In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well... And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.Romans 12:6-8

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Journey ... A Long Read ...

First things first ...  Happy New Year!!

I wish each and every one of you more joys in this new year than you can possibly imagine!

Secondly, I write this post at the suggestion of a friend, though probably not as knowingly suggested, but more of a continuation of a journey I began a couple of years ago ...and want/need to share in words.  Of the need to share is for me to sort thoughts, some of the want is for understanding and possibly insight as I've learned so many of you have journeyed before me and have walked some of the same paths I've come upon. But mostly, there are certainly laughs to be had along this journey, so please share with me!!

To start this segment of my journey, I shall start about six months ago when I became unemployed... yes, "became."`  It was a choice I made of sound mind though I wish I never had to make the choice ... one between mothering my precious daughters or fulfilling an unsatisfactory position that required me to be unavailable to my daughters when they needed.  To me the choice was simple, but scary.  A single mother, no savings, no back up plan, no guaranteed income of support ... just blind faith that things would work as they should.  I therefore made my choice and "became" unemployed.

That is not sad in itself, I've recently found a very nice part time position at which I am fully confident in by ability to fulfill ... and have faith in the company that hired me that they understand the meaning of family first.  I will continue to search for other work that can fill in both the hours and financial needs to support my family, however, I will stick to my choice of family first ... family grows so quickly ... time moves faster and is irreplaceable ... I choose not to miss it ... everything else will work as it should ...
Time will tell ... but I have faith. 

I made it through the holiday season with personal struggles but here I am on the other side of the holidays and my daughters are still healthy and happy and in the end, that is what matters.  I was also able to complete several sewing projects during these past few months that aided in making ends come closer to meeting, and I do believe that work make many of my customers happy... score for me again!

This "other side of the holidays" brings me to the purpose of this post ... I had an opportunity and I took it.  I kept it close to my chest for fear of other's judgment in my time of troubles and stress on the home front, but knowing in my heart that I have been pulling every angle possible, and again having faith that I was doing the right thing ... I took this leap into the unknown and took an adventure into the unknown.... and holy cow! what unknown it was .... phew!  Yet, I lived to tell about it and hopefully share some laughs now that the adventure is over.

You see, my daughters were gone this past week with their dad and, I being unemployed, found myself with an opportunity so very rare to many of us ... oh the wonder!  Do you take it, the opportunity? or do you sit and worry and wonder and regret in days gone by that you didn't take a chance?  I didn't want to find myself regretting.

A person dear to me, known to me as a friend from high school, lives very far away from my secluded, insular hometown ... my fishbowl.  I was invited on an open ended invite to come and visit ... and me being me, didn't believe the opportunity would ever present itself.  Well, it did, as I've explained, and I took it.

Imagine if you will, a very small town girl from the Northwest US venturing into a big city roughly 2,000 miles away and that city is nearly TWENTY times larger than the fish bowl in which she lives.  Indeed, I did it! I did ... all by myself ... even rented a car and maneuvered the highways, freeways, interstates, and dreaded side roads and lived to tell about it!  Goodness knows how many u-turns were made, how many poor native town drivers were cut off in traffic by some fool driver who didn't have a clue where she was going ... best thing is ... I was driving a rental with an even more unrecognizable license plate ... they'll never track me down!!! hahahahaha

Yet, I lived and as far as I know, I did not inflict bodily harm to anyone else on the roads ... note I said "bodily" harm ... I know the mental toll lost, crazy, drivers can take and I apologize should any reader have been thus inflicted {wink}

I learned several things in this brief visit ... concrete jungle are two words that have absolutely no business being put together ... jungle to me means green ... concrete is not green!  Interstates, freeways, highways are all gray, or black, or mixes of in between colors ... Montana and my small fishbowl are mostly green ... unless, of course, you live here during the winter time and the whole world is grey ... Score One for the Big City of concrete jungles .... see, I'm fair even when I don't want to be.  I also was gifted with seeing some sights of historical value which had I not taken this opportunity, I would never have dreamed of seeing... what a joy! and Big Town had the attractions {wink}  Score another ...

I learned that having lived in Montana for over 30 years, I've become very insulated in the population that surrounds me.  Yes, we have diverse personalities, especially in this university town ... but in a Big City nearly TWENTY times larger than my fish bowl ... you have diverse populations of people, not just personalities.  Can you say eye opener????  I cannot believe the life to be missed should a person chose to never venture outside their ever decreasing fish bowls.... in this internet world in which we now live, there are such avenues of learning and exploring, however, sometimes it takes actually leaving the comfort of our own homes to really experience life and learn ... I'm so very glad I got the opportunity and chose to take it!

I do wish to make this journey again to see another side of this wondrous area, one that contains greenery and mud and fun ... perhaps there are areas more like my current fishbowl that only the longevity of time and familiarity can show ... I know there are so many other sights to see and I now yearn to see them.

I also discovered that while I crave to have adventures and explore parts of my world other than my fishbowl, doing so alone is not a feeling I enjoy.  I had so many moments that I felt would be so much better had I someone to share the small joys with... that is not to say that I didn't relish the time I had exploring and being able to do so on my own schedule and not have to cater to my children's needs when they needed it, but the fact that I was experiencing new things and having these new adventures and doing it by  myself, it brought home my feeling of being alone in a giant world of so many.... is that understandable?   Am I the only one that craves someone to share experiences of wonder and joy, and even share the burden of sadness and sorrows with?  I hope not, because this adventure proved this feeling is a true, gut feeling to me.

Obviously I need to venture out of my fish bowl town and mentality more often ... in fact, I plan to make it an achievable goal of mine.

I visited my dear friend and family during this time of convenience to me but not at quiet a convenient time for them. As explained, I had to take advantage of my opportunities.  I am grateful to absolutely everyone who made that possible for me to do so ... everyone!  Most especially my friend for the invitation and sharing of family!!

Not having seen this friend in so very many years, and wanting so very dearly to keep and develop this friendship ... I tried not infringe on their family time ... however ... I do need to say my friend was so very gracious and very generous with the time shared, in fact I wish I had a million more hours to visit, as I do not recall enjoying myself so very much with my friend and the family in every so long! I met three of the neatest young men it has been my pleasure to meet and I have to say my friend is doing an absolutely marvelous job of raising gentlemen ... color me impressed ... especially in today's world.

My one regret is that my fear of imposition on my friend's schedule... and fear of unknown travel implications ... meant my friend and I did not get to say a proper goodbye before I headed back to the airport ... I would have loved a cherished hug from not only my friend, but from the whole family!! ... however I hope to one day meet up with my friend again.  Enter Blubbering Idiot ... Scene One ... (trust me, blubbering idiot has several appearances!)

You see, I was scheduled to travel back to my fishbowl of a town on the day that the majority of the Eastern part of the United States was hit with a wicked storm ... therein throwing every single airport across the nation into total disarray ... and I mean every single one!  I therefore headed back to the car rental return several hours earlier than needed in hopes of perhaps changing my flight home to an earlier time so I would miss all of the weather caused chaos.  Well ... At 10 a.m. on Friday, I checked out of my hotel, returned my rental car, and entered the airport terminal and did not return to my comfortable home and bed until 12:00 a.m. on Sunday morning.  (Blubbering Idiot appears again at the realization of time lost with friend .... )

Of course, because the airport I was at was not "affected" by the weather, they obviously did not think I needed to change my ticket.  Okay ... two hours later ... again, I request a change ... well, the airport I'm flying to has some effects of the travelers now having their flights cancelled, but my flights show no problem ... another hour ... I've now missed my earlier opportunity to catch an early flight ... four hours later ... (enter blubbering idiot ... scene three)

... My flight is now two hours late and I miss my flight at the connecting airport by a mere THREE MINUTES ... oh the ache in my feet and chest as I desperately run from one end of the airport across three concourses to the other side of the airport just in time to see my airplane back away from the terminal .... WHAAAAA! (Blubbering Idiot's scene is pretty much perpetual at this stage)

Okay ... so flight has been missed ... airline is sorry for this inconvenience and offers a reduced-rate hotel voucher ... UHHHH ... excuse me, I was supposed to be on my way home to my bed, therein I did not plan to have ANY money for a hotel, whether a reduced rate or not. ... airport terminal benches for me at 10:00 p.m. at night.   Get in line for the over-worked and very unhappy customer service section ... don't get me wrong, I understand they had a lot of issues to deal with ... but when you are told by a customer service person that they are just too tired from having to deal with all of the unusually circumstances during the day to hear you correctly, some sympathy is lost along the way on my part ... Blubbering Idiot has issues too you know!

Luckily I was not alone, one other young lady was traveling the same direction as I so I did have company.  During hour one, Blubbering Idiot was able to exit scene for a bit as Exhausted Idiot made her appearance.  11:00 p.m. finds Exhausted Idiot curled up on the terminal benches as best she can until the fire alarms go off in our section of the airport concourse ... yes, I said fire alarms ... ugh!  Okay, so Exhausted Idiot decides to get up and find another location to rest because by midnight, the flashing lights and overhead announcements of the fire alarms is just no fun...seriously {laughing}

Exhausted Idiot discovers that her stand-by flight the next morning has been changed to another terminal, so off she goes to trek across three other concourses to park her butt at the right gate.... again to discover an hour later that the gate has been moved again, so the trek is again made.  I was determined to be in line to get out at the earliest opportunity.

Well, after a night of on again/off again napping at the airport, I dutifully stood in line at the gate in hopes of getting on the early flight out this morning ... only to discover the flight was over booked and there are ten hopefuls on stand by.... none of the stand by passengers get on the flight.  ... Heaven help the world, but Blubbering Idiot entered at this stage, was assisted by a beleaguered customer service rep who probably just wanted to get me out of her window and some kindly person even handed over a pile of kleenix ...and I had a boarding pass for NINE HOURS later ... yes, at this stage I have been in the airport system for over 36 hours ... duhduhduhduhhhhh .... can you say a whole box of kleenix was needed???

Yes, several bottles of water were consumed as the loss of so much fluid and need for hydration was paid attention to {wink}

Well, I arrived back home to my comfortable fishbowl at midnight tonight to the tunes of the numerous babies crying aboard the flight ... who do you feel more sorry for at times such as that ... the baby that is so miserable and needs to vent, the parents of the miserable baby who are unable to help the unhappy baby and therein quiet the noise, or the passengers that sit next to and around the unhappy passenger?  I was gratefully several rows, two earphones and one iPod full of tunes away ... it was just a random question I threw out there.

Okay, so it wasn't that bad, it just felt like it, but add in no sleep, missed flights, the insane desire to get home as I was supposed to be with my daughters who I hadn't seen in a week, and the fact that I was alone ... well ... you get the picture.

I owe sincere thanks to my friends that kept me company via texting on my phone that needed repeated recharging ... I could not have made it through this journey without you!!

I thank you also for reading through my journey ... I can only hope I am brave enough and lucky enough to journey again.  It is back to work for me ... adventure time must be put on hold ... we have several blog hops alone to prep for, besides the reality of real world work ... so until next we visit ...

Best wishes to each of you, and again, Happiest New Year wishes!!


  1. What an insightful read there dear one! Well said, and words extremely well placed, considering all you had been through! Welcome hope to your beautiful 'fishbowl'. You are much loved and very appreciated there...although not told or shown properly or often enough. You will be shown one day...mark my words! Mnay wished hugs for a wonderful 2014!

  2. I did mean "welcome home"....but 'welcome hope'? Who knows? May be more appropriate? We shall wait and see.....

  3. Wow Wendy. That was some adventure you went on though I'm so sorry that your trip home was such a mess. Congrats on getting out there though. It is a good thing to stretch yourself when you can. I would travel with you anytime my just live so dang far away. If you are ever willing to travel east, I promise you'd have fun here plus I have a bunch of quilt shops that I could take you to. Enjoy your back to normal and I truly wish this year is a great one for you. Big hugs.

  4. Wow what a whirlwind! Welcome home and Happy New Year!

  5. Oh sweetie, I can't imagine the unexpected 'travel' time. Happy you chose an adventure - next one in good weather though. I see Michele has an open invitation and I am close by so if you take her adventure - I will surely come visit and give lots of hugs.

  6. Good for you for making the trip!! I am a firm believer that everyone should travel outside of their own "fishbowl" to compare, contrast and appreciate what you have or perhaps what you want to change or experience. Although the airline delay was an inconvenience, it was just an example of something you don't usually experience, that if you had to do again, you may do differently. Great job on taking this trip!!

  7. I'm sorry your trip home was as much of a mess as the weather has been :( You held it together much better than most would have been able to under the circumstances. Returning to your girls and fishbowl must have felt like a warm quilt's comfort.
    Next time though, go in the spring/summer!

  8. Ahh, the joys of travelling during the holiday/winter season! Glad that you made it home and kept a sense of humor about your whole adventure.

  9. You did it! You stepped out of your comfort zone and survived! They say that the first time is the hardest. Well after that adventure, I would have to agree. You have been through the worst. Better travel days ahead.

  10. Oh Wendy, I am on the other side of that customer service desk, trying to make it all better for people at the airport. If you were in Denver I wish I kew, you could have stayed with me! Of course I have been working until the wee hours of the morning to return for another very long day on precious few hours of sleep. We are day 5 into this mess now, and it doesn't look like the weather is going to give any of us a break for the next few days! So glad you survived and are back home. Oh the lessons we learn in life huh! All I can say, is "you go girl"!
    Wishing you a much happier new year!

  11. Whoa Wendy!!!!! Shwew!!! !That is a lot to go through!!!! It shows how strong you really are... I think you will find someone special soon!!!!
    It is a good feeling to know you can make it on your own...but then nice to have someone to share it all with.. It is a bright new year and I am hoping it is a much better year for all!!!!! Yaa Wendy!!!!

  12. What a wonderful journey Wendy even though the ending was not the way you wanted it proved that you can handle things all by yourself.You look at things and picked what is right for you and the girls and you just new things would workout but your family came first
    You are a wonderful strong women who loves life and her girls. All the best for a happy ,healthy ,posperous year.

  13. I'm sorry your adventure was so difficult in the end. I know in retrospect you are still glad you went. It's all in the perspective, isn't it? Happy new year to you.

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  15. Good for you for getting out of your comfort zone! And I have been in that same airport situation, remember all that snow we had about 5 years ago in the Pacific NW, yeah, I spent the night with a complete stranger in a terrible hotel in Seattle, a mere 5 hour drive from home, waiting and waiting for flights to become available, and ending up with my parents driving over anyway (and no refund on the plane tickets...) Life is an adventure! I'm glad you got to see your friend though, and hope you'll get to visit again sometime, but take the girls with you for sure :)

  16. Hiyea! Found your blog via the current blog hop! Lovin it!