Category Archives: Travel

Reflections

It’s a quiet night and I’m winding down to go to sleep. I have thoughts I want to write before I rest, but part of me worries that those who read this will misunderstand what I am writing or why I am writing.

I watched a friend lose his daughter this week…it was a tough thing to watch, knowing you can’t do much besides be there, as an ear…as a shoulder.

I talked with someone I consider a friend, a man who was very instrumental in my conversion to Orthodoxy in the last 2 years. We discussed how sometimes you just get too tired to fight anymore, and you’re ok when it’s your time.

I’ve come to realize that for many of us that’s going to be true when you finally get there. I wonder of course, when the time comes…will I be remembered fondly…or at all?

We live in a harsh world, where we’re often so caught up in ourselves, we miss the nuances of what makes us human.

Take time, look around you, notice those who care about you…before they aren’t there anymore.

Just a ramble…goodnight

Advertisements

Proud

So, many of you may know or understand the ins and outs of the Special education world, many of you may not. I have had 2 special education kiddos for as long as they’ve been in school. One with Autism (who, though he still comes with challenges, has come a remarkably long way in 13 years) and one with dyslexia.

E was in special education as a toddler, partially because of her brothers issues, partly because she herself had a few challenges. We moved from Indiana to Texas when she was 3, and she was almost immediately pushed out of the special education system because basically they didn’t see the need for a 3 yr old to be there.

When she was in kindergarten and first grade, she struggled to read and was identified to have dyslexia and possible other learning challenges. They worked with her on a dyslexia program and things improved dramatically over the years (though her 3rd grade teacher was a huge setback and wasn’t so understanding of her challenges).

Today, I attended what promises to be the last ARD for E, as she has ‘graduated’ out of the need for the special education supports. She is a strong learner, who is able to voice when she needs help, and self advocate. She’s become not only very adept at overcoming challenges but is also very mature about it.

Today, I will admit, I am a little bit proud of this kid, and all she has done. ❤️

A thought for you…a challenge

I’ve noticed something increasingly in the world around me as of late, and to me it seems it’s gotten to be the norm.

People often worry about their weight, their outward appearance, their stuff…but don’t take the time to take care of one important aspect of themselves- their mind, their mood, their spirit.

Do you know that carrying a negative attitude with you can cause a myriad of health issues, (obesity not excluded)? Did you know that keeping yourself in check and realizing (and changing) the negative energy you are putting out can change so much more of your day than you think?

I challenge you today,,,if you will, to do one of 2 things.

1. If you choose to not change any negative you put out in the world, take time at least to observe how it impacts those around you, as well as yourself. Watch how one negative interaction can affect the next 3-5 interactions. Watch how much joy can get sucked out of things that should have made you happy, but hit too close to your bad moment.

2. You can change things, catch yourself before you let negative words fly and change it into something positive…try to take note of how you feel and how others around you respond.

If you do get mad, try to divert the energy…go for a walk, listen to music, go to the bathroom and wash your face and hands and take a good long hard look at yourself and understand that whatever it is, will pass.

I’m as guilty as anyone of the negative energy, I’m working towards the second option as a habit.

Here’s to you!

The Wong line

Just a quick post:

Monday night late, when we were about to go through the customs declaration to re-enter the US, I saw signage about an app that I had previously downloaded, and how it could make the customs process easier, so I stopped E, scanned her passport and took her photo (I’d done mine before we left the US), and answered the questions it asked.

When we got up to the queue for customs, there were hundreds in line to get through the process, there was one in front of me for the mobile line (it’s the same line as diplomats and military personnel) but he was in the wrong line and sent away with someone else within minutes to direct him accordingly.

I was apprehensive that perhaps this was too easy and I too was in the wrong line, nevertheless, I proceeded to the desk with E in tow, my cell phone with the app opened and my passports in hand. I asked the gentlemen if I too was in the wrong line, he assured me that I was in the correct place. 

Seconds later, after assessing what I handed him, he got a very serious look and told me yes, in fact I was in the Wong line. I started to panic before he smiled a huge smile and pointed at his name tag…his last name was Wong.

This man made my whole day, his sense of humor at what could have been a stressful part of my day made me smile.

Seriously though, if you travel abroad…get this app!!

2 flights to go…

By the time this is posted, we will actually be down to the last flight, as I am writing this as we’re in the air on flight 2. 

Today is a stark difference from yesterday, only crossing one time zone, and surrounded by far nicer people than we were yesterday.

We didn’t care much for the Airport at Heathrow, too much space wasted on duty free shopping and not enough facilities and spaces to relax. People were rude and sat on top of you, the whole atmosphere was a restless one. Quite different from the rest of London in feel. 

Flight attendants were great during the flight, meals left a little to be desired. People around us left a lot to be desired.

Five minutes before the plane took off, the woman behind E went to stand up and grabbed the back of E’s seat (and a large handful of E’s hair) in doing so.  She didn’t notice, and it  was an honest mistake, so we tried to let that go.

10 minutes into our flight, I was trying to get something from the seat back pocket, with my arm between my tray table and the seat, when the woman in front of me decided to recline her seat back hard and fast, catching my arm between the seat and the table. This made me jump and I yelled that my arm was there and that she’d hurt me, she yelled back that she didn’t know, and proceeded to shove the seat back as hard as she could.  Every opportunity se could find after that to push the seat back a little harder, she did. She made eye contact with me several times as she did this, as if to dare me to say something. (I know you may be thinking I’m being a bit overdramatic in saying this, however this woman announced to her seat mate loudly halfway through the flight, upon returning from the lavatories, that there were several empty seats in the back but she was having too much fun in her current seat). 

Today, We’re surrounded by pleasant people. The 2 gentlemen behind us are friends traveling together, one of the 2 traded his first class seat with the woman originally seated there in order to sit with his friend. The man seated next to me is a Vietnam veteran who is very pleasant in the brief conversation we’ve had. He’s headed to vacation with his daughter and grandchildren. The 3 in front of us are an older woman and her 4 yr old grandson and a woman flying solo. The woman in front of E asked if we’d be bothered with her reclining…she did so ever so slightly. The little boy is in front of me, he’s sweet and very animated , we gave him and his grandmother a few mini packets of Haribo starmix just before takeoff. While not completely quiet, the flight is a pleasant one. 

We left our luggage at the airport last night, in a secure luggage locker. This made getting out the door far more pleasant at 3 am. Stayed at Hilton Garden inn, and much like the previous Hilton Garden inn, I am not inclined to want to stay there again. It was dirtier than I would have expected, and the beds were hard, still it was only for a night, or part of one.

Shuttles were efficient and the morning driver was sweet 

Currently listening to Spotify on my phone, E’s head is on my shoulder as I write. 

Map says we’re over the Appalachian mountains in Virginia currently. Can’t tell much from the cloud cover.

It’s gone too fast

I will likely write in the next few days to catch you up on the rest of the trip, but for now, we are 98% packed (waiting on morning toiletries, our nightclothes from tonight and one load of laundry that is in the washer/dryer combo {can’t say I like those}).

Its been a full day, some good, a lot of bad today.  Got up early for church after I got little to no sleep last night due to a toothache. I’ve been grinding my teeth at night. 

Got to church within 5 minutes of it’s starting, my first time being late, E was proud.

Went to lunch in Camden Town while we were there, at a little Greek Taverna called Andy’s. They were very pleasant and kind, and though they had a full house and I didn’t have a reservation, they accommodated us and were very attentive.

After lunch, we came home, and began the process of packing (I was already maybe half packed). Talked to a friend I had been supposed to meet during this trip, got my feelings crushed as he broke the friendship off.  We don’t see eye to eye on things, he’s not the kind of person where anyone else’s viewpoint is a valid one it seems. 

Not a lot this evening, talked to a few friends, watched YouTube with E, packed.

In bed now, up at 7 to finish getting us packed and out the door. Here’s hoping tomorrow goes smoothly.