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the reverse-side of work travel May 9, 2007

Posted by andrea in ephemera.
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Okay, so this time, I’m the one left at home…with the doggies, all mine. Every walk, every poop, every meal. No trade-offs.

Harald left today for Vienna, in order to attend his sister’s funeral. Probably the WORST reason to travel, but I urged him to do it, booked the flight, found a hotel today, and text-messaged him the deets, so he’ll get them when he lands. It’s family, there’s no choice, right?

But, for the first time, I’m the one who kissed him goodbye and sent out “safe flight” vibes, as he left. It was always me leaving before, for work. And I always pooh-poohed his “please be safe, good flight, be a good girl, I love you” admonitions when I left, like “dude, I’m just going to work…on a plane”. Like I was soooo cool.

So, it’s me and the dogs tonight, and for a few days. And our home is missing one of its integral parts. And the dogs keep running to the door with every sound, thinking “oh boy, my favourite part! when DAD comes home!”

And it’s me now that’s worried, not WORRIED, but in a very low-key “hmm, I hope he’s okay” way. And I’ll probably wake up at 4am, when his plane is supposed to land, and wait for him to call.

When I travelled, I got very good at the calling. I would text him, as soon as the wheels touched the tarmac. “I’m back! See you soon!” And everyone in my same situation was doing the same thing, that little touchpoint to their friends or family, or whoever.

Last summer, I was in FLA (flaaaaaah, as I call it) when the big “no water, no liquids, nothing” thing happened. I was routed through Charlotte, onto Toronto. The flight attendant was magnificent…a large, beautiful Southern woman sauntering up and down the aisles calling out “any liquids? I personally prefer the finer fragrances…y’all can just drop them in my bag here…and I’ll do my very best to make sure they get back to you.” Chortle, nudge wink. I loved her.

It was the typical Thursday shuttle, for commuters…back home to T.O. Tons of people like me, laptop-jockeys. White, Black, Indian, Asian – just wanting to get home. And, for the first time EVER (aside from charter flights to the Caribbean), when that same flight attendant announced as we touched down “Welcome to Canada”, the plane erupted in clapping. Happy to be home, happy to be out of the U.S.? Who can say? But there was a tiny recognition amongst us, a certain care that we understood for each other. Home.

Be well, my goofy husband…and come back safe. Nina and Trudy (the dogs) will be wagging to beat the band.

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