Coming to a city near us

All last weekend, it felt like my family was in the movie “Madagascar”  because our theme song was “Move It.”

I felt like King Julian, that crazy ol’ lemur in the movie who sings “I like to move it, move it.  She likes to move it, move it.  He likes to move it, move it.  You like to…MOVE IT!”

blogDSCN7913If you follow my blog, you know that I’m not fond of flying anymore.  But in the interest of time, I boarded that magic silver jetliner which transported hubby, middle daughter, and me to the Deep South last Friday for a mission – to help oldest daughter move back to our home state, to the city near us.  [happy dance here]

We arrived safely (no problems or delays) in her southern city late Friday night.  Oldest daughter and boyfriend (aka BF) picked us up at the airport and whisked us off to her apartment, which was in various stages of disarray with moving boxes, suitcases, packing tape, etc.

A crew of daughter’s work friends arrived early Saturday morning and after a hearty breakfast from Chick-fil-A, (I’ve never eaten chicken in a biscuit for breakfast before, but it was good!), we started loading up the U-Haul truck for the trek back home.  MOVE IT!

I watched with tears in my eyes as oldest daughter hugged her friends goodbye and they had a crying moment.  I find moving is always bittersweet – sad because you leave good friends and memories behind, yet exciting as you venture on to a new chapter in your life.

blogDSCN7914All loaded and locked down, apartment cleared out and cleaned, we left the city oldest daughter has called home for the last four years with a caravan  – MOVE IT! – hubby and I in the U-Haul, daughters and BF in oldest daughter’s car, to our destination stop for the night.

BF’s gracious parents invited us to stay at their home, which also gave us the opportunity to finally meet them.   We were treated to showers, comfortable beds, and a delectable breakfast the next morning and the joy of meeting daughter’s boyfriend’s wonderful family.

Joining us were BF’s sister and brother-in-law who offered to travel back home with us to help unload.  What a blessing they were!  We packed our overnight cases once again, climbed in the vehicles, and hit the road.  This time we had us a convoy with the truck, daughter’s car, and BF’s car.  MOVE IT! 

blogDSCN7916After our several hours long trip, we arrived in the city near us where we unloaded some of daughter’s furniture and belongings in the apartment she will soon share with middle daughter and her roommate.   MOVE IT!

Since middle daughter will move out of the apartment next spring when she marries fiancé, we decided to take advantage of the U-Haul and move some of her furniture to – you guessed it – our basement for storage.  So once again, we loaded the truck with a few pieces of middle daughter’s larger furniture mixed in with the rest of oldest daughter’s belongings to store.  MOVE IT!

By this time, old mom and dad were starting to drag from all the physical exertion,  long nights, early mornings, not to mention all the hours of driving.   Our little caravan headed to our home in the country, where all of us (7 humans and oh, did I mention a CAT?) were so relieved and happy to be out of the vehicles.

But the task wasn’t over yet.  MOVE IT!  After dinner, we still had to unload the truck and cart all of middle daughter’s furniture, some of oldest daughter’s furniture, and all her boxes of stuff to be stored into our basement.  By then, it was dark, a little rainy, it was late, and hubby needed to return to work the next day.  Oldest daughter also needed to arise early in the morning to attend orientation for her new job in the city.  MOVE IT!

The next morning, Dad and Daughter left for work, and the rest of us lounged a bit, but not long because after breakfast, BF and his sister and bro-in-law needed to be on the road again back to their home.  MOVE IT!

After everyone departed, my move it energy depleted, I couldn’t move it if I tried.  I confess I spent the afternoon on the couch in dreamland and after a 3-hour nap(!), I realized middle daughter was conked out as well.

The only creatures at our house who seemed to be ready to move it were the two cats (ours and oldest daughter’s), but that’s another story for another day.  Today in Chapter 9, Page 15, in my book of Opportunity, I’m so grateful God granted us safe travel.  And I’m elated He provided a new job for oldest daughter in the city near us.  I will cherish the couple of weeks that she stays here with us in the empty nest until she moves into the city apartment.

But I’m still feeling the effects of ‘moving it’ so I’m headed for the couch…again.  If you’re feeling the urge to ‘MOVE IT,’ please don’t call me.  Right now, I don’t like to move it, move it, no matter how much King Julian’s little ditty usually makes me want to dance.

Copyright  ©2011

A bit of heaven at the airport

people-sign-traveling-blur.jpgLast night, I witnessed a tiny slice of  ‘heaven.’

“Every parting is a form of death, as every reunion is a type of heaven.”  ~Tryon Edwards

I’m not fond of flying any more,  but if I’m not the one traveling, I do appreciate people watching at the airport.  Last night, our oldest daughter flew in from the Deep South for an exciting event and will spend the weekend with us.

Hubby and I made the trip to the city airport to meet her, and as is always our custom, we arrived early.   Upon entering the building,  we found a spot to park ourselves near the arrival escalators so we could catch sight of her right away and she could find us easily.  As we waited for her plane to land, I watched comings and goings because there were many flights arriving, even at the late hour of the night.

And there were scads of folks waiting to pick someone up – people of all shapes and sizes, colors and ages, young and old, casually dressed and professional.  I noticed the chauffeurs attired in white shirts, black suits and ties displaying placards marked with passengers’ names. I wondered what their jobs must be like, waiting in airports at 11:30 at night to meet a stranger and driving that person to whatever destination was necessary.  I speculated about whether they chat with their fare, or just drive and allow some privacy.

My attention then turned to others as they waited for family members, friends, spouses, or other loved ones.  There is something quite tender about watching people reunite with those they adore.   Those waiting tend to glance at their watches often as they anticipate arrival time.  Cell phones ring or vibrate with text messages as the awaited one sends news “Just landed!”

As the throngs of disembarked passengers start descending the escalators from the gate, those who wait arise from their seats anxious to catch a glimpse of their loved one.   I observed a young teenage girl, who appeared to be with her father, practically skipping by us with happiness.  I heard her exclaim to her dad, “I’m SOOO excited!  I can’t wait!”   She positioned herself impatiently at the bottom of the moving stairs with eager expectation and shrieked with joy when she greeted her friend.

Moments later, a little girl with long, flowing hair dashed away from her mother and sprinted to an older lady – Grandma!   Grandma’s face erupted in sheer delight as she spied her beloved grandchild.  The girl practically leapt into the lady’s arms!  The joy they shared as they hugged each other so tightly evoked such a heartwarming scene, I felt that feeling wash over me that signals I’m going to cry.  Not wanting to appear over emotional watching complete strangers, I managed to subdue it.  But it occurred to me that the joy of reunion with a loved one is so very sweet, a little bit like heaven.

An older, white-haired couple left their seats and ambled towards the arriving mass of humanity.   A woman in her 40’s started waving enthusiastically on the descending stairs.   She greeted the older couple with warm hugs and kisses, while the man accompanying her stood slightly back almost like he wasn’t sure where his place belonged in this family reunion.  All of a sudden, the older gentleman reached towards the man and grabbed him in a heartwarming bear hug.  The embraced man grinned ear to ear and joined the family circle.   His body language told me that he felt welcomed and accepted as the foursome moved toward baggage claim.

A middle-aged Mom waited with a white furred fluffy dog in her arms.  I wondered what her story might be and the answer soon arrived.  Her college-aged young adult daughter hurried to greet her mother and smother her pet with hugs and kisses.  The dog, in turn, was just as excited to see his mistress.

Another endearing story soon unfolded.   A young woman with a baby girl in a stroller caught my eye.  The woman was dressed in a lovely dress and high heels and baby girl was outfitted in a frilly dress as well.  I thought to myself, “Wow, why would you dress up like that to pick someone up at the airport?”  She paced back and forth pushing her stroller, obviously anxious for the arrival of someone.

Suddenly, she grabbed her baby out of the stroller and started running in her heels towards the crowd.   I turned my head that direction and that’s when I saw him.   The soldier, dressed in camos, maybe coming home from deployment, swerved around people who were slower, people who had stopped to greet their families, people in his way.

The three of them – soldier, beautiful wife and adorable baby girl –  met in a rush of emotion, intense embraces and the utter joy of reunion.    That scene taking place directly in front of me, moved me to near tears.   Watching their circle of three united in the strongest emotion a human can feel, utmost love, is a scene I shall never forget.

Of course, my favorite reunion was the one hubby and I experienced when our dear oldest child, now such a poised and confident young lady, disembarked from the moving staircase and the three of us also embraced in a circle of love.  And I wanted to cry, but there was good news to share and much to discuss as we whisked her off to the parking lot to begin our journey home.

“Where we love is home,

Home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”

  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., Homesick in Heaven

This morning, it’s Chapter 7, Page 8, in my Opportunity book, and I am compelled to share my story because I think home really is where our hearts are, and there is nothing so endearing as coming home to the ones we love.