Wednesday, June 16, 2021

A flying visit

The last time I got on an airplane was February 2019, when I caught the last flight ahead of an impending ice storm in North Carolina. The airport was eerily empty, most of the flights had been cancelled the night before. The COVID-19 virus was already here, which I’d thought about on the flight from Philly, which included several scientists returning from a trip to China. 

Last Tuesday, I drove to PHL at 5 am to catch a flight to San Jose, then drove 150-ish miles south to my brother’s house. Surprise! I hadn’t told anyone I was coming. My sister was retiring after 21 years at her second career as a high school teacher and I hadn’t seen my sibs in more than 2 years. I thought it would be fun to just show up unannounced at her retirement party. I did and it was. 

My sister-in-law found a bed for me to sleep in (shout out to their amazing AirBnB), one brother flew (himself - he's a pilot) up from SoCal. It was grace and joy from one end to the other.

Over the course of forty-eight hours I shared five meals with (variously) four of my five sibs, three sisters-in-law, one brother-in-law, two nieces and a nephew. I ate In-N-Out burger, sushi, Joe's diner (twice), but the real feast was the time with family. 

Now I'm back, settling into the summer writing rhythm. 

I fly home, settling back into myself — Rainer Maria Rilke

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