Thursday, March 20, 2014
Traveling back to Jordan
Making a home visit is not easy because so many details need attending. Many people will simply say, “just call me,” but first I have to buy a phone, make sure I write down their numbers, and find a time when I’m awake to place the call. Fortunately, I have great friends who made my traveling very easy. I’m well cared for. I know it.
Jet lag was bothersome for me this time. My sleeping and eating schedules were way off and I would immediately lose energy when it was 3:30 a.m. Amman time. This is the time most people want to see me. I think I will have to suggest guidelines for friends so they know what I can do during these trips and how they best can facilitate a meeting. On short trips, it is impractical for me to travel 1.5 hours by car to eat at a friend’s house for 2 hours, then drive back to the place I’m staying with bleary eyes. In the future, I will make definitive plans to have people meet me at a location near where I am staying prior to making the trip. Then everyone has certainty. After traveling 5,500 miles one way, some assistance is required.
Anyways, this trip was explicitly stated so that I would visit parents.
I did catch up with two high school classmates, which was great fun. It was impromptu, but a fortuitous gathering. Dave and Sue are salt of the earth good people.
It was 10 ten days without honking horns or fearful driving. Especially in Texas, I was amazed at the orderliness and respect for driving laws. It works so well and was very safe and easy. Texans, who are cowboys, have great respect for the law.
Visiting parents was fun. Sometimes we didn’t talk all that much about the all-important matters in life, but it was just calm and easy. I know they appreciated that I made the effort to see them.
Spring is coming to the U.S. The nation has endured quite a stressful winter and the citizens deserve a thaw. Amman had a great deal of rain last week. I’m sad I missed it.
I have to create the world in which I live. Because of Internet, I’m connected to people across the continents. No place and every place feel like home.
On the way to Chicago, a young man sat next to me. Recently out of college, he is spending some time in France, but he has not been on a plane since he was 6 years old. He asked all sorts of questions about travel. I told him the most important thing to do was to smile and be polite. He kept asking questions and I had to remember my advice to him.
It seems as if I am shifting to a mode when I am teaching people about life’s experiences. I have to be patient with the young and old alike as they move through new experiences. It is a new mode of my being but I sense instinctively that I have to move this way. I probably should have done it earlier.
I enjoyed a nice St. Patrick’s Day and I was pleased that Petra was colored green for the holiday. We celebrated the feast at the parish before I left and most had never heard of St. Patrick. They will from now on. I had corn beef and Irish soda bread. Yum. We have to teach each other about our inspirational models.
I will miss seeing familiar Irish and English looking faces as I head to the Middle East. However, whenever I encounter a smile, I feel like I’m settled. I’m seeing many.
I showed everyone photos of Amman and they really saw that I am enjoying myself there.
I can’t wait to get back to painting. I want to begin the next round of creations. I have to choose a theme and paint twenty-five of them. Give me some ideas: landscapes, seascapes, mountains, mushrooms, water lilies, springtime cafes, clouds, anything that makes me happy.
I miss playing in gardens. I love mulch and soil and the planting/pruning processes. I enjoyed walking around nurseries to smell the new plants.
Plane ride back was good. After we pulled onto the tarmac, we had to return to the gate because one man was walking around trying to find a seat. It is the first time I ever experience that phenomenon. The flight was pleasant and I had about five hours sleep, which will help tonight.
I did enjoy the man who as we were taking off decided to make one last phone call. Why is it that rules don't apply to him? Managing a plane full of people is not easy. My hat goes off to flight attendants.
Visiting friends was very good, but also I see that we are aging. A few limps here and there, more grey hair or less hair. Soon, we’ll be talking about how well we lived our lives.