I can’t ride a motorcycle, but I can hop a plane. Bob’s assistant Shirley arrived on time this morning, promptly at 6 AM to pick me up and take me to the airport. I wasn’t quite as on time, but in ten extra minutes I had rinsed the coffee pot, emptied the trash, locked up the house, loaded my stuff, and we were on our way to catch the 7 AM Horizon flight to Seattle/Portland. I love traveling, and my favorite mode of transportation is flying. But I was in the mood to take just about anything to get to Portland and see off my youngest as she moved away to college.
I had been feeling sorry for myself having to stay behind to work, take care of animals, and hold down the fort on Sunday. But then it occurred to me, in twenty years the animals would be long dead, my boss wouldn’t recall the extra day I missed, and nobody would remember that I even attended that particular church service. However, I would remember. For the rest of my life I would remember sending my daughter off to college and not getting to see where she would live or visit the campus she would attend for two years. And I would always remember missing a very important moment in her life, or maybe in my life. This week is a milestone for all of us. It marks the beginning of Nancy’s adulthood and the official emptying of our nest. Needless to say, I figured out a way to get to Portland.
When I arrived Bob and Nancy were waiting at the airport with a silly sign that said “Janet McLeod,” and that set the tone for a fun day together. Our drive to Monmouth took about an hour and a half, so it was late morning by the time we arrived at Bi-Mart to get Nancy’s paint and a few items we decided were necessary for her new home - like a first aid kit, trashcan, popcorn, you know, emergency stuff.
Back at Nancy’s basement bedroom, we set everything up to paint furniture and then it was time to meet Joe and Lilah in Salem for lunch at Olive Garden. Nancy decided to stay behind and paint, so we programmed the borrowed GPS device and took off. Joe and Lilah pastor Praise Assembly, which is the church next door to the house where Nancy will live for the next two years. They were also our very good friends while they lived for many years in a neighboring Montana town, and we used to take turns staying at one another’s homes. In fact, we haven’t met a ministry couple in Montana we enjoyed as much or felt as close to. Over salad and breadsticks, we caught up on five years of our lives before saying goodbye again heading back to Monmouth to help Nancy put the finishing touches on her furniture. As the afternoon wore on we realized Nancy also had to pack for a trip to Olympia and then a visit to Arizona, so we rushed around taking pictures, packing a suitcase, and locking up her things so that we could get to Salem on time for supper with Robby and Emily.
All of us met at a diner in Salem including Randy & Lynette, Robby’s parents. It was fun to hear about Randy & Lynette’s adventures in Greece where they pastor a church in Athens, and afterward we headed back to Robby & Emily’s for ice cream and coffee. It was late when we got to our hotel in North Salem, and considering how much we accomplished in one day, we crashed in short order. It occurred to me that had I been on a motorcycle, I would still be driving instead of sleeping. I love planes.