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By Forrest Hershberger
View from the Handlebars 

The Challenge of Travel and Witnessed Events

 

September 8, 2022 | View PDF

My wife and I did something recently that we’ve never done before.

It was my niece’s wedding. I haven’t seen her for about 16 years, since losing my daughter. We connected over time with similar interests in other places and people. Mission experiences have a way of changing a person. And she did, as did I.

In the nearly 29 years we’ve been married, we’ve traveled here and there, mostly regional locations — day trips stretched into a few days at a time — but we’ve never flown together. Now, I’ve often heard the joke you want to test a relationship, back up an RV, remodel a house…. You might add find your way through an airport to that list.

I have flown a time or two; more than some, not as much as others. But this one was just an adventure. To start with, most of my trips have been necessary flight, not just time savers. I’m sure I could drive to Central America, but... no, I’ll fly in. And most of my flights have included enough layover to venture into gift shops, chance some of the food (hopefully of a local taste).

This trip was intended to pack as much as possible in limited time. We would get to DIA, park the car (although with better planning we could have left it with a friend in Denver), get checked in, and check the sites, and sights, on the way to the concourse.

The advantage/disadvantage of small towns is the pace. Changing suddenly from the “stop honking! I’ll get there” to the battle for the proper turn lane half a mile ahead is a little stressing. Trying to calm my wife at takeoff who hasn’t flown since we’ve been married took a moment and offering encouragement. It took me back to my first flight; boarding in the middle of the night with people I barely knew and my first flight: now that was an adventure.

Landing was even more of an adventure with the first flight feeling like we were going to skid all the way to the terminal. She got used to it; not sure she is a fan, but accepted it, The mid-flight turbulence didn’t help, but obviously that is a memory also.

But the real fun was landing in our destination city, learning we had to take a shuttle to the car rental office, and the shuttle driver clearly telling us, the company we reserved a car with is closed; we would have to work with the related but different company. At 1 a.m., probably later, they could have offered me a Chevy Vega and I might have taken it, if it was road safe.

The flight that should have had us in the airport by a respectable time, even in their time zone, resulted in us finding our hotel about 3 a.m. A cup of coffee and I could have seen the sun come up.

My brother texts me, well too early, to ask about breakfast plans. Breakfast was more like brunch a few hours prior to a social dinner for the family.

Our niece and her new husband are wearing the look of puppy love like they’ve been waiting for each other all their lives. I’m sure they are. The ceremony, less than two weeks old, was a barn setting of art deliberately clashing field and metro living; two people who met in theology studies and grew closer together.

It is refreshing to witness people who meet in a common situation and a relationship blooms as it should; nothing clandestine or self-defined, but almost predestined. I frequently hear people talking about finding their soulmate. Some I question if it is real or an effort to create the puppy love emotions. Other times, the couple wears it like a highway billboard with”truth” credits on the bottom. Time will tell who are, and who aren’t, soulmates forever.

By the way, you know you’re in the country when the address confuses even the GPS map program.

 

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