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And then radio silence. I’m not sure what is going on upstairs but I’m in this very low communication mode. I don’t want to talk or type. Nothing wrong, just no desire to put anything out there. Hopefully things will improve.

How self important does that sound? I’m giving WordPress a try. I haven’t decided if I am moving here for realz, or just visiting.

What can be said about a trip that allows you to revisit places you have been and see them with a fresh perspective. When I last laid eyes on New York City it was dirty, slightly seedy and in some places down right dangerous. All of this gave me a good measure of apprehension about my oldest daughter coming here for college and possibly forever. It’s something she has wanted for about a third of her life and the siren song is seductive.

It’s been my experience that raising a child is equal parts heart warming and heart breaking. Eventually, if you do it right, the child stretches his or her wings for one last time and soars out of the nest. And doesn’t look back. For a long time.

The heartwarming part is watching your child/adult help the cutest little old lady navigate the subway that she has only been on twice herself. As if she were a native New Yorker, full of authority and sweetness. The heartbreaking part is knowing it’s just visits from now on out, not actual day to day living.

I first read this piece of poetry by Kahlil Gibran when I was a teenager in high school. I reacquainted myself with it when Danielle was born and again on her first birthday. It still brings me to tears in a good way everytime I read it.

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

I told Danielle that seeing the place she wanted to go made it easier for me to let go of her. I also explained that it was as if I’d had the same job for 17 years and one day the boss lady told me I didn’t have to show up anymore. It’s left the queerest vacuum in it’s place.

Seriously, we did. Such is the state of air travel in the US these days. US Airways called to let me know there was a two hour delay on the flight home from Newark to Las Vegas. We would have missed our connecting flight back into Portland that was scheduled to arrive at 2:00 am. Yes I meant to type am.

Ellie’s flight was to arrive at 7:00 am that same morning.

What came next was a mix of taut TV style suspense, car chases and a little Keystone Kops thrown in for good measure. I can tell you now, with great authority, that Marc has cojones the size of planetoids and that they are steel reinforced.

The original flight was supposed to leave at 8:44 pm from Newark. We were already on Manhattan when the call came about noon. This was not a case of poor planning on our part. I contacted the airline to find out what my options were. When I explained my problem to the operator she told me twice, or was it three times that my flight would get into Las Vegas at 1:30 am. I already knew that part. I asked her for a last time how that affected my connecting flight to Portland. She transferred me to a specialist, but could not give me a phone number to try if I was disconnected.

You can probably see where I am going with this. I was disconnected.

I called again and was given the chance to fly out of Newark at 2:33 pm. We should have had plenty of time to make it. Plenty of time except for the Free Tibet protest. Marc was so expert, so nimble at weaving between taxis and buses and clueless non native drivers, that he and Blackbird (his Prius has a name) seemed joined at the steering wheel. He cajoled, waved, cursed and railed for a few extra inches. It was a sight to behold. And then there was the Free Tibet protest. An immovable object came up against my darling unstoppable force. We conceded. It wasn’t likely to happen.

I called US Airways again. So sorry to report that we can’t get out of Manhattan this way right now. Any other flights you can find? La Guardia at 3:00. Hmm probably not given it’s a Friday and we would have to drive the length of the island again. Who knows who else might be protesting.

Marc mentions Philadelphia. Bingo, there is a flight from Philly to Portland at 6:00 pm. Never mind that it’s almost a hundred miles away. We’ll take it.

That my friends, was my first introduction to the New Jersey turnpike. Marc expertly weaves his way out of Manhattan through a wide open Lincoln tunnel and we say good bye to the island of Danielle’s dreams. We find ourselves amidst the hellish reality of toll roads. What sadist thought these up I’ll never know, but soon enough we are rolling down the road at lot’s o’ miles per hour along a stretch of Turnpike that has a minimum of 9 lanes on each side. OK, I’m exaggerating a little, but it was huge. Periodically it squeezes into the toll booth and all traffic comes to a standstill. We press on.

Near the end of the trip along the NJ turnpike I begin to see airplanes – several of them. It reminds me of seeing hawks lazily, but attentively, wheeling above looking for a meal. It’s a good sign, we are not far now. I start to relax but feel a little wary of what other traffic nonsense might be out there. Before too long though, we can see the city of Philadelphia across the river and I know we will make our flight.

Better still, it’s a direct flight that gets us into Portland at 8:30 pm without a single stop. Not 2:00 am the next morning after a Dawn of the Dead zombie shuffle through the Las Vegas airport. We shuttle to the hotel in Portland and drop where we lay. Ellie’s flight is delayed two hours till 9:00 am, but it’s ok, because we will pick her up and take good care with her after we rest.

It’s been a great trip. A chance for Danielle and I to reconnect in a positive fashion that allows for the adult she is becoming. But more on that later. It’s good to be home.

Getting ready to leave for New York, it’s scary and wonderful all at the same time. I’m looking at what I’m going to take for knitting and reading. I think it will be the Wing o’ the Moth shawl and the book Atonement. A good knit and a good read.

My daughter was home today from Hawai’i and it was so fun to listen to her talk about everything in her life. She is ready to fly. I just need to work on giving her the space to stretch and exercise her wings.

I might be taking a spindle and some fiber to spin too. Haven’t decided if that’s a good idea or a waste of precious space in the suitcase.

I have too many thoughts and feelings to put them in the blog in less than the space of a week. I’m hoping that I can relax during this trip and let Danielle take the lead. I’ll also be seeing a little of Boston and that’s a new place for me.

I’ll be off the air for a bit, unless I can snag the computer for a bit. Be well, be safe, be happy!