Sunday, December 14, 2008

Georgia Journey Day 1: Airport Adventures + Dinner Guests

Yesterday I got on a plane for the first time in 14 ½ years. It was early in the morning, and I was very bewildered, but fortunately the airport personnel were very helpful in guiding me. I got on the tiny plane and found my way to my seat. I was sitting in a window seat just in front of the wing, and when I bent down to look out the window I could see the flaming sunrise reflecting off the wing.

I was sitting beside and elderly lady, who started to talk to me. I quickly found out that she was the wife of a very wealthy owner of an engineering company. She told me about owning her own horse stable, and casually mentioned flying to Germany several times a year and her friends in South Africa. We eventually got around to the reasons we were both flying. While I was flying to visit friends, she was flying to babysit her grandkids while her daughter hosted a corporate Christmas party. I repeat: she was flying from Arkansas to North Carolina to babysit. Talking to her was definitely a peek into an alternate universe.

When we took off we stopped talking. I was too busy looking. As the earth below stretched out in a darkened tapestry, I looked towards the east and had a perfect view of the sun rising. It was an amazing sight. I really should have taken pictures, but I was too caught up in the moment.

I dozed some on the plane, which was good, because I desperately needed the sleep. The flight went by very fast. We landed very early, but had to wait for nearly half an hour for our gate. I talked some more to the lady sitting beside me, and she wished me the best of luck in my education and told me not to get married until I had a degree. On that note I left the plane, and started looking at the signs for directions to the baggage claim.

According to said signs, I walked well over 3000 feet to get to the baggage claim. That's over half a mile, and it took me almost half an hour. Meanwhile, Ferns were calling my mother's cellphone, which I was supposed to have but had forgotten, wondering where I was.

As I got closer, my shoulder aching from the weight of my laptop briefcase, I was completely focused on getting to the baggage. Nothing else mattered. I'd get there, and take it from there...

I felt a light tap on my shoulder and turned around.

Hello,” Younger Fern said.

I was too surprised to know exactly how to react. They had apparently been waving to me and trying to chase me down, but I was too focused (or half-asleep, either works) to notice!

We found my baggage, and then we went and found their car. I was introduced to Mr. Fern somewhere in here; he's a lot of fun, and I immediately felt comfortable around him. We drove back to the Ferns' house, where I got to meet the two youngest members of the Fern family, and got to see Mrs. Fern again. The primary obstacle lunch provided was figuring out their kitchen, but fortunately they were glad to help.

At about 2:00 we took off again, headed to meet Rivus and runningtiger, two more Clean Placers. We had all met Rivus before (I had met him twice, but not in the past year and a half), but none of us had met RT.

Atlanta traffic on a Saturday around Christmas time is absolutely unbelievable. It took far longer than it should have to get to the Borders book store. But when we did get there, we easily found Rivus (thanks to the long black cloak). We went inside and spent a good deal of time hanging out together in the cafe area. I think I listened more than I talked, and I laughed more than I did both put together. It took a while for us to really get warmed up, but once we did we had a lot of fun.


I have to say this here. There are lots of people at my school. There are lots of nice people at my school. But I would willingly say I'd never see anyone at my school again if it meant being able to stay with those people around that table. I've spent very little time with people this semester; I've gone to a total of four campus events, and three or four walks with different friends plus Lissi's visit has made up the entirety of my “hanging out” time this semester. I've had an overwhelming feeling of never belonging anywhere, save when I'm alone. So to be there with these amazing people who actually wanted me there, who didn't mind talking to me, who absolutely fill my heart with light, to be able to laugh not because I thought it was appropriate at that point in the conversation but just because I couldn't help myself... it was something that felt entirely new to me, after so long. But it was absolutely incredible.

We were having such a good time that Mrs. Fern graciously invited Rivus and RT to come to dinner. After Rivus called and consulted his mother, they accepted. So we caravaned back to the Ferns' house.

Rivus played piano for us, and was amazing (though not so much so when RT pulled his hood down over his face). We had a wonderful meal of beef stew, garlic bread, and broccoli. The dining room was full, and we all talked and laughed and enjoyed being together. By the end of dinner my stomach was aching from laughing so hard. The whole Fern family has a great sense of humor, as does both Rivus and RT. The combination was deadly.

We finished off the evening by taking a few group pictures. I think it would have been hard to say goodbye if I had thought much about the fact that I quite probably would not see Riv and RT for months or years to come, but at the time I was so perfectly content I didn't think much about that. After that I spent some time just talking to the Ferns before heading to bed (early).

It was an amazing first day, and a very good way to start off the trip. God truly has blessed me with my friends. And I can't believe I still have so much more time ahead with the Ferns – I get the feeling it will seem far too short.

- Elraen -



Linda B said...

Well, at least now I've heard from you, if only indirectly! Good for you getting up so early to post! We all miss you a LOT. Today is Lina's piano student recital . . . don't know how many of us are going.

Telpënen said...

That last picture made me laugh. Jordan looks like a rodent or something. Or maybe a grinning piece of cheese...
I am SO happy for you! It looked like a great time, and that is just what I wished for you. There was no foundation for your fears, see?
Those boys :-P they look about as dorky as I remembered/pictured.
I miss you very much, but I want you to stay and have a blast ;)

MangyCat said...

Oh I miss everybody. *huggles CPers*

Any said...

Awww! Those are awesome pictures of awesome people.

They make me miss people I haven't even met! :P

But I'm so incredibly glad you had and are having such a good time. You needed it. ^_^ And it sounds like a really amazing experience. :)