I travel a lot for work. like I average 4 flights a week. and I vacation, I just went to Haiti. but sitting in the Kansas City airport this morning I was thinking about how I rarely just go somewhere for a weekend. I don’t just getaway.
When I worked for Kiewit I had turnarounds which meant that every 21 days (or so) I was on a paid flight from the construction site I was on back “home.” Seeing as how my “home” was packed in a storage unit, I flew to see friends and explore cities I’ve always wanted to visit. Those were getaways. but not really. Those trips were a dangerous combination of sleeping and drinking too much that were designed to give me back a small piece of sanity so I could work the next 350 hours until the next trip.
I quit Kiewit in March of 2012. Looking back, it was absolutely the correct decision for me and my life. God knew I wouldn’t leave that job (or any for that matter) unless I really hated it. Like loathed the person I was at the office and saw a dead end road in front of me for my career. I’m not one of those people that just flits from job to job or activity to activity.
There were many sacrifices made to work for the engineering company I work for now including salary and living location. One of those sacrifices is a “typical” 40 hour 8 to 5 work week. Don’t get me wrong. I love having to work significantly less hours and I have actual engineering and construction responsibilities which is amazing but vacation time is limited. God is truly amazing! He has also provided an amazing community in KC that I’m a little afraid to face the possibility of leaving. However, I also gave up the habit of getaways.
Right now, I’m changing that. I’m sitting on a flight to Seattle to see my best friend. I’ve known her for 20 years. 20 years!! I’ve celebrated birthdays, thanksgivings, heartbreaks, graduations and triumphs with her. I can’t imagine my life without her. You do a lot of growing in 20 years. Some of those years we were closer than others. Some of those years we grew apart, only to find that our lives intersected again. God puts people in your life for a reason. Hers is to be a sister I don’t biologically have.
I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting her Dad on this Earth but I did have the honor of spending lots of time with her Mom. Janet was the definition of strength. The definition of hard working. Loving. She helped make me the person I am today. She succumbed to cancer almost three years ago but after a long fight to in which she got see her daughters get married and teach of us countless lessons. I think of her almost daily. She makes me smile every time anything LSU comes up and every trip I make to Baton Rouge for work (which has been almost 30 times in the last 18 months).
I often think of her in November because some of my favorite thanksgiving memories involve her house. She was 100 miles from college when my parents where 800 miles. Limited time off from class meant the drive to Austin was much more appealing (the football game was all there every other year). She would also have a place at her table for me. I want to be able to give back to people that way too. To always have a place at my table for whomever needs to be feed – spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
One of Janet’s greatest accomplishments is her two daughters. Although very different, they are strong, intelligent women. Some of that is thru experiences and some of that is natural. I can only imagine what their father was like. It is incredible to watch them raise their young families. I am blessed with my viewpoint into their existences. This weekend I get a front row seat. No instagram or facebook in the way. I get to be the person on the other side of the camera lens. and I couldn’t be more excited!
Caitlin’s daughter is just shy of 9 months and I haven’t seen her in over 6 months. She’s a chatter box and eating real food now. She’s in 12 month clothes. God has been changing my heart this year in how I view having kids and this little bundle of joy is part of His plan. Growing up I always said I wanted to have kids but that was more the socially acceptable answer. You don’t tell people you don’t want kids when you’re 15 – people will think you’re weird. But until this little one came along and I went to Haiti, I had no desire. Now I am excited by kids. Excited about the possibility that I could have some (adopted or birthed). It’s such a learning experience for me to watch Caitlin with her daughter and something I get to do for the next three days.
I have no doubt Caitlin’s parents are so proud of her. I am proud of her and I have nothing to do with the person she is. I just get to be the tag along. and for that I am thankful to God.
This weekend is going to be full of camo, baby, college football, sewing, good food, pike’s place market, coffee, and warm blankets. This getaway can’t be more perfect. This is going to be the start of a new habit of getting out of KC once every couple months without my work computer (this is the first trip I’ve left my work computer at home since May) to just enjoy life and be thankful.
A few of my favorite things – bacon, blueberries, hazelnut latte, colored skinny cords, tall fall boots, scarves – on my way to see a few of my favorite people 🙂