6/14/12

There's No Place Like Home

It gives me great pleasure to say that I have cheated death once again.  Since the last time I sat at this computer, I have boarded six airplanes and none of them have fallen to earth in a giant fireball.  I would say that is an extraordinary accomplishment for someone who doesn't even have a pilot's license.  Fortunately for my fellow passengers, I was not flying any of the planes.  If anyone is listening, I am extending my deepest gratitude to all the pilots who helped me to accomplish this feat.

As if to welcome me home, the mountains were all out in their dress white uniforms as I flew past yesterday. It seems as good a time as any to say that the landscape below was as many shades of green as I saw in Ireland, which is not surprising since both places receive an overabundance of rainfall.  The difference between the Pacific Northwest and Ireland is that our patchwork of green is not divided by hedges and stone walls.  Where Ireland has sheep, we have trees.  Lots and lots and lots of trees.  Those of you who live in homes with wooden studs may applaud in gratitude now.

Here are the mountains from yesterday.  These were shot with my iPhone through a smeary airplane window.  Some of them were zoomed in the extreme because of their distance, and so they are a little grainy.  Nevertheless, I think you will appreciate them.  With the exception of Mt. Hood, these are the mountains I can see from my house . . . much smaller when viewed that way.

Here is Mt. Rainier.  I loved how her foothills were peeking above the clouds like little islands.



Here is Mt. Adams.


To give you some context, here are Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams in the same image.  Yes, Rainier is big.


Here is Mt. St. Helens.  The sun was going down as I flew by.  If you look almost dead center in the image, you can see the shadow of our plane.


Here is Mt. Hood.


I love our mountains.  They are like old friends.  Mike and I moved to Portland from Phoenix in 1978 when he became a freshly-minted engineer.  Life held such promise on that trip . . . and it has not been disappointing.  When we rounded a bend in the road as we drove through the Columbia Gorge, Mt. Hood suddenly came into view . . . immense and impressive.  I knew right away that I was going to like it here.  And I do.

So I have much to do to try to get back into a routine.  The days before and after a trip are always the most stressful, I think.  My trip home was mostly uneventful, save for missing my connection in Seattle.  Fortunately, commuter flights to Portland go every half hour well into the evening.  It was a minor and easily forgotten blip.  

Here was yesterday's schedule:
  • Out of bed 3:30 a.m. Dublin time (eight hours ahead of home)
  • Flight left out of Dublin bound for Chicago:  10:15 a.m.--7 hours of flying time followed by a 4-hour layover. (Sitting directly across the aisle from me were the most disagreeable two-year-old twin boys I've ever seen on an airplane.  They screamed almost literally for the entire flight.  The parents had the patience of twenty people.  I expressed my admiration to them at the end.  Really.)  
  • Flight left Chicago bound for Seattle around 4:20 p.m.--4 1/2 hours flying time followed by a failed mad dash to collect my bag, recheck it, and make it through security for my flight.  It was a short layover there.
  • Flight for Portland around 8:30 p.m.--30 minutes of flying time followed by me falling to my knees to kiss the tarmac as we emerged from the plane.  Followed by odd stares from my fellow passengers.  None of them had been traveling for a solid week (or so it seemed).
On the flight from Chicago to Seattle, there was a moment when I seriously considered requesting a parachute.  It seemed preferable to deplane then and parachute into South Dakota rather than spend one more second on an airplane.  I figured I could just call Mike and ask him to pick me up.

George and Gracie were glad to see me, although they seemed a little confused at first.  Not only that, but the wheels on my suitcase rolling across the wood floor set them back a few paces.  Within a few minutes, George was purring like a sewing machine, and he snuggled with me all night long.  This morning, we had our lap time which he soaked up like a sponge.  Occasionally he got off my lap to do something else, but he kept coming back for more.

Please congratulate me for already having my bags unpacked.  There are few things that annoy me more than a smart-alecky suitcase sitting around sneering, "Neh, neh, neh.  Now I shall have my revenge."  Honestly, they are worse than teenagers.

Now I'm going to go take a much needed shower.  Much needed on so many levels.  I am greasy and stinky and desirous of the waters from our well to wash away the weariness of travel.  (Pretty good alliteration, huh?)

Before I do that, however, I want to thank you all again for following along, reading, and leaving so many kind and witty comments.  It made me feel less homesick to have so many friends along.  When I started blogging, I had no idea what a friendly and supportive community I was entering.  Although we have not met in person, you are still as precious to me as any friends I have ever known.

I realize I have a winner to announce in the May NewFO linky party, and some of you are waiting for me to do a few other things as well.  Hopefully, I will be back to normal by Monday, and it will be as though I had never left.

20 comments from clever and witty friends:

Dirt Road Quilter said...

Well, welcome home! It seems like you just left! I have been away from the computer for much of your trip, but I am looking forward to catching up on all of your adventures in the next week. Last time I checked in, you were at the quilt show. Rest well!

Debbie said...

Welcome home! Love your alliteration and antics on the tarmac! That's how I felt when we returned from Alaska after flying for 13 hours. Beautiful mountain photos, too.

Judy1522 said...

Welcome back. I laughed when you talked about falling to your knees and kissing the tarmac. Even though I have never done that there have been many times I wanted to.

Diane Wild said...

Glad we're back. That flight didn't seem so bad. LOL

Mrs.Pickles said...

Welcome home! Lovely pictures!

Teresa in Music City said...

Add my voice to the "Welcome Home!" chorus!!! So glad you are back on home turf and getting settled back in, starting with George :*)

make.share.give said...

So glad you're home and unpacked to boot. Have a restful afternoon.

Gill said...

It's always good to get home isn't it??

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Welcome home. No matter how much I enjoy the traveling, I still love to come home :-)

PJ said...

Welcome Home! I looked forward to your blog posts - and pictures too -e ach day while you were away. You did good! Glad our beautiful mountains were our to greet you. I always say "Look the mountain is out" when I can see Mt. Rainier.

Kirsty said...

Love the pictures of your mountains! Great to know you are home safe and sound and that George and Gracie showed their appreciation - as only our furry friends can. Yay! All is right with the world.

Sarah said...

I am catching up on blogs and have yet to read a few of your Ireland posts but it seems you are in full form with this post!! Congrats on your safe arrival back to US soil and I'm glad the pussycats forgave you quickly (you didn't mention the hubby...). LOL.

Sally James said...

Welcome home!

WoolenSails said...

I am glad you made it home safely and can't wait to see more of your photos. The mountains are gorgeous from an aerial view.

Debbie

Anonymous said...

Welcome home. You're right; there's no place like home. And aren't we lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest?

Linda Coleman said...

Barbara
glad you made it home and in one piece. I've really enjoyed reading your posts about your trip to Ireland. It's nice to see it from a visitor's perspective. You really did get typical Irish summer weather (sun, rain, wind, cold). Love your photos of the mountains, living be the sea makes mountains the place I like to visit.

LethargicLass said...

I haven't commented on any of you away posts although I read them all, check my blog for why... but I sure am glad to have you home again safe and sound...

Dana Gaffney said...

Well, welcome home! I'm glad you're safe and sound with kitties on your lap. Perfect timing too, you'll be getting a package from me next week, so put on your baking cap.

quiltzyx said...

Great pics of the welcome home from the local peaks!

I'm glad that George & Gracie welcomed you in as well. I'm sure having George purr on you was a great help with the jet lag. :D

Kate said...

Welcome home. Hope you are almost completely recovered from the jet lag.

Thanks so much for taking all of us along. Loved all your pictures and stories.