Friday, October 28, 2011

It's A Small World

Maybe it's just my way of thinking about things these days, but it seems to me that my perspective on the size of our world is getting smaller the more I travel. Apparently distance is relative and is defined by hours and not by miles. I am back in the hotel in Abu Dhabi for a few more weeks before we head back home for Xmas and as usual I have been thinking about where I've been in the last few weeks. I flew back to Virginia and did a small pack out which turned out to be a little more taxing than I thought it would be. It's a lot easier to have the movers come in and pack up the whole house...just sayin! We sent over very little this time and I had to really think about it as I selected those things I did send over...a different experience for me! I flew to the Atlanta area for a week and then headed for Cleveland to see Tim and Caitlin. I had two full days of  fabulous newly composed music, food everywhere, interesting conversations with lots of their friends who live their lives in music, and rain (which I loved), I headed back to Virginia to turn around and head back to Abu Dhabi. Did you know that it only takes 20 minutes to fly from Cleveland to Detroit? Apparently you can't get back to DC without going through Detroit which has been the case for me more than once. It only takes an hour and twenty minutes to fly from Atlanta to DC, five hours to get from Atlanta to LA, and only 14 hours to get from DC to Abu Dhabi. Now, I know in the age in which we live for some people this is no big deal. But, we watch the news every day and the places that are talked about seem so far away...a world away, in fact. Or... maybe we are all closer than we seem....
This time I went through Amsterdam. I had a couple of hours there before the final leg of my trip so I walked around and kind of took it all in. I watched the sun come up and that was pretty cool. I did notice that even though it was so early in the morning, the place was buzzing...there was a lot of life going on and the people watching was fun. Yes, there were lots of tulip stands and blue delft everywhere and I loved it. I found a place to sit and caught up on some email. There were others doing the same thing, but from other parts of the world from the different languages and quiet conversations going on around me. I imagined the mom talking to her very tired daughter about keeping up with her own things...only in Russian. There was a young African couple beside me discussing music (I think) as they constantly referred to their plugged in Ipods with their heads moving to a beat. I did see a big group of American teenage boys in the area which was obviously some sort of tour or sports team and I have to admit there was some sort of nice familiarity to that scene. I laughed slightly to myself with that one remembering my chaperoning years with my own kids. For all of them I hoped wherever they had been that their trip was a good one and I realized then maybe we all aren't so different or really so far away from each other.  
It's only six hours to Abu Dhabi from Amsterdam...Again, I watched the flight tracker on the plane and marveled at all the places I was flying over...all those places we hear about that are so far away and it only took six hours.
Perspective is an interesting concept, isn't it?

Friday, October 21, 2011


I've spent a lot of time on airplanes recently...some of them on the larger side and a couple of them not so large. That's okay. Airplanes are a comfort thing for for me in a strange sort of way. Maybe it has to do with the fact that my dad was a pilot and so was my husband for many years. My earliest recollection was my mother taking my sister and I down by Lockheed on Hwy 41 and watching Dad do touch and go's. We learned what airplanes were flying overhead by listening to them and identifying their individual sounds. Fast forward to our years in the Navy and the P-3 Orion picked up where the C-5 left off. For the longest time it was what I related to and therefore was my comfort zone. So, where am I going with this? If this is a comfort zone for me, then why can't I understand it...because I just don't get it. Have you ever been on an airplane and really thought about how it can do that? How does it stay in the air like that without anything holding it up!? I can see my "physics major" husband rolling his eyes right now...and my dad would too if he were here. And yes, I've heard it explained a million times. Truth be doesn't matter. I get a great deal of perspective when I'm flying somewhere especially when I look out the window and watch the world go by and I don't have to understand it. Everything does look quieter and calmer from up there even though I know better and physics has nothing to do with it...I get to do it again next week for the long haul back to Abu Dhabi. After all these years, it still amazes me.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friends and Family

Let's talk about reconnecting...this has been a week of seeing family and old friends for no other reason than to just be together and well...reconnect. Monday night was all about revisiting my oldest friendships and catching up with them and their busy lives. Say what you will about Facebook, but I reconnected with a former 5th grade teacher of ours through Facebook not long ago and there she was in the restaurant that night with her grandson as we all walked in the door. It was such an honor to see her again and no, I will not say how long ago that was when we experienced that 5th grade year. She has been an inspiration to all of us through the years and we loved seeing her again. Wednesday night was family. We all congregated down into Decatur's Brickstore Pub once again to enjoy the many ages that create our family. The oldest was 82 and the youngest twins were 3 and all the rest of us were in-between. We can't get together enough as far as I am concerned. I find my family very interesting and very courageous. We are risk takers and business creators. We are mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, and cousins of all ages. We are kitchen managers, students, and paper salesmen. But most of all, we are a family who supports each other it should be. Events such as these remind me of the importance of keeping connected. I do define myself by where I come about a conversation starter...when was the last time you asked that question to yourself. I bet depending on what age you are now will determine your answer and you might surprise yourself! Reconnecting reminds us of where we've been and to whom we are accountable to. Reconnecting helps us move forward by reminding us of who got us there in the first place. Reconnecting improves emotional strength so we can help those of us who can't be strong right now, but who most assuredly will be again one day...I promise. Happy Birthday, Andy! Today was a great day!!! Let's do it again tomorrow. I love you!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Change and Donuts

I think I'm a bit obsessed with change. Some people have a hard time with it. I seem to thrive on it. It may sound silly but I am constantly amazed year after year at the change of seasons even though the same seasons happen every year. Time changes, weather changes, age changes, people change...what's that old saying? The more things change, the more they stay the same! I think most of us believe that. I think about this latest adventure for Matt and me. There's nothing really "the same" about this one at all. Because it's all so new, I find myself looking for places or things that might feel familiar knowing it will feed my confidence and help me feel safe (metaphorically) in discovering the newness of it and be more accepting of all the changes. It's a creature comfort thing in the midst of the unfamiliar and of course I never know what I'm going to find. With this in mind, not long ago a friend of mine and I went out check out yet another mall in the city and guess what I found...a Krispie Kreme donut store! I did not see an Arabic "hot to go" sign, but that doesn't mean it wasn't there, but can I tell you how confident I felt after seeing that place??!! It's the little things... Abu Dhabi is such a mixture of old world meeting the new world. Each one compliments the other and "change" threads itself into everyday life here very quickly. The unpaved side roads right next to huge lighted boulevards, the small family businesses right next to huge highrise buildings, the art of such an old and historic language used in creating their very contemporary world...all visible change and all visibly fascinating. Change is good...