I told you about my flight home, and promise not to go there again (if only my mind wouldn't go there again. I need one of those brain eraser things like in Men in Black). The flight out was also eventful. There was a connection in Denver, and from there I got on a small plane to Fargo, ND, which is right across the state border from where my parents are in Minnesota. Fargo is a remote town, so the planes going there are small. This was one that had to be boarded from outside. We walked out onto the tarmac and then climbed the steps into the plane. I kind of hate these kind of planes because they are more cramped and louder than usual. The good news was that the back quarter was empty, so I moved into a row all by myself. Nice!
We got moving. As we were taxiing down the runway, I heard a loud banging noise on my side of the plane, and thought that something had hit us. Strange. But we kept moving. We got in the air, and as the landing gear was folding up, I thought I saw something fly by my window. "Is that thing suppose to fly off like that?" I thought, but still we kept moving. About 15 minutes into the flight, the stewardesses, oh excuse me, flight attendants started up the drink service. A dinging noise sounded, and they all disappeared into both ends of the plane. Then, the captain got on the P.A. to tell us that we were going back to Denver for an emergency landing. There were mechanical problems. What?! Everyone stayed in their seats and kept their cool, but asked each other just what the heck was going on. The attendants kept telling us that it was going to be a normal landing. Ok, ok, we can handle that.
I sat back in my chair and stared out the window, felt calm enough, but had some crazy thoughts, like, "If this is it, am I afraid to die right now." Dramatic, yes. I decided that I wasn't all that scared. Not ready or wanting to go, of course not, but not really afraid of it either. A comforting thought? Maybe.
In the end, it was just a normal landing. We taxied back up to the airport escorted by about five fire trucks and some police cars. Were they expecting an explosion? Looked like they wanted to at least be prepared if a huge ball of fire came screaming down the runway. We found out that one of the tires had popped, which was the noise I'd heard earlier. I have to wonder, though, if there wasn't more to it than that. If it was just a popped tire, couldn't we have gone on to Fargo and done a normal landing there? Three of the four tires were still good. I don't know. I suppose going back was a necessary precaution to anything else going wrong. They had us on another plane in about 30 minutes, and we got to Fargo safe and sound.
Home with Mom and Dad
My time in Moorhead (where my parents live) was really nice. Low key, relaxing, sleeping in and home cooked meals. Loved it. Mom and I did some shopping at West Acres, a mall that's been there and our favorite for 30 years. Some stores have changed, but there are still some where I bought clothes back in high school. It's fun to go back to these places. My mom is a master of economy. She raised six kids on next to nothing, and did it partly because she doesn't throw anything away. She uses and reuses everything. I used to think it was crazy, but now it's great to go into her house and see the same furniture, dishes, wall hangings, to go through the cupboards and drawers and pull out the same stuff that was there when I was a little girl. It gives my world a sense of stability, a foundation...a home. I love pulling out something that I hadn't seen or given any thought to for years, and being flooded with the memories of it.
Mom and Dad have a huge garden, and a few nights a week they run a market where they sell the vegetables. I went there with them on Thursday to help out. Well, actually I just hung out. It was fun though. Mom and I talked about all kinds of things. She's so great. Here's a picture of the market:
And of some of the apples they had for sale.
On Friday, we went to a museum. Back in the 1980s, a man in the community built an exact replica of a Viking ship, and then got a crew together to sail it to Norway. Fascinating. Here's a picture of the bunk area. I can't imaging staying in that for weeks out in the middle of the Atlantic. Terrifying and thrilling all at the same time. The ship is small, actually this is at least half of it.
Saturday we drove to Alexandria for my cousin's wedding. The scenery was gorgeous. Green crop land, rolling hills, trees, water, and little farms scattered across the fields. This picture is a typical site there.
Alexandria is the town where I was born. We lived there until I was six, and then moved to the farm the summer after I finished Kindergarten. Most of my memories are vague, but some stand out. There was a library that we walked to, and a park with little play houses, and a huge statue of a viking. We drove back to the street where we used to live. The house is gone now, bought up by the church that stood on the opposite side of the block and turned into their parking lot. A friends house was still there though, and looked just as I had remembered it. The library was about a block away, so we walked there. I couldn't believe how close it was to the house. It seemed like a much longer walk when I was five. We went to the park, and Mom took a picture of my brother Shane's kids standing in the same place and in a pose that matches a picture that she has of my siblings and I when we were kids. She got a kick out of that. It was pretty cool. Then, we went to see the viking.
His shield says, "Alexandria, birthplace of America". It's a bold statement, and I don't really know where they get the nerve. Mom said that some centuries old tablets where found in the area years back and are now in a museum. Still, I don't know that that verifies the birthplace of America claim...?
The wedding was good fun. I saw cousins and aunts and uncles that I hadn't seen in years. My parents are converts to the church, and so all of my extended family are of other religions. I have to say that they are much better at weddings then we are. Nothing compares to a temple ceremony, of course, but I would take a Lutheran reception over a Mormon one any day! There's dinner, people dance, it's a celebration. I love it.
After the wedding, I went with Courtney and Andrea to spend a couple of days with them in Rochester, MN. They have two cute, cute boys, Spencer and Andrew, and a third baby due in March. On Sunday, the primary was practicing for their program, so I sat in the chapel and watched Spencer, who's a Sunbeam, sing the songs. He had a speaking part, "I know that Heavenly Father loves me", which he nailed. And, at a time when it was completely inappropriate, he got away from his class, ran to the microphone, yelled, "Go", and was gone again. That was his one wild moments. The rest of the time he sat nicely with his class. Had to get it out of his system, I guess.
We went to the Mall of America in Minneapolis, always exciting, on Tuesday, and then I flew home again. The week went very quickly, and in spite of the traumatizing flights, it was a very, very good trip.
That's it. Thanks, as always, for sharing this time with me.
You are loved.