Home Sweet Home

Just so you know, this post was written at 4:48am on Tuesday morning. In the last 24 hours, I have been in 3 countries and 4 states. I began my journey home on Sunday afternoon about 5pm (Thailand time). The flight to Bangkok was only an hour, on time and very uneventful. We spent the night in Bangkok and had to be up at 3:50 to be to the airport in time to make our 7am flight to Tokyo. The flight from Bangkok to Tokyo was about 5 hours, on time and uneventful. I finished reading my book and put back about 4 magazines I had packed. We had only a short layover in Tokyo and then began our long leg of the trip…13 hours…to Chicago. It was another long flight, but I had an emergency exit seat, so no one in front of me and lots of leg room. Problem was that I wasn’t able to sleep much and I finished my last magazine the first hour on the plane. I watched Catch and Release and Music and Lyrics (which I highly recommend) several times.

Even thought the flight was long and we hit a few minor turbulents, it was uneventful. We didn’t have a long layover in Chicago and had to go through immigration, customs and security (AGAIN!), so we had to really rush to make the 4pm flight. The majority of us were on the 4pm flight and the rest on the 7pm flight. Soon as I re-checked my bags, the gentleman in Chicago told me which terminal/gate to go to, but said our flight was delayed. When I got to the gate, it was delayed until 7pm. I was so disappointed because I was looking forward to getting back to Jenna and Steve like you wouldn’t believe. The only way I have been able to make it through the week and ½ was to not allow myself to dwell on how much I missed them. If I allowed myself to sit and think, I would have been a basket case and never able to do what I was sent to do there in Thailand.

We hadn’t been at the gate more than 15 minutes or so when the announcement came…our flight was cancelled. Well, after 36 hours of no sleep, being back on American soil and so close to home but not able to get there was more than I could take…I just lost it…

Unfortunately, the weather (which was apparently bad in the Midwest) was causing many flights to be canceled. The lines at the customer service counters for United were very long and when we finally got there, they told us the rest of the flights for Monday night were either already canceled or full. All direct flights from Chicago to Nashville on Tuesday were completely booked and the earliest they could get me out of Chicago was Wednesday morning about 11am, connecting through Dulles and then on to Nashville, arriving about 5pm! So, our travel leader began to work on chartering a bus to drive to Nashville. The second flight only had about 15 of us (including Rachel) on it and they were delayed. However, by 8:30, the bus had arrived and the decision had to be made on whether to leave those people behind hoping their flight would still arrive and be able to fly out or not. Each person had to make their own choice. The original flight was 7:14pm, was delayed once to 7:48 and again to 8:48. All of those that had confirmed seats on that flight, stayed and took their chances that the flight would make it. The rest of us boarded the bus. The sweetest words I have ever heard were, “Let’s go home”.

The bus idea wasn’t too bad…there were so few of us that we each get our own row of seats, so sleeping was very feasible. The bus driver stopped every 2 hours, so we could get out, walk around, use the bathroom and get a snack if we wanted. So, I slept for 2 hours, then would wake up and walk around and then sleep again. Right now, we have already made our final pitstop of the journey and have crossed the Tennessee state line. We are going to stop at the airport to see if any of our bags made it to the airport on the flight last night. Then, we’ll get on to the church and Steve and Jenna will meet me there. I can’t say in words how much I am looking forward to seeing them. I think I will cry I will be so happy.

So, by the time I actually post this blog, I will be home. I intend to get a quick nap this morning when I get home (depending on what Steve and Jenna do) and then take at least another ½ day tomorrow at work. I’d intended to go in to work, but I’m just not sure I can make it. I’ve been in Thailand, Japan and the US and in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee all in the last 24 hours. I’m tired and want to be with my family that I’ve missed so terribly.

Thanks to all my prayer partners and others for supporting me while I was away. The prayers were needed and felt. I have lots of thoughts and insight as to all I learned this week, but going on just a few hours broken sleep in the last 48 hours means I cannot get them down now. I’ll try to get more a blog with some pics posted soon. I have so much to tell and share with you…

Edited at 5:44pm: I'm home, but my luggage is not. I've slept most of the day and am still beat. I hope to have my bags with my souveniers tomorrow, but we'll see. I think they may still be in Chicago. More later...

1 comment:

Stacey said...

Bless your heart. So glad you are home. So glad you went. Been fighting the urge to call. Will do so in a coule of days