Many of you will traveling soon for the holidays, perhaps your children are on their school break, relatives are coming to town or you'll be visiting them. We all come together to celebrate the season together. Each and every one of us has different experiences...some may be more interesting than the next - which can be good or bad when trying to just make it home - but the important part is that we make it home. Here's an experience from my son a few years ago.
Lee Cornell, my son recounts on a particular trip home for Christmas
It was December 24 and I was flying into what looked like a snow-covered village. The small propeller was descending, and I could make out the frozen rivers and lakes that seemed to be everywhere.
Soon they were big brick buildings. Most of them had smoke pouring out of their aging chimneys. More and more houses appeared. The roads became wider and the traffic heavier as we made a sharp turn around the modest houses and prepared to land on the icy runway.
The pilot had to be good because heavily falling snow made visibility suspect at best. There were also large mounds of snow on both sides of the landing strip, not to mention icy patches. The captains hand was true, and we skidding harmlessly until we finally came to a stop and made a turn to head back to the heart of the airport.
It was late and it had been a long day of traveling. This was the third flight of my journey, and total travel time was somewhere around 12 hours. I had come from one end of the country and was rather exhausted at this point. I shuffled out of the plane and was met by my parents. I grabbed my luggage and we ventured out into the snow.
The night seemed even darker than usual because of the terrible weather. People were scurrying around in oversized winter jackets. Their faces were hardly distinguishable, even up close.
The cars in the parking lot were dark, too, and not necessarily due to their original color. It was more because of the spewing mixture of dirt and snow that shot out from their spinning tires in attempt to grip the slippery roads.
We quickly hopped into the shelter of a waiting car and started off on the last leg of my trip. Because of the dangerous storm, traffic had become sparse; cars drifted toward the middle of the road, where there was less snow.
We drove delicately down the steep hill; at the bottom we could see a massive lake completely covered by ice. We made a left turn and drove past a college campus that was eerily quiet. A small group of people struggled against the harsh, blowing snow, probably walking home after a neighborhood gathering.
We were almost there now. We pulled up into the driveway, and huge pine trees all around made it seem as if we were in the middle of an epic forest. Outside it was almost complete blackness.
My dad parked the car and we trudged through the snow into the house. Candles were lit and there were colorful blankets and pillows all about. Beautiful placemats also had been painted in a fantastic new color. It was a sharp contrast from the harshness of the bitter weather. There was a fire burning and my family, including my two brothers, gathered around the warmth. We talked, smiled, and reminisced, retelling favorite old stories. We also caught up on new adventures taking places in our lives. The couches were comfortable. The pictures along the walls were captivating, even after all the years I had looked at them.
I had a hot coffee and let my mind wander into the future of the next day's celebrations.
I was finally home. It was Christmastime.
May you all be safe while traveling from home to home!
Be Beautiful, Live Beautiful, Feel Beautiful