Friday, January 02, 2009

Christmas Part I

so, the start of our journey up north was a little bit.....hectic, stressful, frazzled, anxious, tearful and a word i used while in the airplane: devastating. (josh corrected me at that very moment, telling me that it wasn't devastating; we were only having an adventure, though i was in no mood to experience an adventure at that moment) i had been checking weather online for the week prior to our departure and, though i was ecstatic that it looked like we'd have a white christmas, i was slightly alarmed at the amount of snow that was forecast for the day we were to arrive in bellingham, washington. despite the slight bit of worry in the back of my mind, and despite the fact that our pilot announced prior to departure that if we were unable to land in bellingham, we would land in eugene, oregon, i really truly believed that we would land in bellingham at 9:30pm and that my brother would be there to pick us up as planned and that all would be well.

the first minor disruption occurred about an hour into the flight when tristan, who was normally snuggling into bed at that time, had finished his lolly pop and began whining. out came our brand-new-to-us Knight in Shining Armour, otherwise known as The Portable DVD Player. before we had even turned it on, we made the mistake of telling tristan that he was going to watch elmo and so half of the plane heard little chants of "mo! mo! mo!" as josh was trying to figure out why the thing would not turn on. after a quick peek in the owner's manual we discovered, much to our (and tristan's) dismay that it did not come with a battery pack, so it was only able to operate while plugged into an outlet. oh dear. it was right around this time that the beverage cart came around and i asked for a cup of water. "that'll be $2" i was told rather apologetically. apparently, in order to keep the prices of flights low, this particular airline does not serve complimentary beverages. i decided i could handle another 2 hours of dry mouth, cheapskate that i am.

just then the voice of the pilot was heard crackling throughout the cabin. i went numb as he announced that due to worsening weather conditions at the bellingham airport, he was turning the plane around. we would land back in san diego in about an hour and a half and we would be informed when we could expect the next departure to take place. tristan chose this time to begin to whine and cry a little and i felt like doing exactly the same thing. instead i allowed one tear to escape and tried really hard not to let my mind go in the many directions it was already headed. we landed back in san diego at 9:30pm, the same time we were scheduled to land in bellingham. i called my mom right away, but she had already heard the news from my brother who had been at the airport early waiting for us. we found out that the next flight would depart at 8am the next morning and we'd be required to check-in at 6am.

by the time we had gotten off the plane, called josh's dad to come pick us up, and gathered up our luggage, we still had a bit of time on our hands before he got there. we had briefly discussed spending the night at the airport, since its an hour long drive from our home to the airport, but we both agreed that tristan probably wouldn't get much sleep that way. he was so wired at that point, it was around 10:30pm and he was entertaining many waiting passengers by twirling around in circles and giggling. he passed out in the car at around 11:00, josh and i fell into bed by midnight and were awakened at 1:30am to screams coming from tristan's room. he was having a full blown night terror (due to being overtired, i'm sure) which lasted until we turned toy story on for him. somehow, that calmed him right down, and we were able to return him to bed sound asleep, only to be rudely awakened by our alarm clock at 4am. i don't like to remember of the way i was feeling right about then. all i can say is i was praying pretty constantly, not only that we'd make it there, but also that tristan would do okay and that i wouldn't get a hernia with all of the churning my stomach was doing.

it was awful to have to wake tristan up at 4:30am, knowing he had only slept for 5 hours. thankfully, he fell back asleep in the car, but once we got to the airport, he was wide awake. our scheduled departure of 8am got pushed back to 9am and we were told that, since the bellingham runway was not clear of snow and ice, they were looking into landing at moses lake (about 8 hours drive for my parents as opposed to the 1 hour drive to bellingham). once again i called my mom. i had come to the conclusion that there was a strong possibility that we wouldn't make it at all. i was already thinking of what christmas day would be like in our little house without a christmas tree (i had taken it down the day before we left) and the thought just made me cry. my mom was trying to stay positive, but i could tell that she was losing hope as well. then, miracle of miracles, the announcement was made: "we will now begin boarding flight so and so departing for bellingham, washington." shouts of joy were heard all over the waiting area and i choked back tears as i told my mom "we're coming! we're getting on the plane right now!" never before have i ever seen a plane board so quickly. tristan lay his head down on my lap and his legs on josh's and slept for 2 hours straight. there was excitement as the plane dipped lower and we could see the winter wonderland that had transformed the land below us. as soon as the wheels touched the newly plowed runway, the entire plane erupted in applause and cheers.

stepping off of the plane onto the snowy tarmac, i barely felt the icy wind whipping at my face. we had made it! we were going to have a white christmas and i was going to be with the people who love me the most in the world. my mom was waiting right at the gate with smiles and hugs and after we had wrestled all of our luggage through the snow and into her car, josh had to push the car out of the snowbank she had parked in and we were off! with warm toasted panini sandwiches and juice and lots and lots to tell. josh said then that his prayers had always been, "Lord, get us there safely." obviously, we wouldn't have arrived safely if we had landed the night before, so God really answered all of our prayers.

and because i think that this post is long enough and because i'm sure that you're tired of reading and because i'm tired of typing, i'll end here and just say, more to tell in the next post....


Lori said...

What a horrendous nightmare!

Grandma J. said...

Somehow, my dear, it made the joy even sweeter, welcoming you to a Canadian Christmas, after such a "heart wrenching" adventure. XO

Shannon said...

oh boy. I'm sorry for such a crummy adventure.

running wildly said...

Glad you arrived safely. Although it was hard not seeing you, I felt joy in my spirit picturing you visiting with your mom over a cup of hot chocolate. Can't wait to hear the next installment of the story.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

The part of your story that I found most miraculous: You had a portable DVD player with you!

Sweet gracious living large in 2008!

Your Mennonite ancesteral womenfolk (who traveled with babes in snowy Russian winters)would be SO jealous of you with that devise had they not already been swooped up into heavenly bliss.

So glad you made it back to BC safely!

Dena said...

what an adventure, so thankful you got there safely and got to go.