This beautiful view of the Three Sisters and the rest of the Cascade Range greeted me as we flew into Redmond late Monday night. My 6 hour flight from Denver to Redmond had turned into a 16 hour day of “please get me on a flight, I have to take a test tomorrow”. The plane’s de-icer for the co-pilot’s seat had broken the day before, and the crews had been working since 1:30 a.m. to get it fixed. Or so we were told. Parts were to come in on another flight, United wouldn’t give the part to Alaska – it was all just a big mess. I was already sick from not sleeping the week before – tornado warnings tend to keep you up – and then was nervous for taking my state and national test to get my real estate broker’s license.
Plus I had to leave my family that I had just spent 491 days with non-stop – that was the hardest part. They didn’t go with me back home to Bend because I needed to concentrate on the test and interviewing real estate companies, the kids were still doing school each day, and the expense. They all said that had they flown to Bend with me, they wouldn’t have wanted to leave, they are that ready to get home. I had to remind them that we have one last summer together as a family, to hike and bike the southwest and enjoy our time together, before heading back to 2 careers and a new house and a huge routine again. That made them feel a little better.
So the day was a long, crazy one. I met many nice people along the way, including a new friend, Virgil, who saw me as I started crying, (knowing that I was missing my flight, connecting flight, and all that I had scheduled that day), and was kindness personified. We spent the day watching each other’s bags, learning about each other’s families, and pulling other strangers into our new circle of friends.
My direct flight to Redmond was on a smaller plane, and I was sick the whole time. My ears were plugged, my throat was sore, and after getting sick early on, I could barely hold my head up. But when I walked down the steps into the clean Central Oregon air, I knew I was home and everything was going to be just fine.