Home: one's place of residence; a familiar or usual setting; a place of origin.
At home: relaxed and comfortable; at ease; in harmony with the surrounding; on familiar ground.
That’s where I am this afternoon! At my residence, my familiar and usual setting, my place of origin (where I was before I went to California). And I’m at home – relaxed and comfortable, at ease and in harmony with my surroundings. I’m home again – on familiar ground!
I arrived home last evening after a late afternoon flight from southern California. The weekend retreat ended on Sunday and it was time to head home. And out of the heat! The temps climbed to one hundred and five degrees on Sunday and one hundred and ten when I left Long Beach yesterday afternoon. The Long Beach airport is a great, little airport – like you see in a nineteen-forties movie. Great airport – easy access – no long waiting. It’s a bit unique in the world of travel today because you have to walk from the terminal to the plane and when you arrive at the plane you walk up a ramp to the door. Now, that’s not a problem most days because the weather is usually pleasant. However, yesterday was different! None of us were thrilled to walk through the door at the gate and make the trek across the tarmac to the plane. Our plane was the farthest out and there were times I wondered if I’d have a heat stroke before I got there! Add to the long walk and the heat the fact that I pulled my carryon with my laptop inside with one hand while on the opposite shoulder I carried my heavy tote bag - with all the essentials of life inside – plus my camera bag! I made it and when I stepped inside the plane it was as if I had just walked through the gates of Heaven! The wonderful crew had closed the shades on all the windows and turned the air conditioning vents on high at each seat. The pilot have ‘revved’ the engines to get the air conditioning at its maximum strength. They were so thoughtful – a great crew.
My flight home was absolutely wonderful – and gorgeous. I sat by the window again (my seat of choice) and loved every minute of it. Shortly after takeoff we flew along the California coastline and when the pilot turned eastward I thought the view would take my breath away! I could hardly believe the beauty below!
I’m sure I sat there smiling! I almost wished I could ask the pilot to circle around and let me see it again.
Finally, off in the distance, the sight of my favorite mountain made me smile. I always smile when Mt. Hood appears on the horizon - no matter how many times I fly. There’s just something special about knowing I’ll soon be home. And I knew who was waiting for me at the end of the journey.
‘My’ mountain was in plain view as we descended into the Portland area. Somewhere below was my home. As we approached the airport our flight path took us along the Columbia River. It wasn’t hard to recognize familiar landmarks and buildings below. And then, as suddenly as we had been airborne in California, we were on the ground again. Not many steps from the gate I saw that familiar smile I had waited to see – my sweetheart, as happy to see me as I was to see him. And be home!
Tomorrow I will share reflections and a few photos from the weekend retreat. I cherish every memory of those days and the dear ladies I met. Some of them are new Face Book friends and I’m sure some of them will be stopping by to visit here. My heart is filled so full I think it will spill out with gratitude for God’s plan to include me in the hours we spent together. I truly have a grateful heart!