Posted in travel

The trip that almost wasn’t

blogIMG_3014.jpgToday is a new day. Just like every single one we are blessed to experience upon awakening each morning.

This morning was just like any other this winter. Snow flurries flying furiously through the air. Again.

I truly do enjoy the winter season. I like the cold, crisp air. I love that winter blanket of pure, white snow. I don’t mind the freezing temperatures.

But this season is different.

I’ve grown impatient with Ol’ Man Winter. I want him gone. I want warm, balmy temperatures. I want to see the sun more often and find color outside my window…or at least, something different than the monochromatic snow or the drab browns, grays, and blacks of the landscape when the snow melts.

Back in the fall when Papa and I planned a mid-winter trip, I didn’t know I was going to be so disenchanted with the perpetually snowy, cold weather winter would bring.

So as the time grew closer to our departure for Arizona back in mid-February, I anticipated our escape to warmer climes with hope for the sunshine that makes me happy and the chance to spend quality time with my sister and brother-in-law in that sunshine.

We spent a considerable amount of time planning our get-away in advance. Bought the airline tickets. Reserved hotel rooms and a rental car so we could take a short side trip to the Grand Canyon after we landed in Las Vegas.  From there, we would drive to Sis’s home in southwestern Arizona.

All systems were go. An escape from winter’s clutches (well, except for the Grand Canyon trip) just for a short time.  This trip sounded so promising and mood-lifting.  And yet…I couldn’t identify what it was, but some intangible thing was holding me back from being overly excited.

And that’s when it happened. About a week before our departure date, Papa experienced something quite out of the norm for him.  He became very ill and was in intense pain. A trip to the emergency room confirmed what we suspected.  Something very tiny that needed to be passed from his body was causing him to be enveloped in the most fierce pain.

The trip? What should we do about our trip? He experienced agonizing pain for several days as the calendar ticked off less time until our departure. I called my sister to inform her that our plans were up in the air, which resulted in four disappointed people.

The pain lingered on and on. What to do? When the meds alleviated the pain, Papa would declare we were still going. But when the pain resumed and he was flat out lying on the floor, we realized there was no way he could withstand a five-hour plane ride.

What to do? What to do?? Which each passing day and no passage of the pain-causing issue, we fretted. We worried. We prayed. Family and friends prayed for Papa.

Indecision reigned. One minute we were going, the next we were staying home. We reluctantly cancelled our hotel rooms and rental car, but, with hope in our hearts, waited on cancelling our airline reservations.

On again. Off again. We honestly didn’t know what to do. We were down to the wire. One more day left to make a decision.

Papa said, “Let’s pack our suitcases anyway.”  We did and we waited. And waited. In my mind, I had already resolved that we weren’t going.  What a disappointment and yet, I had almost sensed it coming. 

With about 24 hours remaining before we were supposed to board a plane and head into the westward sunset, something happened. We didn’t have to cancel our trip after all. We…well I, because Papa was too worn out, practically danced a jig.

We scurried and hurried and got prepared to fly off after all. We kept the Grand Canyon visit nixed, postponing that until another time, and decided to just spend our entire vacation with Sis and Brother-in-law.

Papa rested and rested the day of our departure and reassured me that he was on the mend. I called my sister with the good news; she informed me they would drive to the Las Vegas airport to pick us up that evening.

Our daughter and granddaughter whisked us to the airport and we breathed a huge sigh of relief as we took off on our flight.  

As we ascended into the sky on that airplane, surrounded by fluffy clouds, I paused to give thanks for all of those answered prayers because the trip that almost wasn’t became the trip that was.

And even though we didn’t see the Grand Canyon, we still had a grand time. But that’s a story for another day.

“The journey not the arrival matters.” ~T.S. Eliot



Mama of this empty nest, I’m content to live a quiet, country life with my husband of 40+ years and to view the gorgeous sunsets off my own back yard deck. Mama to three adults and Nana to adorable grandchildren, my empty nest fills up again with noise and laughter when they all return 'home'. A former English teacher, reporter/editor, education director for a non-profit organization, and stay at home mom, I retired after a season of substitute teaching at a private academy. Now I enjoy time spent with my grandchildren and family and writing words that seem to pour out of my soul or wandering around the countryside with my camera. Foremost, my faith sustains me as I meander through the empty nest stage of life. My favorite scripture is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

7 thoughts on “The trip that almost wasn’t

  1. I have some friends who’ve suffered the same agony as your Papa, and it was terrible even to listen to their descriptions. It must have been even worse to be going through the maybe-yes, maybe-no of indecision at the same time as the physical pain. But it’s a wonderful example of something my mother liked to say — “This, too, shall pass!”

    I’m so glad you were able to go, and have a fine visit. As far as I know, the Grand Canyon isn’t going anywhere.


    1. And pass it did, thankfully!! I’ve never seen my hubby so ill or in such pain and I hope to never see it again. As far as visiting the Grand Canyon not going anywhere, that’s exactly what my husband said. 🙂


  2. Wow! How wonderful that you finally went on that dream trip. I relate since Bill and I were booked to go to CA in Oct when my foot became extremely swollen and painful. We went through all that indecision but did cancel everything. Fortunately Bill got flight insurance so we were refunded.


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