Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Holiday Travel

For at least the last 12 years or more, Thanksgiving and Christmas have meant traveling home. Home being wherever my parents are living at the time. Currently, North Carolina, but soon that will be changing, which brings me to the reason for this blog entry.

Now there are certain things that people consider to be a part of their holiday routine, or remind them of the holidays. Maybe it’s shopping on black Friday, or maybe it’s waiting until Christmas Eve to do their shopping, or maybe it’s even the smell of scotch tape, which, to me, means wrapping presents. Another thing that means the holidays for me is traveling home. By traveling I mean by air, certainly not taking a road trip. I hate road trips. Yup, hate is a strong word, but take one with me and you probably won’t forget it. Are we there yet? No, seriously, are we there yet?

As much as I stress out about missing a flight, driving 100mph to the airport, delays, cancelled flights, snow, ice, lost luggage and missing connections, flying home is part of the holidays for me. Maybe you could call it a bitter sweet. There are the occasional Starbucks coffee drinks that cost a small fortune, the Fiji water that costs me almost $5.00 a bottle and that doesn’t even begin to cover the food, or drink prices in the restaurants. Does that stop me from indulging? Nope, it’s just all part of it for me. Heck, this trip is only a quarter of the way complete and I am at $31.00. All food and drinks. This doesn’t include the airline ticket, the price of checking a bag, parking and even the dog sitting fee.

Where am I going with all of this? Well, my life is changing and this will be the last time I travel home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Why? My parents just put their house on the market to move back to Kansas City. Yes, I have mixed feelings about it. Obviously I will miss traveling home, but more importantly, I will get to see them more on a regular basis soon. After all, they are approaching 65 and both have had a bout or two of health issues in the last three years, so soon I will be able to better keep my eye on them.

As I get off the airplane here in the next hour, it will be one that I relish, because soon it will be gone. Not quite gone for good, but close, I still have my Christmas trip. Now I know we will start new traditions that replace our current ones, but sometimes change is not always something you want to embrace. I will miss the Christmas Eve service that I look forward to, our Scrabble games, the pool games, the darts and holding down the couch for days on end.

Though this Thanksgiving is not even here until tomorrow, I already have plans for our next Thanksgiving with my best friend, his wife and their families. Heck, they have been my surrogate family for many, many years while my parents have been away and I am lucky to have them and will be even luckier to get to spend Thanksgiving next year with them, my mom and my dad.

So, with all this, I am happy to say, over the river and through the air, to my parent’s house I go. And until next year, I will savor the memories I have left until they are gone. Gone for good, but never be forgotten and I look forward to the new memories and traditions to replace those left behind.

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