october 16. 2012
leaving france-layover in iceland-on to denver and home.
i don’t know if you’ve ever heard this story, but i love it. it goes something like this…
there is a japanese general, and there is a guard with him, and they have a prisoner. like all prisoners, they give him an option. to go straight through the door ahead, and face a firing squad, or go to the door to the right. the prisoner then asks what is on the other side of the door to the right, and the general said he would only find out if he picked that door and walked out it. because of the unknown of what was outside the door, to the right, the prisoner chose the door ahead, and faced the firing squad. the guard then asked the general, what was outside the door to the right…and the general responds…freedom. how many people have chosen that door to freedom the guard asks the general, and he replies, “none, the fear of the unknown is too great and all men have chosen death instead.”
i think about that story a lot, and wonder what doors i’m not opening because of fear of the unknown. life is unknown. that’s probably why we all get into the habit of doing the same, boring stuff everyday, and wonder where the luster parts have gone.
from the very beginning of the planning stages, this day was the one that concerned me. i told myself i would deal with it when it arrived, and wouldn’t worry about it until then. me and my four trusted travel buddies getting home, would be it’s own adventure, and one of many miracles.
we say a prayer every time we get in the car to go somewhere. and the blessings poured in. we arose at 4am, having packed most of the bags the night before, and cam’s brilliant idea of showering and dressing and just sleeping in those clothes helped out tremendously. we left at 5:30 instead of 5:00, getting the house locked up and making sure we had everything. it takes an hour to get to montpellier, where we would be dropping off our car at the train station, to catch the train from the south of france of to paris. we were cutting it short. we were figuring out the exit towards montpellier at one point, i stopped and backed out of an exit, unsure of where to go, and the car started doing something funky. the engine light came on, and the car felt a little tuggish while driving, not being able to go as fast as before. not a good sign. said another prayer.
filled up one more time at a roadside gas station, and rolled into the parking lot at the train station. it was 6:45, our train left at 7:00. we were hauling our hiney’s…everyone has a suitcase, alex has two to pull, and everyone has a backpack that is heavy, so we are lugged down. we are hustling through the parking lot, and a man helps camden with her luggage. he hurriedly leads us about 1/4 mile to the station, up an elevator, across the station, down an elevator, and onto our train, helping us load our luggage. he too was traveling to charles de gaul, and we had all made it with 4 minutes to spare. i would have had no idea where to go once we walked over to the station, we would have missed the train without this amazing man. what a miracle!
we ride the train for four hours. the french countryside up through all of france is picturesque…beautiful green pastures, separated with short green shubbery to mark someone else’s land. we even spot a very large rainbow arking across the green hills. no one really sleeps much. we finally arrive at charles de gaul, no idea where to go. we go up elevators, and ask an english couple for info, and they direct us to the nice concierge at the sheraton, right inside there. i ask where to go for icelandair, and he sees my brood, with all of our luggage. he makes a call, and comes back and says he’ll drive us to the terminal. he says it’s a long walk, then a train ride, then up and down elevators, and sees we are quite a large traveling circus(he didn’t call us that, but we were an eye full!). he packs us up, and drives us for 5-10 minutes over to the terminal. lovely man with a kind heart, and he shares his story, and is from istanbul. we unload, and graciously thank him. another miracle from a kind heart.
finding icelandair wasn’t really easy, but we found it- they were just setting up the area. a few people were waiting, but once they opened, we hustled up to the line for those who had already done online check-in(thank goodness jarom knows these things!), and we were second in line. it took a bit of time, just being the second. we had an extra duffel in one of the suitcases just in case we would need to take things out if the luggage was over the weight limit, but the woman didn’t blink an eye. i think there was only one, but no issue. thank goodness. by the time we were done, the line was wrapping and wrapping around. we would have had to stand in that line, probably at the back, cutting it super close to missing the flight, if it weren’t for that quick ride in the car. we get to the gate, grab our last french meal of sandwiches, and a treat for the girls, a chocolate croissant each.
we board the flight, and the three hours seem never-ending. maybe because we had been up since 4am. icelandair rocks, and i hope we fly them again. they bring meals for the kids every time. free headphones, and awesome coloring supplies, and you have your own tv in front of you, with movies and shows. plus extra nice seats.
we finally arrive to iceland, and have 20 minutes before boarding, and grab a snack and waters. i don’t let my kids hardly ever have junk food, so i had obviously loosened up on this trip. it’s hard for me to let them eat that crap that i know will hurt their bodies, but i had to let go while traveling. and i did. the 7 1/2 hour flight was long, and my hips were starting to really ache. we all fell asleep finally toward the end of the flight for an hour or two, but not much more. we arrived to denver, made it through customs, only declaring chocolate, grabbed our luggage that was already strolling around baggage claim, and strolled out.
there was my amazing husband, with full beard, handsome as ever. he had flowers for all of us individually, and we we arrived to the car, where he had made a poster and filled the car with balloons. what an amazing daddy! the house was spotless, which always makes me happy. we brushed our teeth, and fell into bed, around 9pm, which is 5am france time, having traveled for over a day. it was absolutely long, and i still don’t know how we made our train and plane…i do know, but it’s just amazing and i’m in awe at how much Heavenly Father knew it would be a tremendous adventure that day flying home with four kids and luggage, and how much i would need his help. he had his arms guiding us and inspiring others with love to take a few moments out of their day that would drastically effect our outcome, and we are so grateful to them to have listened and followed that inspiration. i hope to be more like them.
what an adventure. we all grew and changed. i have so many new perspectives and feelings. i feel like my whole life has changed in a way. i really needed that. not that i wasn’t grateful, but i had been in a rut of pushing and struggling through the boring-ness of everyday life, doing the same thing everyday. i don’t feel like i need to do what most people do, and never have. i am not afraid to be different. i am not afraid to tell you my thoughts and ideas on things. i am not afraid to go against the grain. i want to live my life my way, not how society demands. i want my girls to learn to think outside of the box, and go with their gut, their dreams, their inspirations. i want to do that too. now that my health is improving after a very long time, i have been blessed to get my life back. i have worked hard for it too. i’m ready to go live. i’m ready to open more doors that are unknown.