Wednesday, April 30, 2014

From the Air

I'm traveling this week with some family friends (Josiah & Tiffany) to help take care of their special-needs son, Dillon. His brain was damaged at birth and as a result he requires round-the-clock care. They didn't have a nurse who could go with them to watch him overnight, and so that is why I am here. He doesn't talk but he sighs from time to time. I'd never heard his voice before last night, and he's sighing quite a bit tonight. <3

I'm also helping watch their 3 other children, ages [almost] seven, [almost] four, and two. No lack of energy there! Boarding planes (we had one connection) and then driving several hours was a lot of work but we did it, with some help from the airport.

Tiffany picked me up yesterday afternoon and I spent the night with them before leaving today. Between the time I arrived and dinner & bedtime that night (the kids went to bed early, since we had to get up around 4:30 or 5 am), I mostly watched the kids. We went outside and climbed trees, dug in the dirt, rode bikes, flew a kite, and chased each other with water guns. The oldest of the three, Jay, informed me that he was going to stay outside all day and all night long. Kids can be a lot of fun (and I'm not saying that sarcastically!).

It was awesome seeing the ground from the plane. This is the second time I've flown, the first being in 2006 from Pennsylvania to South Africa (one stop in...I can't remember, somewhere in Africa). From the 2006 flight, I mostly remember the water. It was really neat, seeing it from so high up. The waves were like small ripples in a flowing, silken tapestry. Incredible. Especially when you think of just how large those waves really are.

Besides the water, I also remember the clouds when we were above them -- huge, fluffy clouds that looked like mountains. I took a mind-picture of one in particular that I'll never forget. They looked good enough to eat! And to climb. If that makes sense.

Also, the shadows. The clouds made shadows on the ground. When you're on the ground, these shadows are known as "shade". But from an airplane, they are clearly shadows. It was awesome. Everything was so small compared to its size from the ground. The clouds engulfed whole fields! Again, it was incredible.

This flight, the flight from this morning/afternoon, I noticed mostly the landscape. When we took off, I watched the city until it faded and faded and...suddenly it was engulfed by white, the clouds had become too thick to be seen through. And then they got brighter and brighter -- the clouds, that is -- as we climbed higher and higher. When we descended, I could tell when we were almost below them again because the clouds got less bright; not darker, just less bright. The sun is intense up there. That's something else I remember from 2006, the sun. It was so very bright above the clouds. I had to squint just to look sideways out the window at first. And just as my eyes were adjusting, I had to close the windows and the airplane's lights were turned off because it was time for sleep. Except, we were flying to Africa from the US, so I had been planning on staying up late to help with the jet lag (I'm a night person, anyway). It would have been so easy. But they made me turn the lights out and even close my one small window. Oh, well.

Back to today's flight...or, I guess it's yesterday's flight, by now, seeing as it's 2:17am. As we descended, it was awesome to watch as the landscape came suddenly into view, much the way it had disappeared earlier, and then to watch it slowly grow. Jay (who was sitting next to me) commented on how the wings moved -- there were different flaps that raised or lowered. I remember watching that when I was 11 in 2006. Anyhow, it was neat, landing in the west, to see the thought-out/planned landscape, versus the more chaoticness of the east. Everything here was more square, more OCD. Which is cool, since I am. But I like chaos, too, in it's place. So both east and west is just as awesome. Oh, and there were no mountains or even hills. North Dakota is flat.

Jay and I also saw some trains on the ground. We got to see them again after we'd landed; we drove past them on our way to a restaurant for a much-wanted, very late lunch.

Moving on, through the airport, into the rental car, to the restaurant, into the other rental car (just me...since we met up with Josiah's parents, I rode with them to give the kids more room), taking a nap, crossing the boarder, seeing a quaint little church (which I wasn't able to get a picture of), talking about their family, talking about random other things, getting close, almost there, arriving at our destination, looking for the right house, remembering it'd been painted, parking, meeting the grandparents, hauling all the luggage in (of which there was much, almost all of it Dillon's), getting settled, eating dinner (it being 9 pm, or 10 pm where we came from), talking a bit, going to bed, making sure Dillon was all set up for the night, and here I am eating more pie and typing and making sure he gets everything he needs. And muting those demon machines when they scream at me for no good reason.

Now I simply must wait until morning. Or 3 am, at which time I must stop and give him more stuff.

There you have it: the ramblings of a sleep-deprived nineteen-year-old watching a sleeping almost-eight-year-old as he's hooked up to machines after a long day of travel, watching six- and four- and two-year-olds, and toting luggage around from place to place.

I am not a morning person.

(all pictures in this post were taken by and belong to me)


  1. Great blog Jess! I like seeing your writing progress like this. i am not a morning person either. Except when I am

    1. Thanks! And thanks for commenting (the very first comment on this blog)!

      I'm glad you enjoy it :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...