Friday, August 03, 2007

our excellent adventure part I

Ok, we are airborne. Right now we are somewhere over Kansas heading west. I am constantly amazed that this pile of metal can actually defy gravity and float through the air. I know there is a scientific explanation for this phenomenon, but it still mystifies me. Aerodynamics, thrust, lift, all that stuff doesn’t really satisfy my sense of wonder at this machine flying through the air. If ever there was anything to take on faith, it is that this thing can fly. I remain faithfull.

Thankfully our trip so far has been miraculously uneventful. I did thinks that having to take off my shoes while going through airport security was a little much, but if it means we are safe then go for it. I was half hoping that the goodlooking security guard would insist on strip searching me, but I guess I look basically harmless. No thrills today.

Mary has been surprisingly calm so far. She seems convinced that the mountains we will fly over are not high enough to cause any problems. I have assured her that planes hardly ever run into mountains anymore. She seems convinced.

Three hours from now we should be landing in San Francisco. I think we are going to make it………

Later…..

We are flying over the western US. I am astounded by the unlimited horizon and the vastness of the open space. From this altitude the continent seems to go on forever. The towns and settlements that dot the landscape are mere scratches on the huge canvas of the country. If you ever need a dose of humility, this vantage will serve you well. Insignificant does not adequately describe the feeling I get when I place myself in this world.

Still later……

We have arrived in San Francisco safely and on time. We met up with Jon and Katie who flew out earlier and were waiting for us at the airport. Jeremy’s mother got on our plane in Kansas City so the family is together. We got in the van we rented and headed across the bay to Oakland to Carrie and Jeremy’s apartment to complete the family circle. It was an indescribable feeling to give Carrie a big hug once again. We haven’t seen her since last October. Reunions are such sweet occasions. I just wish they weren’t necessary.

We all—and by all I mean 7 of us and two dogs—piled into the van and headed north up the Pacific coast to the bed and breakfast inn where we are staying for the weekend. We checked in this evening after a long day flying and driving with lots of wonderful conversation and laughter along the way. We just finished sharing a bottle of Pinot Noir from a local winery, toasting the family and the occasion that brought us together. Now it is time to sleep. Tomorrow my daughter gets married……..

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