Saturday, January 28, 2012

Smiling but we're close to tears...

Flying Home
Words can’t describe how it felt on my trip back home to Indiana.  It started at 5PM on December 22.  There was fog moving into Bethel and our village so the bush planes were not willing to fly out.  Eli and I, being the anxious first year teachers we are, sought out another way to get to our flight to Anchorage.   We found a villager who was willing to drive us on the ice road from Atmauluak to Bethel.

            When I say “ice road” I truly mean we were driving on a road made completely of ice.  The river beside our village leads to Bethel and its water freezes as much as 2 ft every winter.  That means it’s pretty safe to travel.  And thus our adventure began.  We rode for about an hour and half until we made it to Bethel and began the first leg of the journey.  1 red eye with babies crying, 2 more midmorning flights, 15 cans of diet coke, and a breakfast burrito later I was almost home.  After a day of traveling I made it safely into Indiana.
            Words can’t explain the feelings I had when the plane began to descend in Indiana.  I saw trees, not just the shrubs I was used to in Atmau.  I saw roads, more than just in a circle around Bethel.  I saw building after building and NO snow!  It was official I was home!  Getting off the plane I was barely containing how excited I was to see Nate and Shelly.  My other halves.

             Coming down the long hall leading to the end of the terminal and beginning of the airport was the longest and strangest walk of my life.  I felt the kind of nerves that a person gets on their first date.  You know, butterflies in the stomach, sweaty palms, racing mind…  When I got to the end of the terminal all of that melted away.  You know in movies when the main character and their love interest see each other for the first time?  The world just kind of slows down. The edges get all blurry and music starts playing.  That’s what happened.  The first time Nate and I locked eyes I began a sprint to get to his arms.  

Shelly, who got up late, ended up meeting up with us at PF Changs.  Mmmm, my favorite restaurant.  Seeing her was a just like it always has been.  Except this time we were running into each other’s arms and I was wiping tears from her face.  I was home. And not a moment too soon.

Dinner, mojitos, chocolate cake, and pictures were taken.  I even got to see the Circle of Lights… one of the biggest things I miss about not being in Indiana.  Shelly was gracious enough to take some great shots.

Stay tuned for more blog updates.

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