Last spring when we were still living in California, I remember justifying our newly proposed Minnesota distance to my daughter, Noelle, by saying something like – “It won’t really be any different. It’s been four driving hours up the coast ‘til now and the flight to Minnesota will be about the same amount of time and with the cost of gasoline, maybe even less expensive with air fares.” Something like that. Or so I told myself. And her.
Silly me. Yes, all the above is true in a sense, but the actual process of booking the flight, jamming the world’s fair into a carry-on, humiliating oneself through security shoe-less lines and specious x-rays, enduring cattle-call cramps and white-knuckle turbulence – well, I’d rather jump in my car and drive the lovely 101 along the Pacific, at a moment’s notice if I so chose.
It isn’t the same. Today we’re both (T.M. and I) feeling sad and bereft and a bit awakened to reality. Not that we’re rescinding on our choice or our journey, but the truth and the breathe of the divide is clear and wide.
We talked on Christmas Day by phone to Sean, our number one grandson, who announced that after graduating from Sonoma State next spring, he will be going to South Korea or possibly Viet Nam to teach English for a year. Before applying to law school. Just yesterday we were reading Harry Potter. Weren’t we? And Sam is in college in Iowa embarked on creative, eclectic adventures. And Cassidy Rose is beautifully emerging out of childhood, and Haley Marie, my fashionista, will be following – too soon.
To have seven children and four grandchildren a long flight away, is poignant.
I’ve been keeping watch on my snow geese pair, the two who have stayed behind with the thousands of Canada Geese in the bends of the Ottertail River. After some initial positioning and coyness they did indeed, form a partnership and for days they swam together and nibbled by the bank and seemed quite content to be the standouts in the sea of brown. Every day I made it a point to check on their progress and well-being. Every day they were there. Until yesterday.
The very day we took Noelle to the airport for her flight back south (actually southwest) the snow geese were gone. Gone south, I’m sure. And I will hold the thought and the wish that all three will be back next spring.
And bringing the rest along!