doing. These days, everyone is busy and responds to most “how do you do’s” with “busy” or “too busy”. This time of year seems to be my busiest, at least the last few years.

Busyness can be stressful, but it can also be exhilarating. Perhaps it’s all in one’s attitude. Many sages have spoken out about busyness…both positively and negatively. My favorite is John Lennon’s:

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.

Not exactly a positive spin on things, but does imply a bit of surprise in one’s life. Socrates looks at busyness in an even more negative way:

Beware the barrenness of a busy life.

On the other hand, busyness is a prescription for staying optimistic, overcoming fears, and dealing with adversity:

Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.—Lucille Ball

If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.—Dale Carnegie

In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.—Lee Iacocca

I am definitely keeping busy, although it seems more like I’m on a fast-moving train and I’m not quite sure where it’s heading. Fortunately there are a lot of fun stops coming up. I have something going on every weekend for the next 7 weeks…

  • Weekend #1 is the wedding of a dear friend.  Trains, planes, and automobiles are involved in getting there!
  • Weekend #2 is helping my son pack up his dorm room and move him either home or to a different dorm for a summer job at school.
  • Weekend #3 I’m driving to Chicago for a wedding shower.
  • Weekend #4 is a 5k (hopefully my pulled calf will be healed by then). This is my weekend to get the house and yard in shape for weekend #6…
  • Weekend #5 I’m driving to my hometown for the hometown festival and catching up with family and high school friends.
  • Weekend #6 (only recently committed…maybe I should be committed) I’m co-hosting a graduation party for my daughter and the girl next-door.
  • Weekend #7 it’s back to Chicago for my nephew’s wedding. Phew!

 Then I got a letter from a distant cousin pleading for the family’s 5th generation (since coming to the US from Ireland) to rejuvenate the family reunion, now in its 73rd year but with dwindling attendance. That would be Weekend #8. It’s a four and a half hour drive each way…I think this is where the train jumps the tracks!

Already, as much as I am looking forward to all these events, I’m also looking forward to what follows…a week off from work to do nothing. Most likely I will be busy. But here is a quote from Stephen King to get me going:

No, it’s not a very good story – its author was too busy listening to other voices to listen as closely as he should have to the one coming from inside.

Find the Joy in the Journey…I mean it! I will be enjoying the next couple of months full of so many happy occasions…enjoying the journey indeed.

Off to San Francisco, Where “Freedom Sips Cappucino in a Sidewalk Cafe”

This morning, I’m taking my husband and our girls on a trip to San Francisco. It seems strange to leave our son behind, but he already had his own spring break and he has college classes to attend. We haven’t taken too many family vacations since our younger daughter was born almost 12 years ago, and all but one were extensions of travel for other reasons like weddings and graduations. Three years ago, we “vacationed” at my husband’s apartment where he lived out-of-state for a year and a half. That was our last vacation.

This time, I just reached the end of my sanity with not seeing my husband for more than 24 hours a week for the entire month of March. I wrote about it in Life Upside Down or Commuter-Marriage Schedule Gone Haywire , but it actually got worse…and it’s still a bit up in the air. My husband was supposed to fly home Thursday, but he was too sick to travel and the plan now is for him to meet us at the airport in San Francisco. I researched places to go, shooting for somewhere warm and relaxing, but flights were outrageously expensive. I’m not sure when San Francisco popped up on my search, but when it did I knew that was where I wanted to go. As Joe Flower puts it:

Somehow the great cities of America have taken their places in a mythology that shapes their destiny: Money lives in New York. Power sits in Washington. Freedom sips Cappuccino in a sidewalk cafe in San Francisco.

Years ago, when I was 14, my family took our big trip “Out West”. We’d planned for it for a long time and delayed it a year to save up the money.  Even so, we almost didn’t make it as the travel agent had not booked our seats on the flight! The five of us had to fly stand-by and we were nervous up until the very last moment when they declared that we could board.  We arrived in San Francisco and headed to our “budget” hotel, chosen as a cost-saving measure since our trip would take us down the coast with stops to see Universal Studios, the Hearst Castle, and a battleship in the San Diego Bay before a flight to Las Vegas and day trips to the Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon.

After settling in to our seedy hotel, my father discovered that we were on the very edge of the red-light district. As we left for dinner, we three girls were instructed to turn our heads to the left and not look back! I don’t remember what we did when we returned…I think we may have actually checked out and moved to a more “decent” location.

From there, things got better. We were probably only there for two days, but we hit as many tourist spots as possible and hired a guide to drive us all over the city and tell us about the history of the city and its various sites. I was completely taken with this beautiful city with its hills, cable cars, beaches and architecture. I also enjoyed my first “grown up” night out with my dad and big sister, which I wrote about in Memories for Father’s Day.

This trip, I get to explore the city with my own family. My older daughter is keen on touring Alcatraz since she’s been watching a TV show of the same name over the last few months. My younger daughter just wants to go to the beach…although I told her it would be too cold to swim. Then she learned about Ghirardelli Square and wants to know if we can see chocolates being made. I want to ride the cable cars and take a day trip to Yosemite. There’s something for each of us on this trip and I look forward to sharing it with you this week.

Find the Joy in the Journey!

Related Posts:

Easter in San Francisco

The San Francisco of Street Cars, Chocolate, and Alcatraz–No Sea Lions

The Streets of San Franciso–In the Rain  

Further Afield to Primeval Forest, Academia, and Spanish Mission

Palaces, Towers, and Gummy Bears–Oh My!

Pirate Store and Jellyfish–Our Last Day In San Francisco

Life Upside Down or Commuter-Marriage Schedule Gone Haywire

Usually March is a quiet, even a boring month. I can be grateful that my life isn’t boring! I started off the month preparing for a business trip to Germany and doing some last-minute volunteering at my daughter’s school. On the third, I was sitting on a plane and arrived in Germany on the fourth…first weekend gone. I found myself back on a plane on the 10th…most of the second weekend gone. For my husband, it was a week at home with all three kids, since our son was home for spring break. He got to live a form of my multi-tasking-life home alone with the kids while working full-time and handling the housework, laundry, cooking, and shopping. Busy as the week was, he carved out one-on-one time out of the house with each of the kids.

My husband picked me up at the airport on the 10th and let me know of a serious personnel issue at his work that required him to be on the other side of the country by Monday morning. I tried to stay up as late as possible and dropped off to bed around 9:30 p.m. Meanwhile, my husband was still searching for a plane ticket. When I got up on Sunday morning around 6 a.m. I didn’t realize that my husband had already left until I found a note a few hours later. Turns out that due to spring break travel, flights were very hard to find and he’d had to fly out first-thing Sunday morning.

He was supposed to return Tuesday…and he did, but many hours late due to flight delays. Arriving home around 11:30 p.m., he went straight to sleep and was up again at 4 a.m. to drive three hours away for two days of meetings at his company’s headquarters. By the time he got home Thursday night, he was exhausted and I was still jet-lagged on my own account plus tired just thinking about his crazy week! But the week wasn’t over yet…

He had another piece of the personnel issue to deal with and had to fly to yet a third location on Friday. Well, flight delays got him there around 1 p.m., but he managed to meet with all the necessary people and was ready for his flight back home. That’s when it got really crazy. Again, due to spring break travel, flights were tight and although he had a ticket, he had no seat. He got booked and re-booked on flights from Friday night until, finally, he got out of town early Sunday morning…third weekend gone crazy.

I was ready for some home-time with my hubby by now, but life was still messing with us. Unfortunately, his boss has fallen ill and is out of commission for at least the next week…my husband feels lucky that he only has to cover one issue while his boss is out (so far), but off he went this morning on another 6 a.m. flight expecting to return on Friday. The funny thing is that when I read his e-mail this morning when I got up, showing his plans for the week, it just didn’t register that Tuesday is today…and he’s already gone.

Commuter marriage is not for the faint of heart…and pretty tough for those of us who like to plan ahead! He did take into account that we have two important events coming up next week. So, fingers crossed that he will actually get home on Friday as planned so that we can have a normal weekend and that our family can celebrate our special events together next week.

March, you’re really keeping things lively this year!

Find the Joy in the Journey and roll with the punches!