Thanks.

I’ve learned a lot in my 34 years. A lot I’d like to forget. A lot I’ve done that I’d like to forget. But there have been many things I’ve done, saw, and learned that I am especially thankful for. 

Today I’m thankful for my nephew Ashtin. He turned 9 today. He’s got a wealth of his own experience and knowledge under his tiny wings. I wonder sometimes, what must it be like to be a kid these days. Mostly, I feel outta touch to what the kids are into, what they think, what they hope for their future. I appreciate him (and my other nephew and niece) in more ways than they can imagine. In some small ways, they’re reflections of me and how I view the world. If they grew up to do something terrific in this world, I’d be extremely glad and proud of their accomplishments, just like they were my own children. If instead, they demonstrated horrible, reprehensible behavior, I’d be disappointed, angry, and sad. I love them no matter what choices they make in life, and am thankful each day that I get to spend getting to know them better.

I’m also thankful for change. People have the ability to change inside and out, but only if they want to. You cannot make someone do what you want, they have to want it for themselves. Like addicts. You can’t tell a heroin addict to stop shooting up because it isn’t good for their health and it makes you sad. They honestly don’t care. They’re addicts. They’ll change when they decide they want to. I’m marveled at all sorts of change. People make changes every single day. They choose to be happy, They choose to better themselves. I know many people who have been able to do this and seeing their transformation makes me proud to know them.

 

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Fly me to the moon

Excited for my impending trip to the great white North I made sure to be organized this go round and not forget a thing. After scouting the forecast I made sure to pack plenty of warm clothes and snow related gear for our snowshoeing adventure. Packing all the necessities I managed to squeeze everything into one suitcase. So proud of myself, I left the house all ready for a great weekend. This day was going to be great!

I had caught news tweets earlier in the morning about Alaska Airlines canceling flights in Seattle as they were covered in a sheet of ice. I breathed a sigh of relief as my flight to Vancouver was nonstop! Pleased with myself I had the foresight to make a correct move, I headed to the airport. Busy central. I should have anticipated that the Alaska counters would be madness with Seattle travelers needing to rebook flights. The lines were long. I was concerned I’d not have enough time to hit Starbucks after security. (Yes, that was my priority.)

I overheard the agent indicating there was an International check-in line. Hooray! 10 people ahead of me, how long could this take? 30 minutes too long. Lots of unprepared souls who seemed like they just rolled out of bed and decided to leave the country that very morning. Made it through my turn in record time and the agent seemed pleased. I had to set an example of how it should really be done.

Security!!! Longer line yet but it moved swiftly. I walked into the body scan machine, it did its spin about me and then I was ejected. Assuming I passed, but apparently looking neglected and in need of a pat down, a kind TSA lady gave me the once over and didn’t find any suspicious devices. She motioned over a TSA man and then my concern grew slightly….I wondered if the machine found something? I was soon in the hands of a tiny man who was ready to swab me, well my hands. Explosive free I was on my way to Starbucks!

Just a minute til boarding time, coffee in hand, I arrived at my gate. Then came the announcement that a plane was not there yet but en route and would arrive at 10am, our scheduled departure time. Ok. Plane arrived and we boarded, set to take off at 1045. I was one of the early boarders, took my seat, buckled in and filled out my customs form. I looked up and ahead and noticed water trickling down into the seats from the overhead compartment. I pointed it out to the FA and dismissed it. About 10 minutes after the leak notification the FA announced because of the leak the plane needed to be rerouted to the service hangar and we had to deboard the plane and wait for another. Another hour later we had a new plane and were off.

As the wheels went up I wondered if that leak was just a leak or part of something bigger. Could I have just saved the lives of many passengers or was it just a stupid leak? I really couldn’t bear the thought. I’m no huge fan of flying but I don’t hate it either. It’s often a necessary means of travel. More often than not the flight I’m on has awful turbulence and I nauseate easily. Today was no exception. Gag. Thankfully only an hour flight, I just kept my eyes closed and waited for the wheels to hit the Tarmac.

Safely at my final destination, I met the customs agent, found my luggage, and was out in the 20 degree (but sunny) city, ready to explore. Glad to be here, safe and sound and ready for a fun weekend!