Angels Do Have Wings

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We arrived at SEATAC airport (Seattle Tacoma) at 5 am headed to Ontario, California two days ago. Everything was smooth. From Richard dropping us off at the curb to locating our gate. Our assigned seats were located at the rear of the plane (row 31) and we marched our way down the aisle. I didn’t bump into any elbows nor did Owen’s backpack hit anyone in the face in passing. Our seat was second to the last row and I was pleased that we sat in front of a mother of two little ones. I had already befriended the 5 yr old girl and I was looking forward to making her 1 yr old sister smile.

We settled into our seats and that’s when a problem presented itself in paws and a wagging tail. A service dog with its master parked themselves behind us. My eyes widened as I met Owen’s worried look. We didn’t see this one coming. Owen is allergic to pets. He started rubbing his eyes and I immediately asked an attendant if they had some kind of Benadryl. I needed one for my son who is allergic to the dog. That’s when the magic began.

I’ve never been the type who gets over dramatic about situations that aren’t going as planned. I remain positive and always find the silver lining. The Alaska Airline attendant immediately got to work and told me to give her a moment (to see if she can find us another seat). I look over at Owen and his eyes are red and watering. He is starting to wheeze and I calmly explain to him that the attendant is doing what she can to alleviate the unforeseen issue. I remain calm and wait patiently.

Not long after, the attendant caught my eye and she gives me a motherly reassuring nod and smile. A tall gentleman with a red beard was trailing behind her with his things in his arms. We made way for this Good Samaritan and I thank him whole heartedly as he claimed his seat(s). He gave up his seat at the front of the plane, row 12 to be exact, for a little boy (& his mom).

As I sat in my seat reflecting, I felt tears come to my eyes. I started to think, what if no one had given up their seat? Would this mean Owen & I would catch the next flight out? Would they have asked the service dog and its master to do the same? Would we need to flip a coin on who stays on and who gets off? Would Owen have to endure the (short) flight in complete discomfort? I told myself to breathe, relax and be simply grateful. It doesn’t matter anymore. The good deed has been done. I later introduced myself to Eric and shook his hand. He gives a “no problem” gesture and smile, like it was nothing. Evidently, as a mother, it meant a lot to me and to Owen’s lungs.

It turns out earth-bound angels are in places you least expect. I’m not religious but I am spiritual. I believe in humanitarianism, spirit guides and having good karma.

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Meaningful Friendships

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About a year ago, we embarked on this journey of traveling by trailer in search of a good home.

I (still) sharply remember getting very homesick. I missed my family and friends.

The brave act of selling everything we owned, including cars and house; was very new to me and I had doubts by day 3; but at the same time, I embraced the obstacles and dealt with it as best I could. We were following our hearts and letting go of our fears. We were looking for a better and happier life.

I remember meeting a woman and her dog as I walked along the shores of a lake at Bridgeport, CA. I felt so lonely and this earth-bound angel befriended me. We walked along the lake talking as if We were friends for years. She gave me all the love and reassurance I needed. After that, she was gone. Came and went, her mission accomplished.

Throughout the year during my travels, I lost communication with a friend or two. Long distance friendships aren’t for everybody and sadly I had to accept it and let go of them. It was hard to do. I kept hanging on to what we used to have.

On the bright side, I have a handful of close friends who stuck with me; checking up on me, texting and/or making me laugh from thousands of miles away. These are friends I send postcards and Holiday cards to. I am grateful they are in my life.

Losing some friends also meant gaining new ones. Not too long ago, Owen made a friend at spring camp. I connected with his friend’s mom and we became friends. She lifted me up spiritually when I was at my lowest. Needless to say, she came at a very good time in my life. Once again, at a time of sadness, an earth-bound angel appeared.

One thing I learned: When I was up in life, my friends got to know who I am. When I was down in life, I got to know who my friends are.

Owen & I are in California for a few days. We’ll be getting in touch with his old friends and rekindling friendships. As for me, I have one goal: to personally appreciate that friend who made a difference in my year of stressful and lonely moments. Friends who I consider my on-call personal earth-bound Angels.

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Tillamook Cheese Factory Tour

Here’s what we learned:
The original owners first came in the 1800s to Tillamook Oregon to farm crops. Harvest became an issue due to weather. They noticed a part of their uncultivated farm remained green with grass. Their cows were always happy and that became the start of the dairy farm.

The self guided tour of the factory was fascinating. There were plenty of posted information on the history, the cheese-making process and a farmer’s daily schedule.

They offered free cheese samples in which I had to decline because I’m lactose intolerant. There was a gift shop, cafe and small store that featured -you guessed it- tillamook cheese.